Keeping a positive attitude

BOLLING AFB, D.C. -- As I was driving to work this morning watching the many different people on the Beltway 500, a word stuck in my mind. The word was "attitude."

Thinking of this word brings to mind things like how we look at one another, how we act toward one another and how we feel toward each other.

Attitude is one thing we all can control. If you start your day off with a good attitude, your day usually goes pretty well. The great Martin Luther King once said, "Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead and the unborn could do it no better."

I look at this quote every morning to remind me I have a job to do, and I should take my attitude to maybe change someone else's gloomy day into a bright and wonderful one.

Back to the Beltway 500, you see many different people on the road and many different attitudes. You see mothers, workers, travelers, students, people lost and a whole lot of attitudes. If everyone would just take a moment to think before deciding to take a finger and say, "You're Number One," perhaps the Beltway would be a slightly less-hostile travel environment.

What is the person who cut me off going though this morning? Have they lost a love one, have they just recieved some bad news about their health or did they just not get enough sleep last night?

I talk to many people during the course of my day and it always amazes me when someone walks by and does not speak. Have we become so distant from one another that we have forgotten the common courtesy to speak? Has the computer taken our ability to verbally communicate from us? I don't think so.

I would like to challenge everyone to do an attitude check. In the morning when you wake up and look in the mirror, check your attitude before you start your day. Whatever it takes for you to come to work with a good attitude, then do it.

I wake up every morning, say a prayer and read a bible verse. That may not work for you, but something will. There is something that will make you happy to be alive and change your attitude. Your attitude is the key to your success in life. I really cannot recall very many successful people with bad attitudes. Just think about the people you admire; do they have bad attitudes?

I work with a man every day; I have never seen him sad. I have never seen him utter an unkind word to anyone. He speaks every morning, rain, sleet or shine. He always has a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone he comes in contact with. I have yet to experience him with a bad attitude. So I asked him what keeps him so positive all the time. He said, "The Lord woke you up this morning, the rest is up to you." I have taken this quote and adopted it as my own. I don't know what it takes for you to get motivated to make yourself better than you were yesterday, but find it, bottle it up and use it every day you wake up.

George R. Swindle said, "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our attitudes."

I say if you have a bad attitude, change it today.