Telephone Doctor: AttitudeNancy Friedmanseven keys to a great positive mental attitude The seven keys to a positive one Do you know the seven keys to a great positive mental attitude? Give up? Here are the Telephone Doctor's keys. There are obviously more, but we know that these seven are a great start to a positive mental attitude. Try 'em; you'll like 'em. 1. Decide in advance what your attitude will be Oh yes you can! You, and only you, have the complete ability to control your attitude - not your parents, co-workers, boss, neighbors or anyone else. It is, as you might have always heard, your choice. And listen up - there's a big difference between a bad attitude and a bad mood. Moods are temporary. Attitudes are permanent. Yes, you can have a great attitude with a temporary bad mood. Whatever the situation, it's the attitude that makes it good or bad. So the next time you think there's going to be bad traffic or whatever the situation might be, plug in your advanced decision button and decide to have a good attitude about it. You'll be surprised at the outcome. 2. Visualize success Keep in mind that what we visualize often becomes true. Why do you think those diet companies suggest you put a thin picture of yourself on the refrigerator? Right! They want you to visualize success. Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, always saw himself crossing the finish line. Those who make it to the finals on "American Idol" will tell you that they saw themselves on the show throughout the auditions. Visualize success! 3. Be a "whatever it takes" person Be a problem solver, not a problem giver. There's an old, old, saying, "Whether you say you can or you can't, you're right." Think of ways to get things done. Don't think of ways they can't be done. Find one of my favorite poems by Edgar Guest called "It Couldn't Be Done." This poem really takes on a life of its own. "He tackled the thing that couldn't be done, and he did it." I've memorized it, and it's helped me numerous times. 4. Resist negative tendencies Oh, yeah. Ever have lunch or a meeting with Mr. or Mrs. Neggy? Right. Nothing is ever good. They love to wallow in the negative - what went wrong, who failed, why it didn't work and so on. Mr. and Mrs. Neggy love to chew your ear off, hoping they can bring you down. Don't let them. Keep away from those types of people - the ones who complain all the time. It doesn't matter what it's about (e.g., the weather, friends, their jobs, etc.). They're out to have you play on their team. Avoid negative people and tendencies. 5. Embrace change My dad had a lot of great sayings, and one of them involved change. He used to tell me, "Nancy, the next time you change your mind, get a good one." Change is the one thing we can count on. It's consistent. And in most - not all, but most - cases, change is better. The great thing about change is that if we don't like it, we can change our minds and try something else. So change is a good thing. It's fun. It's challenging. It's needed in so many cases. 6. Humor, energy and enthusiasm My favorites. Life without these three best friends would be pointless, or at least much more difficult. Surround yourself with those who have these three characteristics. Make sure you have the ability to laugh at yourself, as well as others. There is normally humor in everything. Granted, you may need to look harder in some places, but I guarantee it's there. The energy you bring to your job or life is critical to the success of everything you do. Energy creates enthusiasm. So these three guys are critical to having a great positive mental attitude. 7. Be grateful for what you have A genuine positive mental attitude has no room for jealousy. Others may have more possessions, but positive people are always grateful for what they have right now. And in some cases, it may not seem as though we have enough to be grateful for, but ask yourself what you would be left with if what you had was gone. Right now, the one thing I'm most grateful for would be my good health. What are you most grateful for? There they are! How many keys do you possess? Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis. For more information, call (314) 291-1012.