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Choose Your Attitude - It Starts Before the Start

Last week I posted a blog entry wherein I talked about my church's worship team's performance and how our approach to our service that day was set by our choosing to come in ready to work, ready to be in a good mood, and able to push through any issues we might have. Then today and yesterday, I saw two more examples of that in motion.

The first was on Saturday, when I woke up at 6:10 a.m. to prepare to work at a Bridal Show for my DJ job. I was assigned the task of picking up the sound system from the office, which meant I had to leave by 6:45 in order to get to the office, load the system in my car, and make it to the bridal show in enough time to set up before the show started. I hadn't had the need to wake up at 6 a.m. for ANY job in over 10 years, so it wasn't my first choice of things to be doing. But during the 40-minute drive to the Complete Music office, I thought about the wedding show I'd worked the week before on a Thursday night. I'd had to leave my full-time job early in order to get to the Bridal Show, and I wasn't happy about that, plus I hadn't gotten a ton of sleep the night before, I'd worked all day, and I was hungry. So while I was working the wedding show, I was doing my best to put on a happy, professional face in an attempt to push through the mental shallowness in which I was wallowing. But instead, I felt sluggish, slightly unprepared, and even shown up a bit because Joe Fingerhut, one of my colleagues working the show with me, was being his normal, energetic, fun-loving self. I couldn't get over the fact that we BOTH should have been on point that whole time, but I just wasn't there.

So while I was thinking about the previous bridal show, I decided that I was going to make a decision to be in a good mood (partially because the other 2 people I was working with aren't known for having the reputation of being the fun-loving, energetic, outgoing personalities that I am). So I set my mind towards being on my best presentation and turned up the my music on my mp3 player, and when I got to the banquet center to unload, I was charged and ready to go. I felt like there was nothing I couldn't tackle, and I was ready to take on any challenge that would come my way.

And you know what? It made a world of difference from my mere existence at the previous bridal show. I joked with possible clients, I asked question after question of them to get them to tell me what they wanted instead of merely telling them what we could do for them, I even used a fake magic trick (fake because it's not magic, but it'll make you laugh) with some clients. I helped lead some of the guests in rounds of our Happy People, Cupid Shuffle, and Remedial Disco icebreakers. But I think the best part came when I broke convention and decided to use the Dance Craze icebreaker, where I asked for 3 volunteers to make up brand new dance moves that the rest of the crowd around our table then voted for. We gave a gift coupon to the winner, and everyone that was watching had a great time watching it happen.

And oh, yeah, out of our goal of 6 bookings to generate that day, 3 people booked with me. I just had plain old fun while I was working. And it all started with a decision . . .

Fast forward to this morning. It was apparent that the rest of the band members had taken the time to listen to the live recording of last Sunday's worship service and it seemed all of them came in with a renewed attitude of "whatever it takes to make this work". Everyone was prepared, everyone was feeling great, and everyone seemed to be more flexible than they usually were, including myself. We also had a dramatic sketch that was going to take place near the end of the message, so we were really pumped about the possibility that someone might take something solid away from that. All over the place, our service team members were energized (BTW, I'd had NO CAFFEINE either today or yesterday). And again, it all started with a decision . . .

I'm talking about the decision where you CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE.

One of the four points of the Fish/CM Smile/Permanent Impact approach, Choosing Your Attitude is the starting point to having a great day. It's no mistake that in the last 2 days, I witnessed deliberate actions designed to prep for greatness, both on my own part and on the parts of the people around me. And it felt so great to be involved in both a bridal show and a church service -- two completely separate events in idea and scope -- that ended up being successful because I and others had decided, before we'd even arrived onsite, to be positive. Positive in our thinking, positive in our approach to our work, positive in regards to the challenges ahead of us, and positive in what we expected the outcome to be. We chose to have a positive attitude long before we were in the moment.

I think that's the key that many people miss out on. Many times we go through our regular lives, our boring work day, when we realize in the middle of it all that we're not doing as well as we know we can, and we change mid-stream. While that can be effective, we can be MORE effective by making the decision to be in that sweet spot, that positive place the moment we wake up, get in the shower, eat our breakfast, jump in the car, or punch the clock. When you walk into a situation prepared, you'll spend less time backtracking to try and regain your bearings, and you'll be a more effective person in EVERYTHING you do.

So tomorrow, try this. Make the decision before you walk out the door in the morning, not just to DO something positive, but to BE something positive. Start before the start, and you'll see your whole day falling in line.

I triple dog dare ya.

There Is No Box.

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