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The Leader’s Four Daily Whats (Second of a Four-Part Series)

Two fingers held up

Today is the most important day you have. You will never have this day available again; make it work for you.

Today we make choices. We answer the four “Whats”:

  1. What is IMPORTANT today?

  2. What is my ATTITUDE today?

  3. What ACTIONS will I take today?

  4. What RELATIONSHIPS will I build today?

#2 Attitude

Attitude is a choice. So easy to say—so difficult to live into all of the time! I do think it is true, though. We have the choice to maintain a positive attitude and be happy in our circumstances—looking for the bright spots, treating people in a positive way, both those we know and love as well as those strangers we meet along the way.

I recently witnessed a story about attitude unfold. Brian and I were attending the International Maxwell Conference with 2,500 other coaches from all over the world. Most of these were coming for their certification (rather than reauditing certification, like Brian and I were). One new coach stood out because she took the time to share her story with one of our mentors, Roddy. Roddy relayed her story to John and those of us in the room.

Ani’s story began nine years ago after a doctor’s visit. She lives in the southern portion of Mexico, and she had flown into Mexico City for the funeral of a relative. While in the big city, she took the time to visit with her doctor. The news wasn’t good – advanced cancer. With very little money in her family, she was told she had nine months to live—nine months to save enough money for her funeral. On the way home through the airport, she saw a book. It was $20—a lot of money to her—but it called to her. She eventually got the courage to ask the clerk if she could buy it for $5, all the money she had left over from her trip. For some reason, he agreed, and the book was hers. She began reading immediately. She read it on the flight home and finished it that very day. It was a book about attitude, and she realized that she needed to adjust her attitude about her life and how much time she had left to live it.

Ani beat the cancer! She then began sharing her positive attitude with everyone around her. Six years ago, she found out about the John Maxwell Team and wanted to become a leadership coach. She found a sponsor, borrowed money, and depleted her savings so she could purchase the certification program and come to the training in Orlando, Florida. The soles of her shoes were falling off, but she put on her best dress and came to be certified.

At this point in the story, Roddy paused, and John asked the question everyone wanted to know the answer to… “What book did she read?”

Roddy laughed and mentioned he had failed to ask. He had also failed to ask her name. His wife helped to track down Ani so they could find out the name of this life-altering, attitude-changing book. The name of the book was The Winning Attitude. John responded in complete astonishment after a moment, “That’s my book!” Roddy laughed and nodded in the affirmative.

Then John, being the leader he is, asked an assistant to go find Ani and bring her back to us. She walked up onto the stage with tears streaming down her face and threw herself into a bear hug with John C. Maxwell, the man whose book had changed her attitude. He told her she was going home with every book he had on site, and then the girl with the attitude of gratitude literally dropped to her knees and grabbed his hand and thanked him for modeling the type of attitude (and leadership) every person in that room wants to have.

Ani’s attitude and zest for life was an inspiration to me, to Brian, and obviously, to John as well.

Attitude is a choice. So what is your attitude today? If you aren’t pleased with your answer, choose the attitude you want to show to the world. It takes practice and determination, but that’s why we train ourselves in the safety of the Harbor—with people who want you to succeed. Join a mastermind group. Get a coach. Read a book.

What’s your attitude going to be today?

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