A Recipe for Humility

Blame yourself for failures and blame other people for your successes. When you run out of people to blame for success, blame good luck. There’s no such thing as bad luck – it’s a crutch for people blinded by a bad attitude and too afraid to accept that failure might be their fault.

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Make It Fun

If you lose control of your situation or time, do what you can to live in the moment and make the situation fun. Look at the bright side, drink a glass half full and turn it into something you can appreciate and enjoy. At the very least, every moment in life has an embedded learning opportunity – it should not be too difficult to make everything that happens to you count. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of mindfulness and optimism. Crack jokes, puns or witty comments. Make faces if that’s your thing. Whatever it takes to polish a dull moment and give it to some shine. Those who cite you as unprofessional do not deserve your time.

Dissect A Bad Day

Most people find it difficult to wipe away a bad day with distractions, substances or other leisurely activities. You cannot cure a disease by treating its symptoms. You must pause, take a deep breath and walk through all the aspects of your day that went astray. More often than not, the seed of a bad day starts very small. Find the source. Did someone say something? Did you sleep too little? Do you feel ill? Have you eaten? I am always surprised how large pain points evolve from very little pain points. When you dissect your woes and discover their simplicity, it makes things easier to solve problems, move forward and look on the bright side of life.

Exercising A Healthy Attitude

Positive Attitude (comics)

Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” It’s all about attitude and what you take personally. If you don’t let things bother you, life rolls on pretty pain-free. I do not promote ignorance, however, so people with an inherent “whatever” attitude disappoint me with how disconnected they are from the people and issues around them. You need to care – often care a lot – to make a difference in this world. It takes the balance of a monk and the stamina of an olympian to put your heart everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It’s exhausting and you need to make sure you stay in good shape to keep the balance alive. My brother said it well: “If you don’t have the energy to be positive, it’s impossible to be positive – your health is your first priority.” Your reaction to life depends solely on your frame of mind. If you are mentally or physically beat to hell, it’s pretty difficult to muster a positive reaction to anything. Make a point to sleep well, eat well and take real breaks. Take care of yourself. With a healthy mind, you can meet life with a healthy attitude and virtuous reactions. Otherwise, you will foster an exponential geyser of negativity that will only drag you down and keep making life worse.

Forgive

People who make mistakes and take them to heart spend enough time beating themselves up over it. It rarely makes sense to me to beat them up further. Punishment, scolding or worse can only make you look like a heartless and inconsiderate fool. If the mistaker openly acknowledges his or her mistake and you understand how the mistake was made, forgive the person and work together to find a solution.

People who make mistakes without notice or care do not deserve the same level of forgiveness. Far more fair to forgive a blooper than sheer ignorance and neglect. When running an organization, tolerance for miscalculations herein can only go so far. Make little room for bad attitudes, denial or blame. If a member of your team cannot accept mistakes as valuable learning or growing experiences, you do not want him or her on the team.

Meet the Better Day

Waking up early has advantages. First and foremost, rising early awards you the time to prepare for your day rather than straggle to work or school having dragged yourself out of bed. A leisurely pace in the morning is much healthier and less stressful than a race against truancy. You can make yourself breakfast (the most important meal of the day) and squeeze in some exercise. You have time to get extra work done (like posting to your blog) and enjoy peace & quiet enough to do it. If you get out of the house early, you can beat the rush and save even more time getting to and from. Charged with all of these benefits, you are better-equipped to have a better day.