I was recently the guest speaker at a 7:00 am business breakfast at a women’s conference about 90 minutes from my house. That made for an early morning—even for me. It was a cold, rainy day and Shane wasn’t up to give his normal cheerful send-off. Not the start of a great day.
When I got there, I went to the restroom to pump myself up. While washing my hands, I thought, “what a perfect day to stay in bed in my pajamas and watch a movie.” Just then, a woman came out of another stall. Our eyes met in the mirror and I smiled.
“It’s gonna be a great day!” I said.
She sheepishly smiled back at me and said, “Yes. I guess it could be.” I didn’t know it at the time, but that little exchange made a big difference in her day.
It’s Gonna To Be A Great Day (If You Make It One)!
I have the picture above laminated and hanging in my shower reminding me that today is going to be a great day (it’s from a calendar—amazon sells an updated version here…). This started as a running joke at my house, that’s now turned into my mantra.
Every morning I wake up and say, “It’s gonna be a great day!” to Shane. He used to laugh and shake it off. But now, if I forget, he says it to me. If one of us seems tired or unexcited about that day’s schedule, the other one will say it in the most exaggerated, over the top way possible. It never fails to break us out of our funk and make us smile. When I’m traveling on business alone, I’ll even say it out loud to myself (or Shane and I will text it to each other).
Attitude Is Everything
I’ll let you in on a little secret—I don’t ALWAYS feel fantastic the second I wake up. But just saying, “It’s gonna be a great day” has changed my mood before, plenty of times.
Attitude is everything! You never know who you’re going to meet today. As sales professionals, we talk to a lot of people, so why not be the most cheerful person they’ve met all day? It will make a difference. It will make someone smile.
I get a lot of comments on my positive attitude, but it wasn’t always easy. I found, like any skill, it’s something you can improve if you just decide to work on it every day.
10 things I do every day to stay positive:
- Start each day with gusto—the moment your alarm goes off, leap out of bed and attack your day.
- Smile at the first person you see each day and say, “good morning!” Say it to everyone!
- Wake up earlier than you need to wake up. Rushing adds unnecessary stress.
- Exercise—every day! Exercise releases endorphins, which do amazing things for your mood. If every day seems like too much, then just exercise on the days you plan on eating! 😉
- Avoid negative people. If you’re the negative one, then others are avoiding you!
- Read your affirmations daily (10 sayings that help YOU achieve success in life).
- Be helpful to others; don’t defer everyone who comes to you to someone else (the “that’s not my job syndrome”). Help them—you may learn something along the way.
- Read every day. Reading helps you get out of your own world and use your imagination. Make sure you read (or listen to) educational and inspiring material often.
- Do something every day where you win—even if that means competing with yourself.
- Tell yourself, “It’s gonna be a great day!” Tell everyone you see!
Make Someone’s Day (even a little bit) Better
Now, let me get back to my story about the early morning women’s conference.
The day after I spoke at that conference, I got a phone call. “I saw you speak yesterday. I know you probably don’t remember me, but we met briefly in the woman’s restroom—you told me it was going to be a great day.”
“Oh yes! Hello!”
“I wanted to call and thank you. I was actually in the bathroom preparing to just leave and go home.” She took a deep breath. “Yesterday was my first day back to work since my husband committed suicide and I just didn’t feel strong enough to face my friends and talk about it at the breakfast.”
My heart sank. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m sure yesterday was really tough.”
“It was.” She continued, “But it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Like I said, I was ready to leave—just walk back out the door, but your smile and encouraging words made me realize that maybe it could be a great day. Or at least an OK one.”
We spoke for about an hour about what she was going through, and I asked to her keep my number and call me anytime she needed encouragement (although frankly, I think I hung up a lot more inspired by her).
It’s Not About You
This gets to the main reason your attitude matters so much; because it’s not always about you. You never know who your positive attitude is going help. Even when being upbeat is a hard-fought “fake it ’til you make it” struggle, the positive energy you project could be just the encouragement someone needs today.
What if I had shared with her how it was a perfect day to go home and go back to bed? Maybe she would have agreed with me and done just that. But I didn’t. I smiled at her, gave her some encouraging words, and it made a big difference for her that day.
Don’t get me wrong—I know I didn’t magically make her day totally awesome. But that one phrase helped her put one foot in front of the other; it helped her take the next in a series of steps towards getting through that difficult day.
And sometimes that’s enough.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!