I remember our 8th grade class field trip to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, Calif. I hate museums. As I moped around learning nothing, my teacher, Mr. Brandol, appeared out of nowhere.
He told me to smile. I rolled my 8th grade eyes and scowled. What right does a person have to tell another person to smile? If I am miserable, I want to be miserable. Smiling because someone tells you to, seems to defeat the purpose.
My article is about the power of positive thinking. What right do I have to tell anyone to think positively? I don’t. But Mr. Brandol insists. Shut up and listen.
The dog gets sick. The computer won’t boot. It starts pouring down rain during my run and my hair gets ruined.
On to work.
Angry phone calls. No positive responses to my email inquiries. My best client is selling her business.
What do I do when the train is falling off the tracks?
Sometimes, I go for a walk (if it is not raining); sometimes, I make a list of everything I am grateful for; and, sometimes, I spend time with loved ones. (OK, I really don’t make lists, or spend time with loved ones when I need to change my attitude, but I need my word count minimum). Whatever you do to have a positive frame of mind, do it. Your sales performance might increase. Why, you ask? Here are some reasons:
- A positive frame of mind reduces Complaining Syndrome. No one likes to be around someone who complains. I’m a big believer in the power of working as a team to solve problems. If I am complaining, no one will want me on his or her team. When I have a positive attitude, I don’t complain and I focus on providing solutions.
- A positive frame of mind increases flexibility. While it’s good to have a schedule and prioritize daily tasks, being happy puts me in a flexible mindset. Flexibility is important. Oftentimes, a prospect or client will throw me a curveball or ask me to solve a problem I have never encountered. Being flexible allows me to change my approach and come up with new, and different, innovative solutions.
- A positive frame of mind increases focus. When I am negative, it’s easy to get stuck on all the bad stuff staring me in the face. It’s difficult to focus on my priorities when I have so many distractions. Having a positive attitude allows me to set clear and measureable goals, and then set a path to accomplish them. When I’m happy, my goals are my priority.
- A positive frame of mind improves relationships. Be nice. People will be nice to you. And you will get more referrals. Be a jerk and you will get evil looks, people talking about you and no referrals. It will be like taking a field trip to a train museum: miserable.
- A positive frame of mind increases motivation. It drives me to wake up 30 minutes early, get an extra workout in, eat healthier, spend more time doing research or building another relationship with someone who can help me make new contacts. When I have a negative attitude, I get lost in my issues and lose motivation to focus on the more important, big-picture priorities.
It’s fun to be grumpy some of the time, like when going to a museum. But having a positive frame of mind helps me be a better person. Isn’t that the ultimate goal?
I just discovered something: If I keep saying, “A positive frame of mind,” it improves my frame of mind. Genius!
This article first appeared in the Print+Promo publication.