You Are What You Eat

Entreating our team to sign up for the idea that all we have to do, if we want to have a better day, is choose to do so.

Have you ever heard the axioms, " You are what you eat" or "You reap what you sow"?

I bring this up, because we sometimes feel that things are not going our way, perhaps even poorly, and we are tempted to assign blame for these conditions, everywhere but ourselves. Yet, these are time tested truisms, which clearly transcend their literal meaning; in their broadest sense, they mean that we create our own destiny.  I wonder how you feel about this.  Would you agree that much of what today brings and how we feel about it, is driven by what we create, wittingly or not, and how we choose experience it?

How about this quote?

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

We can find whatever we choose to see.  If we choose to see things in a light that is not positive, then we will find evidence that support it - just as we suddenly seems that everyone else just bought the same car that we just bought!  Have you ever noticed how that works?  It is kind of scary isn't it,.. Scary that it could be that simple?  If we choose to see ways that our day could go better, that we could be happier, that we could be an even better parent or spouse, that we could  be more successful in our work, then we will see them.  But we have to truly choose to go down that path, and when we do, the payoff will come to us in ways that we might not have ever imagined.

By way of illustration, I want to share a recent experience with you.  I was in a restaurant for breakfast a while back, and when the waitress brought the check. I went to hand her my credit card, but, she said, in saddened resignation, "Oh no, they don't let me handle the money".  I said, "That makes sense now that I think of it." And she looked at me startled.  Then I said, "You are probably much too valuable doing what you do so well, it would be a waste of your talents to have you troubled with this sort of thing."  She beamed and said "Thanks."  Since then, every time I go there, she finds me and greets me with a big smile, even if I am not seated in her area.  Imagine what sort of day we would all have if we decided to choose the more positive perspective in everything we do?

So, to bring this thought home to each of us right now, there is a lot of change that is going on, with challenging economic conditions having profound impacts on everyone around us, and everything we do.  Look at all the changes that we have been through in the last few years here at work: doubling in size, store closures, store openings, new banners, new organizational structures and new responsibilities.  We all have the opportunity, really, the responsibility, to experience these changes in a positive way. 

For example, I know that my wife and I have taken these times as a signal to clear out a lot of 'stuff' we have accumulated over the years, and to take fresh look at our own finances.  We found that we had slowly accumulated some recurring expenses that were not necessary.  Now, we feel somewhat renewed having shed both some unnecessary 'stuff' and some unnecessary expenses.  Similarly at work, I am seeing these times as a period to return to some more basic values by truly focusing on each you, your happiness and well-being, and also all of us together, as a community if you will. Interestingly, in so doing, I am becoming a better human being.  So I now have to ask you, how are you choosing to experience all this change?  Are you choosing to see it as an opportunity?  If not, I truly hope you can, as all it that is required, is to choose to do so.

I am including some thoughts from an article I came across on recently that I hope you find beneficial.  

10 Attitudes of Successful Workers
By Kate Lorenz, Editor

Why do some people seem to reach the top of the corporate ladder easily, while others remain stuck on the middle-management rung? You might think that it is just because those people have more of what it takes to succeed, like brains, talent and powerful people in their corner. But there is something else that is just as important: attitude.

Dr. Martin Seligman, an authority on optimism, discovered that attitude was a better predictor of success than I.Q., education and most other factors. He found that positive people stay healthier, have better relationships and go further in their careers. And he even found that positive people make more money.

Anyone can adopt the right attitude. No matter where you are from or how much innate talent you have, the right attitude can make a difference in your career. Try adopting these 10 attitudes of successful workers:

1. I am in charge of my destiny.
If you spend your entire career waiting for something exciting to come to you, you will be waiting a long time. Successful professionals go out and make good things happen. So commit yourself to thinking about your career in an entirely different way. You will make it to the top, and you are in charge of making it happen.

2. Anything is possible.
Think that there is no way you will ever be at the vice-president level? Then you definitely won't. Remember: If you think you can't, you probably won't. Adopt the attitude of The Little Engine That Could -- "I think I can."

3. No task is too small to do well.
You never know when you are going to be noticed. That is one reason to take pride in your work -- all of it. One public relations executive in Chicago said that her first task in the PR department of a ballet company was reorganizing the supply closet. She tackled the project with gusto and was immediately noticed for her hard work and attention to detail. Remember this the next time you feel like slacking because you are working on a menial task.

4. Everyone is a potential key contact.
While you do need to be aggressive in the workplace, you can also go far by being nice to those around you. Do you think it's unimportant to establish a good rapport with your boss's secretary? Well, just try getting your meeting squeezed onto the schedule when you really need it. Be courteous to those around you -- you never know when your past contacts will play a role in your future.

5. I was made to do this job... and the one above me.
If you spend your days feeling like you are not cut out to do the work you are responsible for, your performance will suffer. Your job may not be the perfect fit, but successful workers act like they are in their dream job, no matter where they are.

6. It's not just what I know, but who I know.
Successful workers understand the importance of networking, both in and out of the office. You need to proactively establish professional contacts. Invite a colleague out to lunch. Go to the after-work happy hour. Join your professional association. Do your part to establish a networking path for your future.

7. What else can I do?
Since you are in charge of your destiny, it's your job to look for ways to improve your professional self. Volunteer to take on an extra project. Learn a new skill that will make you more marketable. Stay late to help your co-workers. Successful workers don't just complete the job and sign out -- they look for additional ways to make their mark.

8. Failure will help pave the way to my success.
While it seems like some people never experience setbacks, the truth is everyone fails from time to time. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is how they deal with failure. Those who find success are the ones who learn from mistakes and move on.

9. I am my own biggest fan.
Have you been waiting for someone in the office to recognize your talents and efforts? Maybe it's time you start tooting your own horn. Step up and talk about your accomplishments and what you have done for the company. Successful workers know how to point out their achievements without sounding boastful.

10. My opportunity monitor is never turned off.
Yes, there will be days when you will want to just be happy with the status quo. But remember that successful workers are always on the lookout for opportunities to improve. Keep your eyes, ears and your mind open to new opportunities -- you never know when you will discover the one that will change the course of your career! 

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