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Where would I be without ________? How would you fill in the blank? Is your life different today because of a certain person, event (positive or negative), or challenge? Think hard before filling in the blank. Who or what has had the most powerful influence in your life? If you feel that something is missing, it’s not too late to give your life and career that one ingredient, that one thing that will fulfill you and make you grateful for having something you need and can’t be without. Maybe it’s a person… maybe you need someone who makes you feel the same way as the lyrics in the hit song “You make me feel brand new” written in 1973 by the Stylistics: Without you Life has no meaning or rhyme Like notes to a song out of time How can I repay you for having faith in me God bless you You make me feel brand new For God blessed me with you You make me feel brand new I sing this song 'cause you Make me feel brand new Ahhhh, that sweet, sweet Motown music! I think a lot of successful people can say that they owe their career to one person. To live the life you want to live, you must choose wisely and make sure your significant other is a positive attribute in your life and not a liability. Are you a better person because of their influence? If not, maybe they’re not the right one for you. If you didn’t fill in the blank with the name of a person, maybe you filled in a word like education, confidence, health, talent, perseverance, dedication, or determination. Personally, my question looks like this: “Where would I be without MY ATTITUDE?” I believe we are all on a level playing field and that God created all of us equal. I also believe that what separates the excited from the bored, the driven from the stagnant, the happy from the unhappy, and the successful from the unsuccessful is our attitude. Our attitude defines us. “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett I never could have accomplished what I have achieved without making the decision to have a positive attitude. I overcame the obstacle of being around a few critical, judgmental, and negative-thinking people and realized I didn’t want to be that way even though it might be in my DNA. I refused to be that person. I chose a positive attitude and decided to look at everything optimistically and be grateful for everything. You’ve probably heard about how important it is to have “an attitude of gratitude.” I believe that’s how we should all be filling in our blank. Where would I be without an attitude of gratitude? It is my opinion that if you don’t start out the day by choosing to have a good attitude, then you are being selfish, especially if you have a significant other, children, co-workers, managers, employees, or any other human being who depends on you. Having a good attitude not only affects the outcome of your day, it also affects the happiness and the success of the people around you. Having a good attitude is contagious to all those around you, and unfortunately a bad attitude is just as contagious. “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome. The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." ― William James Whenever I give a speech, I always interact with the attendees before and after the presentation. One of the main commonalities I find in my audiences is that the happiest people in each company all have a positive attitude. They are the bright spots in the company. We all have the ability to have a positive mindset and to light up every room we walk in. “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.” ― Dr. Wayne W Dyer Some days it is harder than others to be happy and positive. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who have an attitude of gratitude. They will pick you up when you need it most, and you will do the same for them. Spend your time with people who have a smile of gratitude instead of those with a frown of envy. If you would like to change your attitude, don’t expect it to happen overnight. It takes thought, discipline, and determination to always be aware that you are your attitude. Your attitude is your blueprint. Ask yourself if your blueprint is worth copying. Your attitude should empower, encourage, and inspire every person you come in contact with. So I ask you… where would you be without your_________? If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?