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10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

Our attitude plays a big part in our everyday lives and can affect how our life may turn out in the future. If you decide to live with a negative attitude, always expecting the worst and never enjoying what you already have in your life, you’ll find that your inner choices will reflect on the outside. However, if you have a good attitude, you’ll be the kind of person who works hard, is a believer in the fact that life is for living, and you will live the kind of life many would aspire to.

Attitude comes down to choice, you can choose whether to have a good or a bad attitude and whether external things can affect it or not. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to help improve your attitude when you are struggling to turn a bad day into a good one.

1. Take action and then let it go.

If you have something you need to get done, and you’ve been putting it off because the result could go either way, the best thing for you to do to improve your attitude is to take the appropriate action required and then let it go. Holding on, worrying and wasting precious time fretting will only put a downer on your attitude. If you remember that life is for living, and what will be will be, then you can’t go far wrong. Worrying is a complete waste of your time—if it’s going to happen, it will happen anyway, whether you worry about it or not!

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2. Spend time with those who share your positive attitude.

This is a must if you want to improve your attitude. The people you surround yourself with most of the time will reflect upon you and how you live your life. So always make sure that these people share your positive vibe, and lift you rather than bring you down. We are, after all, only human, so there will be times when we get a bit down on our luck, which makes it even more important to have good, positive people on hand to encourage, support and inspire us.

3. Remember to forgive easily the limitations of others.

So often we get disappointed by other people’s actions or non-action. Instead of getting angry or retaliating, the best way to improve the situation and to improve your attitude is to forgive. Most people don’t understand why they do the things they do or say the things they say. It is through your forgiveness (which is not about letting them off the hook, but rather letting yourself off the hook) that you will improve your attitude. Holding on to grudges will only cause you more harm than good because most people don’t realize how their limitations affect others anyway!

4. Always act with a purpose.

When you take action, always take steps to act with a purpose, so that your actions are in line with your values and who you are. Many people walk through life blindly, with no real reason for what they do and why they do it. Instead, live with a sense of purpose, so that you go through life knowing the effect you have on those around you and why you do the things you do. For an example, Walt Disney’s main purpose was to “make people happy,” so next time you act, think of your purpose and improve your attitude whilst doing so!

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5. Always say, “Please,” and, “Thank you.”

Being polite when given help or asking for it isn’t a hard thing to do, yet so often we forget these simple words, especially with those closest to us. If you want to improve your attitude use, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” every single time you are given the opportunity. Why? Because what you give out you get back, so when you are nice to someone who is helping you out or when you need some assistance, you’ll find that you’ll get more than you bargained for—in a good way, of course!

6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you want to improve your attitude to life and to those around you, quit comparing yourself to others. It’s human to compare our lives with others, but when we do it too often we can drag ourselves down and start to think that life isn’t going the way it’s supposed to go. When we compare, we think someone else’s life looks better than ours. It’s important to remember that we are observing the external view, and things may look different behind closed doors. So spare yourself the worry and stop comparing, only focus on your own life and attitude to it and you’ll be much happier in the process.

7. Expect the best out of every situation instead of the worst.

How many times do you focus on the bad stuff that might happen in your life, rather than the good? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “Oh, I knew that would happen,” or, “I really hope this doesn’t cost too much,” and, “I don’t want to be late”?

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When life is hectic and you feel that you don’t have time to do what you want because of what other people want from you, it’s no wonder you can get so down and disgruntled about life. We tend to focus on what could go wrong in our lives rather than focusing on what could go right. In some respects we like to have a moan, and it seems complaining has become such second nature to us that we don’t even realize we are doing it.

So how about trying something different? Try not to complain for seven days and instead replace any negative thoughts with a positive one. Expect the very best out of every situation and see the improvement in your attitude, you won’t be disappointed!

8. Wake up early every day.

I am a real advocate of early rising. For me it brings me closer to the feeling of starting afresh, just in case yesterday didn’t go quite as planned. I usually get up at around 4 a.m., although that kind of time is pretty extreme to most people. However, when you plan to wake up early and intend to make each day a good one, you’ll find your attitude will change. It’s like you are taking the day by the horns and making sure you get every last bit out of it and on your own terms. You’ll feel in control of your life rather than just going through life in a blur.

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Just try it, even if you only get up 20 minutes earlier than normal.

9. Live in the present moment.

As you read this you will probably have 101 things on your mind. Errands to run, things you should be doing and things that have happened that are worrying you. All too often we spend our days lost in thoughts about the past or the future and never really living in this very moment. When we live like this, we are never really comfortable with ourselves because our inner peace is constantly at odds, which affects our mood and our attitude.

Instead of rushing about, try to spend time watching your thoughts and becoming more mindful of what you are saying to yourself. If you are worrying about something, you are not in the present moment because you are thinking about something that could happen in the future. Anxiety, stress and worry are all signs you are not living in the now. When you have too much of this going on it can lead to health issues later on in life. To improve your attitude, learn how to take a break, to sit and be quiet even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Your body and mind will thank you for it, and so will your friends!

10. Be grateful for everything you have.

This always seems to come up whenever I write because gratefulness is one of the most powerful attitudes to have in life. If you want a better life, give thanks for all that you have each and every day. When you rise early, practice grace before you do anything. This kind of practice will set your day off nicely, your attitude will improve and you’ll find you will receive more things to be grateful about!

So how’s your attitude today, does it need a little fine tuning?

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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