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Interpreting Your World
Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure.
—Norman Vincent Peale
The first step to developing a positive attitude is to become aware of the true nature of your current attitude. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but how you react to various situations can reveal a great deal about your basic attitude. To succeed in any of your endeavors you must approach them with a positive or affirmative attitude.
Your Positive Attitude Quotient (PAQ)
To determine your PAQ—Positive Attitude Quotient—use the following ten questions to decide how frequently you exhibit that particular behavior. Mark 1 if never, 2 if seldom, 3 if sometimes, 4 if usually, and 5 if almost always. Remember, this is to help determine your Positive Attitude Quotient, so be honest with yourself. When you have finished taking the test, add up the numbers you assigned to each item.
_____ I can quickly recover from failure.¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬
_____ I have personal goals I am working on.
_____ I keep track of my progress on goals and make the changes needed.
_____ I make up my mind slowly whether or not I will like new people I meet.
_____ I get a lot of good ideas from other people.
_____ I can find what I need to know without much help.
_____ I don’t have to be reminded to do what I agree to do.
_____ I can quickly detect people who are pessimists.
_____ I enjoy listening to people’s explanations, even if I don’t like them personally.
_____ I am patient with people who disagree with me.
Let’s discuss the implications of your total score.
If you scored 40 or more, you have a strong positive attitude. This will provide credibility as a leader and compatibility as a coworker.
If you scored between 30 and 40, you have a normal positive attitude. It will serve you well and be a favorable influence on others.
If you scored between 20 and 30, your attitude is unpredictable and will cause confusion and uncertainty in your relationships at home and at work.
If you scored under 20, you have a negative attitude which will inhibit confidence in your relationships and work.
Using the PAQ scale will help you decide which of these areas to work on to increase your positive attitude and influence.
Assess Your Attitude toward Yourself
If you are physically well, the quality of your life will depend mostly on your attitude. It’s important, therefore, to consider that attitude reflects both inwardly on yourself and outwardly to other people.
Ask yourself these questions to determine if you usually take a positive attitude towards yourself. Answer Yes/No/Undecided.
1. Are you a learner or rejecter? Are you usually willing to recognize that no one has all the answers, and continue trying?
2. Do you do your best on-the-job? Evidence of this would be if you tend to suggest better ways of doing things.
3. Do you demonstrate enthusiasm in most of what you say and do? What does the record say about that? What will your friends tell you?
4. Are you willing to grow? Do you think it’s your responsibility to prepare yourself for advancement, or wait for someone else to tell you what to do?
5. Do you welcome changes? Are you the kind of person who experiments, who tries things, who is generally open to suggestions?
6. And last, but certainly not least, do you cultivate a sense of humor? Do you take yourself more seriously than anyone else? Do you get some joy out of what you’re doing at work? Is it fun for you?
Evaluate Your Attitude toward Other People
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Are you taking a consistently positive attitude toward other people? Here are some ways you can check this out.
Are you sincerely interested? Do you talk about their needs and their problems? Sincerity can’t be faked.
Do you look at other’s point of view? How they feel, why they feel that way, why they think and act as they do? Do you study them? Are a good listener?
Are you able to cooperate to achieve common goals? Are you a good team player?
Attitude Reflects Positively and Negatively
Attitude affects every aspect of your life and your job. A good example is safety in the workplace. A negative attitude can lead to:
• Carelessness. “It doesn’t really matter.”
• Ignorance. “I didn’t know that would explode.”
• Fatalism. “If it happens, it happens.”
• Cynicism. “All these films and posters are just kid’s stuff.”
• Laziness. “It’s too much trouble to wear that hard hat or eye guard or those protective shoes.”
• Recklessness. “Danger is the spice of life.” Or, “I like to live on the edge.”
• Overconfidence. “I haven’t been hurt in twenty years; it’s not liable to happen now.”
On the other hand, a positive attitude leads to:
• Planning ahead. “It may take a little longer, but I’d rather do it the right way and be safe.”
• Encouraging others. “I want to know what your goals are, because I want us both to improve.”
• Showing appreciation. “Thanks for that suggestion.”
• Thoroughness. “I want to do it right the first time so nobody gets hurt here.”
• Conscientiousness. “I want to fix this now so I don’t forget and it might be a hazard to someone.”
• Alertness. “If I concentrate and am careful now, it’ll be safer for everybody concerned.”
Success requires more than talent. While talent and knowledge are essential, the key that unlocks them both is your state of mind. Being positive makes you more dependable. . . . . . When you are positive you will find that you instinctively respect others, and are therefore more considerate. You will have pride in your own work, and you will give credit to others where it is due. You will help them do their job more efficiently where possible and you will share your enthusiasm with those around you. Even a smile will transmit encouragement to others—and this will be picked up and fed back to you.
Recognize that the enemy is usually within and that the first step in analyzing attitude is to start with yourself.
Make Up Your Mind to be Positive
All human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.
Posted October 27, 2008