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NAMB Capitol Comment

National Mortgage Professional
Mar 29, 2001

Seven keys to having a positive mental attitude Nancy Friedman Customer service, positive mental attitude, visualizing success There's an old joke about a little girl who always had a great attitude. She was always so happy and upbeat, but her brother was just the opposite. One holiday, just to aggravate her and test her, her mean brother gave her a box filled with horse manure. He was tired of his sister always having such a positive attitude. He thought surely this would fix her. Christmas day, when she opened the box and saw the manure she exclaimed, "Whoopee! Where's the pony?" Okay, okay...maybe you had to be there, but what a great attitude! The topic of our monthly column is attitude. We'll list some of the ways you can have a positive mental attitude despite the challenges life may bring you. Why do some people have such a great attitude and others a negative one? Well, we wondered the same thing. Through our research, we found seven "keys" that those with a positive mental attitude all share. See how you rate. Key no. 1: Choose your attitude in advance When you wake up, you have a choice: You can be in a good mood or a bad mood. You also choose your attitude. You can wake up and mutter to yourself, "This is gonna be a cruddy day," or you can tell yourself, "This is gonna be a great day!" That immediate choice is the start of a great attitude. Youve already decided its going to be a good one. Key no. 2: Visualize success Picture yourself having a successful day. Runners in the Boston Marathon picture themselves crossing the finish linemaybe not in first place, but still finishing the 26-mile race. Self-visualization is a key factor in having a positive mental attitude. Will it work 100 percent of the time? I wish it would. However, by visualizing your success, you'll be able to have a better handle on what does happen and a better chance of making it happen. Key no. 3: Demonstrate humor, energy and enthusiasm We call these three items the magic ingredients because without each one, creating a positive mental attitude will be very difficult. First, humor: Normally, there is humor in every situationfinding it is the key. Sometimes you'll need to stretch and dig a little deeper to find the humor in a situation, but once you do, you'll feel so much better. Second, energy: Without some energy in your attitude, you'll be dragging behind everyone. Energy is closely related to the third ingredient...enthusiasm. My father used to tell me, "Nancy, enthusiasm is contagious; let's start an epidemic." Key no. 4: Resist negative influences It's a fact. When we have a negative experience with a company, we'll tell more people about it than if we have a good experience with the same company. And many times, when you hear that some place wasn't very good, you'll believe the person who told you and choose not to do business with that company. However, you may only be hearing half the story. Check things out for yourself, especially if the negativity involves a person you work with or know. I bet we've all heard negative things about someone we didn't know, and then when we had the opportunity to meet them ourselves, we find they're not that bad after all. In fact, they might even be nice, but you need to be the judge. Take negativity out of your life. Steer clear of those who drag you down and say negative things all of the time. Being around other positive people is a good start. Key no. 5: Be a whatever-it-takes person Be a problem solver. Life is going to put obstacles in front of all of us. How we go around those obstacles is the key factor. Usually, a good answer to every problem is put in front of us. Dale Carnegie said it best. Ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that can happen here?" And move up from that. Key no. 6: Embrace change. Expect it and accept it. Some people are very good at handling change...and some resist it a lot. We had a fun saying at our house; I can still hear my father saying it, "Nancy, the next time you change your mind...get a good one." The major key to handling change is to accept it. Deal with it. In most cases, theres little we can do to stop it. Key no. 7: Be grateful for what you have I'm not sure this key needs to be explained. So many people have so much, and yet those same people are often the ones who constantly complain. Why wait for some life-altering experience to become grateful for all you have? Be grateful now before something bad happens and makes you aware. We know there are more keys to having a positive mental attitude, but these are the first seven. Get these down pat, and you'll find the rest falls into place. Good luck. And remember, as long as you're going to do the job, you might as well do it with a smile! Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis and was an IndyMac Bank-sponsored featured speaker at the NAMB 2005 Annual Convention and Exposition in Minneapolis. For more information, call (314) 291-1012 or visit
Mar 29, 2001
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