At Freedom Personal Development, we are all about attitude. I have taught countless workshops and given keynote speeches across the country on this topic and wanted to share one of the most important attitude management tools you have.
I always start a class or speech with an informal survey of the audience about whether their attitude is a talent or a skill. A talent being something that you are either born with or not; you have it or your do not. And a skill is something that you will learn through conscious efforts.
People tend to argue with and say that their attitude is a talent, and not a skill. But, then I ask them this question, Are there things you can proactively and consciously do to improve your attitude? They answer always is, yes!
What do you think? Is your attitude a talent or a skill?
I have found that most people are not aware that their attitude is a skill that they can conscious improve or are aware of the tools they have to do this.
I am going to give you one of these attitude-boosting tools right now. And this is probably the number one attitude management tool in your arsenal. It is your sense of humor, or what I call your ability to laugh.
Now, in talking about this, I do not mean that you need to suddenly become a professional stand up comic. I am talking about using your sense of humor as a way to cultivate your attitude. This does not mean that you need to make people laugh; it means that you yourself need to learn to laugh in three distinct ways.
You need to learn to laugh:
1) At yourself
2) With other people and
3) About the negative situations you face
I will break this down very quickly for you.
First of all, you need to learn to laugh at yourself. I am convinced that the number one cause of stress for most people is that they just flat out take themselves way too seriously. If you are somebody that takes yourself too seriously, I am just obligated to warn you of two things.
Number one, if you do not know how to laugh at yourself, I have found that other people will feel obligated to get that done for you. Somebody is going to be laughing at you, so it might as well be you.
Number two, if do not know how to laugh at yourself, you will find yourself in situations, more often than not, that make you look and feel ridiculous.
Secondly, you need to laugh with other people. For any of you in sales, this is especially true. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was that if you can laugh with somebody, they will buy from you.
Think about that for just a second. If you can laugh with somebody, they will buy from you and even if you are not in sales, that still applies. Laughter is a great way to enhance your communication and break down communication barriers.
Thirdly, you need to learn to laugh about the negative situations you face. Now, do not get me wrong here. I am not saying that you do not have situations that are serious. Most people do. What I am saying is that if you get caught up in the doom and gloom of the moment, it is difficult to focus on the solutions to those challenges.
When you keep things in perspective, learn to laugh about some of the negative things that you face and how ridiculous they often are, that is when you begin to unlock your creativity to be able to deal with those negative situations much more effectively.
To recap, the best attitude management tool you have to give yourself an instant boost is to learn to laugh specifically, at yourself, with other people and about the negative situations that you face.
Cofounder and Instructor