I have a few confessions to make. I’m not always the most positive person, in fact, I admittedly have skeptical tendencies, but it’s something I work on every day. This must sound strange coming from the creator of a fitness and wellness brand. It’s two-fold really, the fitness industry is tough, then there’s the corporate world which is obviously cutthroat in nature. I’ve gone through ups and downs as I grow as a human, but not too long ago, I dug out of one my deepest holes yet, and it was my attitude that saved me.
I had lost my dream job and was devastated. I lost a best friend too. And as all of this was happening a lot of my contacts were no longer there for me either. I was alone and was experiencing the most amount of rejection to date. I was very lucky to have my family, a couple very tight relationships, and my health, but a lot of other things were completely going in the wrong direction. I thought I had peaked out. Hit my prime and everything was downhill from there. I thought my time had come and it had passed me by. That was the cycle of thought that repeated over and over in my head. And things only got worse from there.
I got sick more often, I felt weaker, I didn’t want to work out as much, and when I did I was killing myself. I got very very sad and ended up in a deep scary depression. I hid it to some extent and kept producing and fighting to be an inspiration that I always wanted to be, but holding a lot of that negative just doesn’t work. Eventually things reached a new breaking point. I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what my wake up call was, but I started to realize just how negative I was thinking and allowing it to spiral.
This was one of the most difficult things for me to write and share openly because I think it makes me sound like a complete hypocrite or fraud. Then I would beat myself up even more because I would think about how I sound like a brat because there are others with far less or are worse off.
My attitude needed to change on so many levels.
While chatting with a friend through some of these issues, he asked me a very interesting question, “When you’re meeting with people, what are they picking up from the conversation?” “Why do you mean?” I asked. He said, “How are people feeling after meeting you? What sort of vibe are you giving off?” I don’t know why these particular questions made me stop and think for a minute about how I was interacting with people, but they did. A lot of my internal struggles and negativity were probably showing without me even really knowing it. You can only hide sadness and depression and anger and resentment so much. It comes through in some way or another. It was after that conversation that I started to seriously reassess my attitude and how it was impacting my progression.
That same friend mailed me a book the very next day, Today Matters by John Maxwell. Initially I thought, “Oh no, I’m not a self-help guy!” “I’m the guy that helps other people!” What an ego, huh?! But truth be told: I needed help. While the book is loaded with ideas on how to be a better leader, one chapter in particular that stuck with me was all about attitude.
As I was reading, I had to put the book down and email my friend a thank you as I held back tears. I was moved. Finally! I felt something in my bones that I hadn’t felt in many years. It was the same exact feeling I got when I decided I wanted to work in fitness, and magazines, and media, and content.
I decided to start my own daily attitude readjustment project. Here it is:
- This is my daily attitude readjustment project
- My attitude discipline everyday will be to read this document every morning.
- I will forget all of the bad things that happen to me.
- I will see the positive in all work assignments or projects — no matter how difficult or daunting.
- I will look for the positive in people and trust more.
- I will stop using negative words.
- I will recognize my depressive tendencies and acknowledge things I am grateful for.
While I obviously am far from perfect and can’t always shake bad or negative thoughts, at least this morning ritual got me off on the right foot. Some mornings were tough, I didn’t want to read it, I didn’t want to believe it’s power for some reason, but truth be told, almost immediately after putting this into place, I was significantly more productive, was far less depressed, and more and more positive things were happening in my life. I started working more, making more money again, and my workouts were getting back on track.
Fast forward and I even derailed from reciting my daily attitude readjustment messages, and sure enough, I noticed I started going negative again. So I started back up, and felt immediately better. It’s actually quite unbelievable how a paragraph of words can alter my perspective and as a result start moving back in a positive direction.
I highly suggest everyone start their own daily attitude readjustment project.