Essays, poems and Stories of an African-American

Friday, 14 August 2015

A Positive Attitude: Survive, Keep a cool head and Be productive

One does not buy positive attitude from a pharmacy nor can one order it online. But it is both a prescription and a character that is indispensable. It is as important a subject as medicine, engineering or law.

Jane works as Muni-Train driver and she plies the longest routes from one end of San Francisco to another. One end is North Beach and the other is South Beach. She is used to being asked questions about the Bart (Bart is another transport form in the Bay Area), about which cab to take, how much fare to pay and where to get off if one is in Oakland ( Jane is a San Francisco Muni employee). She tries her best. On top of everything, sometimes the train has a fare who just wants to sleep! All this is taken up by Jane with equanimity and suave. At the end of it all, Jane is still smiling. “It is part of the job, “she says with a dismissive shrug.

Tom, is a new immigrant from Mexico and he lost his house after 3 months following his arrival in San Francisco. He had to look for a job and housing at the same time. He did this and after two weeks got a job as a security guard at a construction site on Howard Street. He worked at night and during day he volunteered as a store keeper for half a day. He slept in a corner of this store for two months and managed to save enough to get a shared apartment. He also enrolled at a college and he is about to complete his Medical Transcription and Filing Course. These two examples show what positive attitude means.

Positive attitude is one of the greatest assets. Progress and success, whether in the classroom, at home, in life, during recreation, on the job, or at home, are affected largely by it. One’s personality also reveals one’s readiness to assume the responsibilities involved in day to day life’s activities, one’s job, social life. There are universes of responsibilities such as those that are: work-related, parenthood-related, filial-related, social-related, road-user-related, host-related, guest-related, professional-related, conduct-related and individual-related. Jane and Tom understood and had a grasp of their different universes and the mechanics involved. They knew what it takes to survive, to keep a cool head and be productive. This is what matters at the end of the day.

At the individual level, one has to examine one’s inner self critically to ensure that no negative tendencies intrude. Gauge your environment, engage in virtuous activities however pressing matters may be, avoid feelings of inferiority, don’t make excuse for poor work or too little done. These are negative traits cause depression, tension, irritation, and intolerance. One’s attitude toward one’s fellow classmates or workers, toward supervision and toward responsibility is as important as one’s attitude about oneself. Great motivators like John Maxwell Company or Key-note speakers talk about this. This becomes your way of doing things and it eventually becomes an enduring structure of beliefs that will make you persist even when many seem to be giving up. A positive attitude builds a positive mental concept of our ability and worth. This is extremely important in striving toward a goal. Conversely, it is impossible to progress satisfactorily in work or live a meaningful life if one is filled with negative perceptions. Perception of yourself is a powerful force that influences and guides you. If you perceive yourself as becoming successful, you will see yourself as responsible for your progress and you will pinpoint what you do. You will reinforce your attainments and correct your errors. You know that you guide your destiny; and since you perceive that you are competent, you will invest your time, energy, and talents in full measure today so you may reap the benefits of a superior typing tomorrow. Jane has worked with Muni for 15 years and she says she will be around for another 10 years. Tom is committed to making it as well. He sees his life getting better every day and he has overcome his fears. You need to cultivate a positive attitude. It is your own way of watering your own garden of life. Do not give up.

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