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Why Attitude Matters (and 3 tricks to developing an awesome one!)

Do you want sweet articles not found on the Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, and Being a Twenty-Something Blog delivered to your inbox once a month? If  so, consider signing up for the monthly Changing the World 101 newsletter on modern leadership (and other awesome topics).  I’d be honored to have you as a subscriber. You can sign up and read the archives here,

Below, by request, is a copy of last month’s newsletter.

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What is the difference between a leader and a wisher? Simple. A leader effectively translates his or her dreams into reality. A wisher sits around hoping their dreams somehow turn into reality on their own.

The leader gets things done and blasts through barriers with creativity and perseverance.

The wisher wishes things were somehow better and pretends to be helpless in the face of a barrier.

Where the wisher sees problems, the leader see opportunities. And the single attribute that separates the leader from the wisher? Attitude.

Anytime you try to accomplish something awesome – adding muscle at the gym (a goal of mine this summer – I’m going to be huge!), personally helping the least fortunate people of our planet, or building an organization that changes our world – you will encounter setbacks. In fact, the wisher will see setbacks before he or she even takes action and thus, will never begin.

The key to overcoming setbacks is developing an attitude that leaves you feeling positive and empowered. An attitude that responds to setbacks by saying, “well, I didn’t get the results I wanted immediately, but I can still solve this problem somehow” and then gets back to work.

I want to share three tricks that have helped me take my attitude to the next level:

1) Eliminate the vampires from your life: you know those people who leave you feeling more drained after you’ve spoken with them? The people who consistently manage to see all of the negatives of a situation and none of the positives? The people who take more than they provide?

Those are vampires and they are disturbingly common. They’re not adding anything to your life or your success. They’re just bringing you down. To rev up your attitude, minimize the amount of time you spend interacting with these people.

2) Focus on the awesome things in a situation: all situations have both negative and positive aspects. To boost your attitude, focus primarily on the positive aspects. In a really tricky situation – one where you’re having trouble finding the positives – grab a pen and piece of paper. At the top write “Things I like about [whatever]” and force yourself to find ten things that you actually do like.

If you really can’t find ten things, consider making a real change to either the situation or your involvement with it.

3) Stop complaining! I know. You don’t complain that much. Maybe a lot of the people around you complain a lot, but not you.

Here is the catch: if you’re like 99.9% of the people out there, you complain way more than you realize. How do I know? I used to think I never complained and then when I began paying more careful attention to the words coming out of my mouth, I realized I complained. A lot.

Using the Complaint Free World Challenge I committed to going 21 consecutive days without complaining and wild things started happening. I became more energetic, more solutions oriented, more happy, and yes – much more positive.

If you’re interested in this particular approach to boosting your attitude you can read more here.

At the end of the day, it is your attitude that will make you either a leader or a wisher. The wishers will always see problems and barriers in front of them. The leaders – they will go on to change themselves and the world.

Although leadership can be a complicated trait to develop, underneath it all your success as a leader is dependent upon fostering and maintaining an awesome attitude. By doing any one of the things mentioned above, you’ll notice your attitude – and consequently your success – quickly improving.

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