Fire Up Your Attitude! It's Your Attitude! It’s Your Choice!  
  By Pauline Shirley, Leaders On Fire

It’s time to fire up your attitude and here's why, and how. Think of the times you have been influenced to buy something, or not to buy something, to do something or not to do something all because of someone's attitude, good or bad.

Recently, I set out on a shopping mission to buy a suit. I had been shopping several hours without success. On the verge of giving up, a sales associate with an obviously great attitude approached me. She asked me if she could help me, and what I was looking for. It wasn’t the questions that made the difference; the questions she used were trite. It was the smile. She was smiling, warm and friendly. Before I knew it the “perfect” outfit was wrapped up, paid for and I was on my way home. Mission accomplished! Her attitude made the difference.

What is your attitude quotient? On an attitude scale of one to ten -- ten being seeing the glass half full rather than half empty -- where does your attitude register? Five, four, or maybe seven?

Increase your rating and like the sales associate you'll influence people to action. Read on and discover two ways to fire up your attitude.

Researchers tell us that we have an average of 40,000 thoughts per day. They also say that as many as 80% of those thoughts are negative. Just imagine 32,000 negative thoughts every day. No wonder every medicine cabinet in every bathroom in the country contains an abundance of aspirin.

Negative and positive, your thoughts are your self-talk. Self-talk determines how you view your life, your job, yourself. Negative self-talk lowers your self-esteem and affects your interactions with others.

Turn negative thoughts into positive ones, by becoming consciously aware of what you say to yourself. Every time you catch yourself thinking, “I can't do that,” or “Today started out bad and it's going to be that way all day,” listen closely to what you are thinking. Stop, immediately rephrase negative thoughts. Say, instead, “I know I can do that. I’ll give myself more time.” Or, “Today got off to a slow start, and now its really going well!”

Give yourself positive reinforcement for successful results. You can do that by smiling. A simply smile. Just turning up corners of your mouth sends a message to the brain to release endorphins. The brain responds. The natural endorphins are released. You feel good. It’s the same physiological effect that causes a runner's high.

Your smile reflects a positive attitude. Smiling causes others to smile back. It’s almost impossible to see someone smiling at you and not respond. Remember your reaction to a smiling infant or small child. You naturally and involuntarily smiled.

You now know two ways to increase your attitude quotient. The next step is putting this knowledge to use. Just possessing knowledge is not enough. You must use it. To do so develop the habits of countering negative self-talk and smiling. It takes only twenty-one days of practice. Just twenty-one days to an attitude that is fired up!

“Fire Up Your Attitude” ? MMIV by Pauline Shirley, Pauline Shirley presents, speaks and trains from rich leadership experiences. She is president of Leaders On Fire of Richardson, Texas, whose mission is to prepare leaders for today, tomorrow and the future. She may be reached at 972/644-6430, or

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