Have you had the check-out clerk, the barista or the airline gate agent that snarls at you, as though your presence is ruining their life? Are they on the escalator of life or a demonic demise?
Some people operate as though life is a condemnation, a prison sentence. They’ve lost their way, and it has nothing to do with you. You didn’t cause their misery. One thing I have discovered is people carry their bitterness, disappointment, and frustrations with them. They come to work already angry! These people feel they are not in control, and they are miserable because of it. Note: all team members of the companies mentioned above attend the same training. I know. I deliver some of that training.
Are You on the Escalator of Life or are You Sliding Perilously Downward?
Training is a lost cause if you are on autopilot, not paying attention and, reacting to life. No one is born a cynic.This is a learned (conditioned) behavior. Do you recall the boiling frog parable?We often don’t recognize how life is affecting us.
The frustrations, disappointments, and rejections of life will wear you down. You have to be investing, paying tireless, and persistent attention to how you are either responding to life or reacting to life.
The First Step
- You have more control than you can appreciate.
- Manage your moods before showing them to the world.
- Work on the means. The ends will come of their own accord.
This requires personal attention. Your boss, company, family, no one can (or will) do it for you. In my work as a coach, I’ve been on numerous selection panels—part of a team responsible for hiring the right person. We are tasked with, you know, getting the right person on the bus. The classic retort I hear over and over is hire for attitude we can train for ability.
Attitude, enthusiasm, motivation, and a desire to contribute are entry-level traits. It’s not as though you can’t change yourself and learn them, but companies sure view them that way. It is expected that you come to the interview (the job), already in possession of these threshold traits. So, set yourself up for success. Get the easy stuff right!
Give yourself the “look in the mirror.” Ask, am I on the Escalator of Life? Or maybe more practical, if attitudes were contagious, would I want someone to catch mine?
Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.–Ralph Waldo Emerson