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Positive Attitude + Thick Skin = Recipe for Success

positive attitude

When times are tough, it boils down to who can keep a positive attitude and live another day. No matter how good your job or boss, things do take an unfortunate turn every once in a while. There is always performance pressure and workplace politics to battle with.

90% of the startups do not fail because they don’t have money. They fail because they lose steam and give up. Same with people.

Have you ever seen success coming easy for anyone? That happens only in few movies. Otherwise, you have to grind it out, eat the shit sandwich as Mark Manson calls it and hope the timing works out.

Why is attitude so important?

A few days ago, I posted about psychology of Indians on LinkedIn and how they never encourage. It sort of went viral, sharing an excerpt here:

Indians don’t encourage or applaud. The best approval you get is silence.

They won’t reply to your requests or emails but when you have made it on your own, they’ll come & pat your back 🙂

Exceptions are there and I’ve been fortunate to know some of them 🙂

This post is not to criticize but to remind that each culture comes with its own quirks. And of course to encourage that you shouldn’t rely too much on getting validation in India. It’s nothing personal, it’s just how it is. Silence from the other end is not always a disapproval. Do what you believe in and may you find your own luck.

And it’s almost reminding me of dads in India. They don’t congratulate you on getting 99, they ask where did you lose that one mark! 🙂

The reason it touched a nerve is because that lack of encouragement deters so many people mid way. This is why we need a better attitude if we want to make it big in life. So, how about this mantra –

Positive Attitude + Thick Skin = Recipe for Success

Need more reasons to build a positive attitude?

1. It holds you up especially when things are not going your way

Take Abraham Lincoln. Most people are unaware that he battled crippling depression his entire life. His life was one of enduring and transcending great difficulty. It would be his own experience with suffering which drove his compassion to allay it in others. He was patient because he knew that difficult things took time. Above all, he found purpose and relief in a cause bigger than himself and his personal struggles, as the nation called for a leader of magnanimity during the Civil War. As crafty as he was, Lincoln’s strength was his will: the way he was able to resign himself to an onerous task without giving in to hopelessness, the way he was able to rise above the din and see politics philosophically. “This too shall pass” was Lincoln’s favorite saying, one he once said was applicable in any and every situation one could encounter.

Daily Stoic

2. It attracts right people in your life professionally and personally

Ah, yes. How many of us have gotten in horrible relationships again and again? What’s common between all of them? YOU. You are attracting these people and afraid of letting them go because of your insecurities.

Same at office. Are you ignoring bullying behaviour in your team or not telling your boss the truth because you are afraid? Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean being nice all the time – it means accepting things for what they are and being optimistic that things can improve. It allows you to find solutions instead of focusing on problems.

3. It makes you happy

I think this reason alone is enough. But again, this aspect is misunderstood.

Developing the positive thoughts is not about being always happy or cheerful. It is definitely not about ignoring things which are negative or unpleasant in your life. It’s about accepting that positive and negative are part of the life.

Once you acknowledge that one can not always be happy and can embrace even your bad moods, difficult emotions cannot ruffle you. And, isn’t that what happiness is anyway?

How to build positive attitude

But of course, the question is how to get this positive attitude? Well, here are few simple ways to get started on your journey of positivity.

  1. Limit social media browsing to 1 hour per day. It really doesn’t help to keep checking the lives and stories of people around us (most of which are fake). Stop comparing yourself to others. You don’t know what is really going on with them.
  2. Embrace a hobby and set time aside for it. Indulge in things outside your work. Take time to cook, bake, garden, paint, play music, run, yoga or whatever speaks to you. Have your happy time to balance the stress of the work. This is your ME time.
  3. Write 5 things you are grateful for each night/morning. This acts like a reaffirmation and reminds you of things you are taking for granted. For eg. you should be grateful for having a clean bed to sleep in, coffee every morning, a job, a family – not everyone has these.
  4. Give benefit of doubt to other people instead of being angry at them. Someone didn’t reply to your email and you assume they are ignoring you? Most likely, they were just too busy. Follow up and be professional. One day you will get busy and will realize how it feels. The point is, anger hurts no one but you.
  5. Ask for HELP. It’s that simple – asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of maturity and reliability. Too many freshers don’t ask for help and screw up the tasks they are given. Your boss wants you to know when it is time to ask for help. So, if things are getting overwhelming, ask for help – not just professionally but personally too. Delivering a task well done is more important than doing it all by yourself. A lot of your professional success will depend on how well you work with your team and colleagues. Asking for help also makes you a like-able person.

In the end, the attitude can make all the difference. Now that you are aware of the positive psychology and ways to build it up, it is never too soon (nor too late) to get started!

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