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Next March I was giving a keynote speech in Connecticut for my client, Serv-Pro. And Importance of Attitude will be a portion of my keynote. The purpose of this post is to explain why I consider Attitude so important..
As most of you know, I was in a major accident recently. I was in the hospital for months and months. But one thing made me different from every other patient – I never complained and I never stopped smiling.
Vic, my occupational therapist used to come into my room and he said “Jeff, every time I come into your room, you are in a great mood and smiling. That is so impressive. Is it part of your upcoming speech?” I told him “Yes.” I did this despite the fact that I was wearing a halo (see photo) 24 hours per day.
Another thing I heard from other patients was complaints about pain and reluctance to work out. When asked to get out of a wheelchair and stand, one man said “I can’t.” but he could.
Contrast that with what I did. I walked up a set of 6 steps slowly and was exhausted. My therapist congratulated me on a job well done. I told her “Today, I went up the steps once. Tomorrow, I’m going up twice. The next day, three times and so forth.” She said “Holy cow. That is SO impressive.” By the time I was done, I went up the steps 12 times without a rest!
In addition, I never complained about the halo on my head, despite the fact that my head never touched the pillow. But in my head, I knew it was not forever and complaining accomplishes nothing. So I never complained.
When I finally left the hospital, an injured professional pianist at the room next door said “Jeff, I’m sorry to see you go. You have been a great inspiration for all of us. Your attitude has been wonderful and a great example for all of us.”
There is a saying “Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.” I agree 100%.
If you want to be well-regarded and well-liked – even in a senior management role like Chief Marketing Officer, then smile no matter what. It might even win you a nicely paying keynote speech, like it did me.
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