Diplomatic Notes

The power of attitude

One of the most powerful forces in the world is the power of attitude. Whether we realize it or not, attitude is a game changer. Attitude has a substantial impact on outcome and can change the atmosphere. It is amazing how some people fail to recognize the connection between their attitude and their life’s outcomes. I remember going to a restaurant one day and the waitress was unfriendly, not smiling, and when you asked her a question, it was as if you had committed a crime or infringed on her sacred space. Her attitude influenced the potential tip she could have received because I really did not want to tip her at all. If I could, I would have taken the automatic gratuity of 18 percent off of the bill. When you go out to a restaurant, you are not really going out for food, you are going out for an experience. A negative or sour attitude ruins the experience. It also influences the income potential of that very same waitress.

I remember speaking with a gentleman who worked in the hospitality industry and he explained that he built his house, paid for vacations and retired from tips earned. He spoke about receiving $3,000 and $5,000 tips from customers and marveled that such a thing could happen. When I ventured further into the conversation, he explained that it was all about attitude. By having a positive attitude and making his customers feel at home, they rewarded him because he enhanced their dining experience. It actually pays to have a good attitude.

One of the things I learned is what you bring to life is much more important than what life brings to you. How you respond to the environment is more important than the environment. We all face the same challenges; the one with the best attitude is often the one who survives the challenge. Attitude is characterized as a belief system and mentality expressed in behavior. Your attitude is an outward expression of what is in your head. The teaching of Jesus often focused on attitudes. The story of the Good Samaritan is a story about attitude. When your attitude changes, the distance to your goal is often shortened.

One day, there was a man who was waiting on a flight and he found out the flight was delayed. He began to rant and rave about the airline and how they were inconveniencing him. He shouted at the counter agents and continued to fume for over an hour. He then began to speak to another gentleman who was waiting on the same flight and asked him why he wasn’t upset and making noise about the situation. The gentleman looked at him and said, “I am inconvenienced also but I would much rather them fix the issue here on the ground than in the air”. Sometimes your attitude can change the atmosphere and, in this case, it caused a shift in the thinking of the impatient man.

A good attitude is actually a great investment. Perhaps today is your day for a change in attitude. A smile is much more likely to positively impact your life than a frown – so, why not smile? It may be time to change your attitude. It is not always easy but today is as good a day as any to start. Always remember that attitude is internal. You may not be able to control your environment or circumstance, but you can certainly control your attitude. The Bible tells us that “he who would like to have friends, must show himself friendly”. Your internal attitude affects what you experience externally. Attitude is more important than facts.

You actually can choose your attitude. You can choose to smile or frown. You can choose to be sour or sweet. You can choose to be mean or kind. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”. I have learned to have a grateful attitude. Many things have not gone my way in life, but I thank God for the things that have. I don’t have the biggest house or the biggest bank account, but I am thankful for whatever I have. It could be a lot worse, so I choose to remain grateful every day. There is power in attitude and we all have the opportunity to impact the world in a positive way through the right attitude.

• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.

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