Attitude – Does it Make a Difference?

| February 21, 2012 | 14 Comments

It all started with a 1.9 high school GPA. I went through many years of my adolescent and early adult life with a poor attitude. I clearly remember sitting at my high school awards breakfast and graduation ceremony right where I was, in my chair, as most of the others got up to receive their scholarships and awards. For the first time in my life, I held myself accountable and thought, “You’re smart and talented. Why did you throw that all out in high school”?

goodattitude

Well, it wasn’t something I could change overnight, but after a couple years, I started doing what I should have done all along. I went from barely graduating high school to playing catch up in college, to doing very well and eventually graduating from a very good school with a business degree. I went from doing poorly in high school to doing well in college once I changed my attitude. In high school I didn’t connect school with my future. I don’t think I connected anything with my future. I’m not sure how I could call myself sane looking back. How did I expect to make it? I have no idea.

In College, I Had to Become an Adult Without my Dad

When I started college, the first thing that came to mind to study was business. I chose business because my dad was a business man. He had recently passed away when I started college so I was in “becoming an adult without my dad here/reflecting on it all” mode. It was an emotional thing I guess, but once I started taking business classes, I became inspired. The neat thing about my inspiration was that I wasn’t thinking, “how can I get good grades and get a good job”. Instead, I started thinking, “how can I learn all of this so I can start my own business?” The attitude of how can I learn this so I can execute on it, changed the game. From that point on, I went to college to learn and not to “get a degree or a job”. That difference helped me learn, learn, learn while I was in college. By my junior and senior year, I was neck and neck with my classmates at a top ranked undergraduate business school, which was odd since I was likely 2 points behind them in high school GPA. I had somehow made up for lost time. It felt great.

Now, I Love Business and All of Its Opportunity

I now have almost 5 years of small business experience under my belt. I helped grow the company I started at 5 years ago, with then 4 employees, to now, 37. We’re on track to break 40 by this summer. I owe my success these past 5 years to my attitude. I can’t say that I’m always happy. In fact, if you ask my co-workers, you may hear that I’m always crabby. I can say with honesty though, that I have had an attitude all along of, “I want to help this company succeed and I want to develop myself for my future while doing it.” The connection between what I do for this company now and how it will effect my future, is very clear to me. I make it a point to keep it that way, too.

Accomplishment From a Good Attitude Leads to More Success

I’ve learned this past year, that even when you think you’re attitude is good, you can always improve it. I think it’s best for me to try to keep my attitude on a constant uphill climb. In the past couple of years I have done some great things both personally and professionally, which have helped me keep my attitude going up. I’ve:

  • Gotten out of debt
  • Increased my income
  • Lowered my living expenses
  • Saved half of my income
  • Become more active
  • Started cooking more
  • Been eating out less and eating healthier
  • Cut back on carbonated beverages and replaced them with tea
  • Quit smoking
  • Started this blog

I can’t make a list anywhere near that for the two years before it, although I was starting to get some traction. I’m not sure if I could list even one or two things of comparable impact during my high school years. See, once it starts, it keeps building, exponentially, just like my blog’s traffic is right now. Making positive changes in your life feeds your hunger for more and more positive change. The question is, where will I be in 3, 5, 10 or 15 years? It’s pretty darn exciting.

I Want to Hear From You: Attitude. Do you think it makes a difference? Tell me about it from your life experiences.

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Category: Learning New Things

Comments (14)

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  1. Bridget says:

    I’m impressed you managed an attitude adjustment — given what psychologists say about our personalities, that’s a near impossible feat.

    I feel blessed because I have a naturally happy disposition. I never realized how much until I grew up and started reflecting on myself and how other people behave. I generally don’t struggle much with self-worth or image the way some people do. I don’t get jealous. I don’t worry about what other people have, do or feel. I think this has spared me a lot of pain in young adulthood.

    That said, I can be particularly hard on myself if I don’t achieve something I set out to do, and even if I make long-term plans, I have a tendency to abandon them if I get swept up in the moment. This is bad for finances. I can claw my way out of debt over 2 years, and then find myself thousands in the hole again after only a month. Thankfully, my happy disposition means I’m pretty sunny regardless of which part of the equation I’m on that day.

    I think a good attitude is the best asset you can have. I think it’s easier to be positive than negative. It’s easier to be good to other people than mean. If you’re good, good things happen to you.

    • I’ve had to do a lot of growing up in my life, so forget what psychologists say. I’m an outlier, and so are most people reading this. It’s great that you’re a happy person. It doesn’t come natural to me. That’s for sure. Regarding the going into debt, I hope you don’t end up in/back in again. It’s not fun to be there. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Sara says:

    Wow. You have definitely come a long way and there is always room to for more. I think one thing in addition to attitude is motivation. SELF motivation. Its having the drive and willingness to do whatever it takes to get to where ever you want to go. Not everyone has it but you can definitely tell who does.

    • Darn right, Sara. You definitely have self motivation and so do I. At times it can be frustrating when you’re not doing anything with it, but that just makes it more motivating to get moving on it all!

  3. Amy says:

    Great post and very true! Personally, I believe having a positive, optimistic outlook on life and on your career is the key to success. Make sure to surround yourself by those positive people and feed off their energy. Don’t let the Debbie Downers get to you. It might be hard at times but I agree with Bridget, “If you’re good, good things happen to you.”

  4. Daisy says:

    Attitude definitely does matter! When I was in high school, I had a horrible attitude about life and things in general. I think Ive always been a positive person but I hated school so I just sort of thought about it negatively and it leached into many areas of my life. Now I’ve adjusted it – maybe it’s just my real personality coming out, and I’m doing much better. It gives me more motivation to do better in things when I have a good attitude.

    • Daisy, it sounds like you’re similar to me. I think this is my real personality too. I just don’t think I was inspired early on to bring it out. I’m glad you’re doing better now and are motivated to do your best and I hope it continues far into the future!

  5. JD says:

    Really enjoyed your story. So glad you have been able to turn things around and live your life the way you want to.

    Personally, I am a very determined person. If I set my eyes on a goal I do not take them off. I will pursue what I want until it happens. Right now I am plotting on how to get ourselves in a position that within a year or two we can sell our home and move to another location. We already moved from one state to another and purchased a home. We like the home but hate the subdivision. So it is going to take time and some very careful planning to extricate ourselves from this situation.

  6. I strongly believe in a good attitude. It can help conquer mountains! You are a great example of it. :)

  7. Hi Kraig, I’m new to the site. I can definitely relate about attitude adjustments and your outlook in life. In my early twenty up until my 30’s, I suffer my from the “oh woe is me” syndrome. My outlook on life has change, and its good that you have made strides as well.

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