There are plenty of self-help books on the market. There are books on motivation, habit-forming, getting rich—you name it. But what if I told you there was just one thing that could affect how well you perform? It’s your attitude.
A good attitude will make your task seem easy. And if not easy, it will at least make it more fun. And you will find that your performance, no matter what you are doing, will be better with a good attitude. You will run farther, speak better, write more eloquently if your attitude is positive.
There are times when I don’t want to do a certain thing. I procrastinate what I need to do because either I am being lazy or my perfectionism is getting in my way.
When we have a good attitude about a task, we start it right away and have fun completing it. But when we feel annoyed with a duty,it feels like the last thing in the world we want to do.
Lately, I’ve struggled with getting my running mojo back after injury, sickness, and then pure running apathy. It’s been extremely difficult to get my shoes on and get outside. I feel slow, lethargic, and out of shape.
Then last week I went on a run with a friend. The run was more walking than running, but we covered four miles and it made me feel good. It felt wonderful to be outside on my feet with fierce breath in my lungs.
I laced up and went for another run the next day. I felt enthusiastic and eager. And I had another great run. Nothing about my endurance or fitness had changed from one run to the next; the only thing that had changed was my attitude. I was excited, hopeful, and passionate.
Before my next run, I pumped myself up. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I lied to myself, but I did employ some brain-trick techniques. And wouldn’t you know—I had another fantastic run covering more miles than I set out to do.
I went from dreading the feeling of being under-trained to being excited about pushing my limits. That’s why I run anyway, isn’t it? I run to see what I’m capable of—to push myself and exhaust my anxiety. It doesn’t matter if I’m running 11-minute miles or sub 9-minute miles, the outcome is the same.
Why can’t we change our attitudes at will and get things done quickly and efficiently? There are so many other things vying for our attention throughout the day. But by focusing on what we need to do, or what will actually benefit us, we can accomplish wonderful things. Whether that is finally starting your own business, getting that promotion, or training for a marathon.
If you are dreading anything in life, or if you are going into a task with a less than acceptable attitude, try spinning things around in your head. Is there some way to get yourself excited about it? Can you think more about how you will feel after the task is done than how it feels during? You know you are going to feel like the bee’s knees once you are done.
Difficult tasks need a good solid attitude, whether you have to fake it a little or not. Put a smile on your face and tell yourself that you can do this. And you know what? You absolutely can do this!
So, eat that frog, make your bed, Pareto your to-do list—whatever those self-help books tell you to do. But also, go out there with your best attitude. Tell yourself that you can conquer the world, and you will—for you are only as good as your attitude.