"The Master value is trust. There are no relationships that can survive for very long without it."

- Jim Amos

How Attitude Shapes Destiny in Business and Life

May 31st, 2012

Having a good attitude is a process of reinforcing good habits in thought and deed

In all my years in the military and the business world, I’ve learned that attitude is one of the most important things in life. It drives the actions we take and sets the foundation for success.

We all know the difference between people with good and bad attitudes. People with bad attitudes will look for reasons to complain, to embrace bitterness, cynicism and failure. People with good attitudes, even when confronted with the same circumstances, will stay positive, seek solutions and fight toward their goals.

Is it any wonder that people with good attitudes find so much more success in life and business? So how do you develop a good attitude?

It requires diligence and attention to the basic components of your state of mind:

• Thoughts: Attitude depends on the quality of our thoughts. Whatever we dwell on takes root in our minds and begins to shape the way we think about the world.

Negative thoughts are like weeds. Rip them out early and discard them. The longer you allow them to grow, the harder they will be to defeat and the more they will choke the healthy thoughts that nurture success. One of the great revelations of my life was that thoughts shape destiny. People who dwell on failure end up inviting it. Perhaps the Apostle Paul’s advice, found in the book of Philippians, is some of the best advice ever given — to think on whatsoever things are true, just, honest, pure and of good report.

• Feelings: We are emotional creatures. As children, our emotions drive our actions long before logic arrives, and even adults often act more from emotion than contemplation. How do we control them so they remain allies rather than enemies? We start by identifying and controlling our thoughts.

When you hold on to a thought, you develop an emotional attachment to it — and emotions are still the main spur to action. You can see this playing out during this election year. As a nation, we are split fairly evenly between Republicans and Democrats. In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency because the fervor surrounding his nomination and the hope it engendered drew Democrats to vote in record numbers. In 2010, Republicans won back the House of Representatives in a landslide because the Tea Party had captured the emotional momentum from Democrats. This year, pundits are busy trying to gauge the emotional force behind the two parties to see which side will send more people to the polls. Emotion drives action.

In business, the interaction of thought and emotion plays out in different ways. Are your thoughts about your own success or the success of everyone around you? When a colleague, coworker or employee needs help, do you offer support or look away? If your business performs adequately, are you satisfied, or do you look for ways to make it exceptional? When change happens, do you see it as a burden or an opportunity?

• Actions: Action is the fruit of thought and feeling. Only action reflects true attitude. It is not what we think or say or even feel that determines results. It is what we do. Thought and emotion without action lead to guilt and hypocrisy, as if you grew a beautiful crop in your garden, then failed to gather the fruit and allowed it to rot.

The alignment of thought, feeling and action produces integrity, which is vital in the business world — and in life.

Tasti D-Lite chairman and CEO Jim Amos has more than 30 years of experience guiding successful franchise companies such as Mail Boxes Etc. He was inducted into the International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame in February.

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