Daily Attitude Email

Daily Attitude eMail 10.8.12

When I think of attitude, I can’t help but think of Napoleon Hill’s statement that “thoughts are things”.

Our thoughts are important. Our thoughts determine our feelings and our feelings influence our actions (Allport, 1985; Sorrentino & Higgins, 1986). Since our actions are how we engage the world around us we can see that our thoughts are important to putting smiles on faces.

Research in phycology suggests how our minds work:
• our minds can only hold a limited number of thoughts
• these thoughts can be categorized as either positive or negative
• positive and negative thoughts do not cohabitate well. In fact,
• negative thoughts breed more negative thoughts and
• positive thoughts breed more positive thoughts.

Think about how all these findings work together… Because our minds can only hold a limited number of thoughts and because of the way those thoughts interact (they multiply and compete for the state of the mind), our minds are either in a positive state or a negative state depending on our thoughts.

In putting smiles on faces it’s important that we do not let negative thoughts multiply and enslave our frame of mind. Instead we must identify negative thoughts quickly through reflection and combat them with positive thoughts, which will multiple, push out the negative thoughts, and reclaim a positive state of mind.

The first step is being aware of our thoughts and identifying them as positive or negative. It’s important to understand that not every disappointing thought is negative; rather the light in which it is viewed well determine its state. In getting past the vague fancy talk I’m not saying that we should push out the thought “If we touch the hot stove it will burn us”, while it’s disappointing – it’s a fact. To help you be aware of your thoughts remember the process: thoughts determine feelings and feelings influence actions. The trick is to catch negative thoughts before they turn into negative feelings and certainly before they turn into negative actions. So if you’re feeling a bit crummy or if you’re being a big jerk face, know it’s probably because your mind is in a negative frame due to a bunch of negative thoughts.

The second step is reclaiming your frame of mind to a positive state. The solution is simple in theory – start thinking positive thoughts, but we all know that’s easier said than done when we have our grumpy pants on. This might sound cliché but it’s a practice that works and has stood the test of time: to reclaim a positive state of mind count your blessings, if that doesn’t work look to the news for some perspective on how blessed you are, if that doesn’t work serve someone who is less fortunate than you. Maintaining a positive attitude takes commitment and it’s not always easy, but it’s in our control.

If this were a blog I ask a bunch of questions – but it’s not, so I won’t.

In the words of Mr. Jake “make it a great day”

Thanks for listening/reading 🙂

Michael Somers

Mavidea Technology Group

Putting Smiles on Faces (one thought at a time)

www.mavidea.com

mike.somers

Office: 309-829-2000 x112

Toll Free: 888-898-8960

Daily Attitude Email 9 4 12

In honor of Labor Day I thought I would share some excerpts from a speech FDR gave on Labor Day in 1941.

Here is a link to the whole speech:

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=16166

“There has never been a moment in our history when Americans were not ready to stand up as free men and fight for their rights.

In times of national emergency, one fact is brought home to us, clearly and decisively—the fact that all of our rights are interdependent.

The right of freedom of worship would mean nothing without freedom of speech. And the rights of free labor as we know them today could not survive without the rights of free enterprise.

That is the indestructible bond that is between us—between all of us Americans: interdependence of interests, privileges, opportunities, responsibilities—interdependence of rights.”

What a great and important thought as we work together everyday. Our rights and our goals are interdependent. If we want ourselves to flourish we must give the best of ourselves to each other.

“American workers, American farmers, American businessmen, American church people—all of us together—have the great responsibility and the great privilege of laboring to build a democratic world on enduring foundations.

May it be said on some future Labor Day by some future President of the United States that we did our work faithfully and well.”

May it be said that we did our work faithfully and well.

What a great thought for the day as we all go about our work.

Make it a great day.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 30 12

Learn to say no so your yes has some oomph.

I can’t remember where I saw this quote, but I think it strikes at the core of something a lot of us struggle with.

We love helping people. We get known for helping people. People start asking for help. We continually say yes. We end up spread too thin and aren’t helping anyone.

This is another of those areas of life that require some wisdom. Wisdom to know what to say yes to and what to say no to. Wisdom to know when someone else might be better served with a no instead of a yes.

In true daily attitude email fashion, there is a positive side to this.

Learn how to wisely say no and your yes’s will mean so much more.

You will be able to pour more of yourself into those things you care about. You will make a bigger impact when you do say yes.

You will be less frustrated by your inability to do everything for everyone.

Many of you have heard me say "we are all the same amount of busy, time is passing at the same rate for all of us."

And therein lies the crux of the problem. Time is passing. Our days will end up full. Every single one of them.

We must go about the hard work of choosing our priorities for those days and lining up our activities to match those priorities.

I know this is a hard one. I see lots of people (including myself) struggle with this one everyday.

But a life well lived is worth it. Making a difference in the lives of those we care about it worth it. Making an impact in those organizations or causes we believe in is worth it.

Make it a great day.

Jake

PS – Although making the hard choices in life seems daunting, be thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to make some of those choices. Thankful for the time you have. Thankful for the opportunity to serve others.

