The Power of a Good Attitude

Doing even the simplest job with the best of intentions serves everyone.

Posted in , Oct 20, 2017

Raking leaves, doing a good job.

A while back, my husband observed a teen doing yardwork that his dad had told him him to do. The boy’s attitude wasn’t the best, and instead of doing the task properly, he wandered around in a ticked-off mood swiping the weed-eater in haphazard moves. He was out there for hours, grumbling to himself and doing a bad job.

And you know what? The person he hurt the most was himself. His dad was trying to teach him responsibility and how to do a good job. Because of his poor attitude, the teen took a task that should have taken one or two hours and turned it into a project that took the whole afternoon—and the yard still wasn’t groomed when he got through.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader

He could have taken pride in work well done, but instead, he ruined his day because of his attitude. And it didn’t stop there, because attitudes are often contagious. His dad was upset with him, and the boy’s bad mood ended up affecting the whole family before the day was over.

Contrast that with a sweet lady working a minimum-wage job at a fast-food place. The minute I walked to the counter, she welcomed me with genuine warmth. She smiled as she took my order, and then as we waited for the food, she talked with me. As I walked off with my tray, she flashed a bright smile and said, “I hope you have a blessed day!”

I think the food tasted better because of her kindness. There was a lag in customers during the time I sat there enjoying my lunch. And then I heard her singing as she tended to her tasks behind the counter. 

She wasn’t making a six-figure salary. She didn’t have a powerful position where colleagues hung on her every word. Instead, she stood on her feet for a long shift each day, often dealing with difficult customers. But she chose to be joyful. Oh my, such a beautiful example of the difference an attitude can make.

I want to be like her. I want to do my best, even when there’s no acclaim or glory. Because I know that—even though I often might not realize it at the time—other people are watching me and I want my attitude to reflect the sweetness of God, and to bring contagious joy to all those around me. How about you? 

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