There are more than 7 billion different opinions in the world — one for each person on this planet. I’m not an authority on much, but I think many of those 7 billion people would agree with this ideal: We are each responsible for our own attitude.
In my day job, I help lead an orientation and training program for new associates. The service we provide our guests is the cornerstone to our success as a grocery store chain. Although our company is unique in many ways, we often lean on others’ examples to reinforce the principles we hold dear.
For instance, we showcase an entrepreneur who opened his first restaurant in the 1960s and went on to build a successful chain of restaurants, which he sold to the Marriott Corp. less than 10 years later. Bob Farrell was the heartbeat of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, and he took pride in the positive and friendly service on which he built the brand.
Farrell agreed with my aforementioned ideal that we are each responsible for our own attitude. In his motivational video for managers and leaders called “The Leadership Pickles!” Bob speaks to a common excuse employees use when they don’t smile or offer friendly service.
I’ve used the excuse before, and I’m willing to bet you have, too: “I’m not in the mood.”
When it comes to customer service, Farrell explains, your mood doesn’t matter.
This outlook challenges me on a regular basis, because oftentimes the excuses I find myself using are tied to a mood, feeling, or ultimately, my attitude toward something or someone.
I’m not a parent, but I’m thankful that mine kept parenting me even when they didn’t feel like it. I’m glad my neighbors pick up their dog’s waste even when they don’t feel like it. I’m grateful that pilots and flight attendants show up for work even when they don’t feel like it.
We all will have bad days and worse days. Everyone faces some challenge or circumstance that leaves them feeling desperate or hopeless. In fact, it’s probably wise to expect some hardships along the way.
Such expectations may not make things easier or less painful, but they can prepare me mentally and help illuminate options for overcoming difficult circumstances.
Things won’t always be sunshine and rainbows, but my attitude doesn’t have to reflect my circumstances. If my attitude is overcast and gloomy, I will have allowed my situation to dictate it.
Instead, it’s up to me to remain positive, hopeful, and determined in the face of difficulty, disappointment, hardships, and failures.
No matter how close I get to the summit or to understanding what keeps me from reaching the top, there are no good excuses for a bad attitude.
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