Daily Attitude Email 8 29 12

People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed. Samuel Johnson

One of the speakers from the Global Leadership Summit used this quote and it reminded me of the daily attitude emails.

It reminded me that when you read this in the morning (I can just picture everyone anxiously looking at their inbox with anticipation every morning), you most likely already know more about what I am writing about than I do.

Hopefully I am providing a reminder of those things you already know.

I know this to be true because of some of the emails and comments I received in response to daily attitude emails.

“Did you write that one for me?”

“That was just what I needed.”

“Thanks for the reminder this morning.”

As much as I would like to pretend that I am brilliant in writing these emails, they are really just my own version of some already existing concept.

And my sincere hope is that they can serve as a reminder or inspiration for you to move your life in a positive direction.

Make it a great day.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 28 12

The other night at dinner we were talking about Maggie’s day at school and Meaghan said “I remember when I was in second grade.”

I came to an exciting (and somewhat scary) realization: Maggie is starting to make memories that will last.

After my brief moment of worry about all the potentially embarrassing memories that will stick with Maggie as she gets older, I had a moment where I realized that we have the opportunity to make sure we create some great memories for Maggie.

You don’t have to have a first grader at home to decide to make some great memories for yourself and your loved ones.

What are you doing with your opportunities to create memories?

Embrace the opportunity, avoid any pressure and anxiety.

Make it a great day of memories.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 27 12

The heart finds comfort with every new step of integrity.

One of the speakers from the Global Leadership Summit used this quote and it really struck me.

One of the key traits of successful people is personal integrity. Over time I have come to realize that personal integrity is mostly about whether or not you keep your promises to yourself.

We all make little promises to ourselves every day.

This time I am going to stick with my diet.

I am going to work out three times this week.

I am going to stick to my diet.

I am going to read three books this month.

Whatever those promises that you make to yourself are, they are important.

Every promise made and kept is a building block for self confidence. Each one represents a chance to make yourself the person you want to become.

Start keeping those promises and before you know it, you will have built a fortress that can’t be torn down.

Decide today to start keeping those promises and building that self confidence.

Make it a great day.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 23 12

Meaghan and I were talking about the Olympics a little yesterday and I wondered aloud as we talked about the marathon “I wonder what kind of time the last place finisher ran.”

So, I looked it up. 2 hours 55 minutes for 26.2 miles. The last place finisher in the Olympic Marathon averaged a 6:40 mile.

I have little doubt that this person (a last place finisher) is in the top 1% of all marathoners in the world.

Watching the Olympics really made me think about how success is defined.

For some, anything other than medaling (or even anything other than a gold medal) was a disappointment.

For others, maybe just being able to be on the stage and to participate was the realization of a life long dream.

Either way the common theme is that of doing your best when it counts.

Performing to your highest capabilities when it matters most. When the pressure is on. When the whole world is watching.

And then being ok with whatever happened from there.

We have the same opportunity every day. Maybe we don’t have the grand stands or the aura of the Olympics around us as we serve customers and each other, but we can do our best.

We can set a new personal record. We can reach for that next level. We can practice a little harder or a little longer.

We can do our best.

Make it a great day. Set a personal record.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 22 12

Today is Maggie’s first day of first grade.

So, today I wanted to send out something good about the first day of school.

I found the story below and thought I would share.

While most of us aren’t starting first grade today like Maggie, we do have the opportunity to begin our personal growth anew and with enthusiasm.

Make it a great day.

Jake

A wonderful motivational story for any age…..

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that that lit up her entire being.

She said, "Hi, handsome. My name is Grace. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and share a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Grace became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Grace to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. "You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!"

"There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change."

"Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the years end Grace finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Grace died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

Daily Attitude Email 8 21 12

One of the great things about living in the Bloomington-Normal area is that we have two colleges in town.

Over the last week or so it has been great watching as all the “kids” come back to town and move in before classes.

Every new school year represents new opportunity, growth, new friends, etc.

I can still remember (even though it was 100 years ago) that feeling of excitement and nervousness as I moved in for that first semester of college. That first semester has some extra meaning for me because that is when I met Meaghan.

College and school have easy to recognize markers for when things are new and changing as students move from one semester to the next and one year to the next.

It isn’t so simple to see these markers in “real life”, but we are all going through these different periods of change and growth.

The key is to look for them.

Look for opportunity to learn something new.

Look for new friends and relationships.

Look for the chance to try something you have never tried before.

And for those of us older folks, look for an opportunity to help and guide those young kids as they go through their transitions of life.

Make it a great day.

Jake

Daily Attitude Email 8 19 12

Would you say the same thing to your best friend?

We have a tendency to be too hard on ourselves and end up in negative thought patterns sometimes because of it.

Next time something negative pops into your head, think about whether or not you would say the same thing to your best friend.

Would you focus on the negative or try to say something encouraging?

Would you tell them they can’t do it or would you be rooting them on?

Would you let them take the easy way out or would you challenge them to do their best?

Too often we let negative thinking dominate our thought patterns about ourselves.

Make it a great day.

Jake