Having the Right Attitude at Work is Essential: 8 Secrets to Achieving True Greatness
We’ve all heard the saying that “attitude is everything”. For many people, this particular phrase might sound trite or clichéd. However, the reality is that having the right attitude really can make all the difference in your life, especially in your work life. After all, we spend a large portion of our waking hours working, and being happy at work is essential to achieving overall life satisfaction.
If you’re someone who wants to achieve success, then having a great attitude is key. When you have the right mindset, you can accomplish just about anything you set your mind to. Here are eight secrets that will help you change your attitude and achieve the success you want.
1. Ask Yourself Each Morning Whether the Way You Plan to Spend Your Day is How You’d Spend it If This Was the Last Day of Your Life.
This secret comes from an address by Steve Jobs at Stanford University. Each morning, Jobs would look in the mirror and ask himself, “If this was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” If the answer was no for too many days in a row, he would re-evaluate his goals.
By asking yourself this same question, you can bring your focus in line with goals that really matter to you. The rest of your daily routines will fade in importance while the goals which make the center of your attention will be connected to your deepest values. Your attitude to these remaining goals will rival the attitudes of the great minds.
2. Visit the Steve Jobs School of Attitude
In the same Stanford address, Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” And great work he did! Not only did he bring his A-game to work every day, but he inspired hundreds of people to achieve things with technology that they never believed possible. Even after being fired as CEO, Jobs persisted and eventually prevailed. Rather than spend much time brooding over the fact that he had been sacked, he used an incredibly positive attitude to build another company called NeXT. This eventually led to him resuming his role at the head of the Apple boardroom.
3. Get Rid of Your Attitude of Entitlement
Multimedia advertising has us brainwashed into believing that happiness comes from getting the latest smartphone or flashy car. Not only that, we can acquire these things with the click of a button! Things have never been so easily accessible, and this has created an attitude of entitlement.
The end result is that you stop growing, and stagnate. Evolution has taught us that a lack of growth equals death! To achieve true greatness, you must have pretty much the opposite attitude. You need to ask yourself what you can give to a situation, rather than look to see what you can get from it. Approach each situation looking to see what value you can add to it, and you’ll be amazed at your success and blown away by the impact it has on your attitude.
4. Train Your Mind Not to Expect Immediate Gratification
The information age hasn’t come without strings attached. Want the latest album by Coldplay? Download it now! Want the latest book by Stephen King? Grab it on Kindle now! Want a new pair of shoes? It’s just a few clicks away on eBay. Technology has trained us to expect immediate gratification. But here’s the rub: If you want to achieve anything of real significance, you need to be patient. It’s not something that happens overnight. You’ve got to work at it every day for a long period of time. That’s how you kick the big goals.
The key to greatness is being able to delay gratification. It’s about delaying immediate gratification, and putting in structured and sustained effort over time, which leads to achieving great things.
5. Don’t Give Yourself Too Much Time to Complete Tasks
That sounds counterintuitive, I know. But the truth is, the scope of a project often expands to accommodate the timeframe you allocate to it. The reverse is also true. If you set yourself challenging timeframes, you are more likely to approach the task with a sense of urgency. Once you’ve developed momentum, you’ll be well on your way to astonishing success. And success can do wonders for your attitude. After all, success begets success.
You want to create a sense of urgency? Set yourself strict (but achievable) timeframes and do your best to meet them. You’ll work hard and play harder!
6. Get Really Clear on Your “Why”
In this excellent TED Talk, Simon Sinek talks about the importance of understanding our “why”. He uses Apple as an example of a company that’s really in touch with its “why”. Apple challenges the status quo and thinks differently, and that’s Apple’s “why”. The fact that Apple happens to achieve this by creating incredibly simple products that are easy to use is secondary.
People connect with Apple’s beliefs through their products. When people buy Apple products, they’re not just buying those products, they are buying into Apple’s belief system. Coming to terms with your “why” connects you with your core values. It puts you in touch with your deepest motivations. If you can make a clear connection between your deepest heartfelt values and the work you do every day, you will be unstoppable.
7. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
“Smart” is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Having high-level goals is great; it sets the direction for the coming months and years of your life. But that’s not enough. If you have goals that stretch into the distant future, you’ll lack motivation to achieve them. Feedback needs to be far more frequent and far more immediate. Break your goals down to monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly targets. You can do this in an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document.
8. Ask Yourself: Are There Any Underlying Assumptions Preventing Me from Having the Right Attitude?
Often, we have underlying assumptions or notions that prevent us from giving 100%. For instance, you might hold the idea that rich people are necessarily corrupt or unethical. If success on your part usually means greater amounts of wealth, this might prevent you from being successful. In these situations, it is very useful to examine your notions and the underlying assumptions. Write down your assumptions, and then spend some time examining them. Question those assumptions that are stopping you from giving your work 100%.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that Steve Jobs was still a human being. He achieved great things, but that had a lot to do with his incredible attitude. If you want to achieve true greatness, apply these eight secrets. You will be amazed by the results.