top of page

Attitude – You have to DO what you want to BE

Definition: Displaying a positive or “can do” attitude in all circumstances

13. 666. 2020. Three numbers that could be the worst numbers ever. 2020 was out of control. Viruses, police shootings, civil unrest, hurricanes, wild fires and a crazy election. As a guy who is usually the “glass half-full” guy, I felt like Rocky Balboa in his first fight against Clubber Lang! Do I get up off the mat again for another punch to the head, or do I stay down?

Recently, I spoke to a West Point classmate and told him how I had struggled with my attitude during parts of 2020. He responded, “Dave Anderson! You never seemed to have a bad day when we were roommates! I would have never guessed this would have gotten to you too. It just goes to show, everybody needs help seeing their circumstances in a positive way sometimes.”

2020 was a year I truly had to practice what I preach. I had to keep looking up and saying “I choose my attitude – my circumstances don’t.” In March and April of 2020, I watched business evaporate before my eyes. After taking time off in 2019 to care for my dying mother, we had refilled our pipeline and were ready for a big year in 2020. Then in a seven day period, we watched our entire projected second quarter revenue disappear.

What did I do? The first thing I did was complain, then I panicked, then I resorted to self-pity. The circumstances of 2020 were out of my control. What could I do? Fortunately, I had friends and colleagues who let me vent then pointed me back to my own words. “Your attitude is a choice. Make a different choice.”

A positive person adds to the lives of others. When we are with them, they bring much needed perspective and leave us filled up. A negative person drains us. They drag us down and take energy away from everyone they encounter. The difference between the two is not in their circumstances. The difference is their choices in the midst of those circumstances.