Your Attitude in Life Determines Your Altitude in Life

Doug Robinson

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Your attitude is how you look at life and the way it looks back at you. The best way to explain this is to share vignettes of two men whose attitudes were 180° apart. 

The first fellow worked for a Russian railroad and accidentally locked himself in a refrigerated boxcar. He was unable to get the attention of his co-workers in order to escape. It wasn’t long before he just gave up and decided he would die there, and began writing his thoughts on the boxcar wall that entrapped him. His scribbling included that it was terribly cold, that he was having trouble breathing, and that these would probably be his last words before he died.  

He was exactly right and expired as he envisioned within a few hours. The weird part was there was no medical reason for his demise. The refrigeration mechanism was not even working, and the boxcar had plenty of ventilation, so he certainly didn’t suffocate. He couldn’t have died from hunger or thirst, since his body was discovered the very next morning. He was apparently a victim of his own negative thoughts.  

His attitude counterpart made medical history in Romania, by living for eleven days without food or water, after an earthquake buried him under an annihilated ten story apartment building. 

Following his rescue from the rubble, people asked how he managed to survive. He said he slept a lot, but while awake, he kept telling himself he would get out alive, and never doubted for a moment that he would be rescued.

Until you heard these two vignettes, had you ever considered that attitude was significant enough to make the difference between life and death?

Many psychologists believe good health and the ability to overcome stress are both tied to a positive attitude. That’s beneficial in today’s world because we get bombarded with eighteen negative statements for every positive one that comes our way. As weighty as attitude is in everyday life, it is also one of the determining factors for success in your sales career. Although your skill sets, work ethic, and values are indispensable and certainly play a vital role, you are known by your attitude and will always be remembered for it. 

Positive salespeople, those with healthy attitudes, generally outsell their negative counterparts, who are less productive and not as well connected to customers and fellow workers.  

One of the key elements of a positive attitude is optimism, because it enables you to make an attempt when there’s no convincing reason to expect success. Like our friend buried under ten stories of rubble, optimism seems to inject a dose of renewed energy that can even cause fear to vanish. But all too often salespeople are notorious for being fearful of things that might happen and for not realizing that the things they fear the most almost never occur. 

Optimists just push on through, realizing that for many, the word fear often means: False Expectations Appearing Real. Even in the Bible, the word fear not appears over 100 times. That should help nudge your attitude in the right direction!

Sadly, on the other hand, fear stops pessimists and encourages them to throw wet blankets of negativity over the atmosphere in sales rooms everywhere. They’re skilled at offering up sniping comments such as: 

“With these high gas prices you think I’m driving all the way out there?” 

“It’s gotten so bad that every two hours he sends me a text to check up on me.”

“Is she crazy? She should know no one’s buying right now the way the economy is.” 

So by comparing the two, it’s easy to understand why the optimists are out in the field selling, while many of the pessimists spend much of their time hanging around the office “gritching” (intermittently griping and bi***ing). 

Here’s one for you; following a sizeable snowfall last winter, I snapped a photo of our north Georgia mountain home, and it was a beautiful scene. I showed the picture to an acquaintance who said, “That’s awesome; you should put that photo on your Christmas card.” Later I showed it to a second acquaintance, and her response was, “I get the shivers just looking at that picture. Whatever made you want to buy a house in a remote place like that?” Perception is reality after all. 

Remember that every moment of every day you are the one who decides how you feel, think, and act. It is your own personal choice; one of the few things you have total control over in your life. Make sure you choose to feel terrific about who you are and embrace your capabilities. Make a conscious decision to attain and maintain an attitude that attracts success, because attitude IS everything! 

If your sales team could use a “check up from the neck up”, why not get them copies of my book Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word, or contact me here to schedule a little sales coaching for your folks.