Initially, I titled this article as “How to develop a thick-faced attitude”, but I gave it a change to “How to develop a winning attitude” because I thought nobody would want to learn to have a thick face.
In fact, I do want to have a thick face because I personally know the benefits of being a thick-faced person, but I am not confident that you would see the benefits if you actually possessed the same or more knowledge in this area as I do. Plus, ‘thick face’ might be a negative concept for some of you who are reading this because it associates with the concept of distractions and annoyance. For example, a girl may call a boy a thick-faced person if the boy keeps talking to her after she has rejected him many times.
Having a good attitude is crucially important for a person. For example, seeing a glass with some water in it, two people might interpret it differently. One with a positive mental attitude (PMA) could say that the glass is half full while the other with a negative mental attitude (NPA) says it is half empty.
The objective of this article is to offer you some tips that you can apply in your daily life activities as to develop a winning attitude so that you can become successful in your life. The following are some tips that you can use to develop a winning attitude for your life.
1. Be proactive, not reactive.
I’m a big fan of Hong Kong movies especially those depicting real-life society in Hong Kong, one of the modern countries in the world. Some of my favorite Hong Kong movies usually illustrate life of big brothers or simple gangsters.
Watching movies about brothers, I learn almost nothing besides the thrills from fighting scenes and management tactics. Usually, I observe how each big brother controls their subordinates or followers. Throughout the years of watching, I’ve learnt that cool, effective and powerful big brothers are those who are very calm and patient. In other words, they don’t get reactive easily regardless of the circumstances.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey, the author differentiates between ‘Proactive’ and ‘Reactive’. There are many key points that the author raises, but I want you to introduce you only one point that can easily help you to understand the difference. When problem arises, you are proactive if you act with logic and reasons, but you are reactive if you act with emotions. Generally speaking, proactive people use longer time than reactive people for taking any action.
I personally despise reactive people who usually do anything without any reasons, but emotions. When any problem occurs, they shout, yell or use any violence instead of logic to solve the problems. If given the authority to solve the problems, these people even cause more problems because they rarely think critically before taking any action.
In my humble opinion, almost any person is reactive in some way. But, the degree of reaction varies according to the individual. I admit that I’m also a reactive person, maybe from birth or from the environment that I’ve been raised. Yet, thanks to the self-development books and audios that I’ve read and listened to for many years, I’ve been able to transform a big part of myself to become proactive. Instead of using emotions to solve problems, I’ve controlled my emotions and used rationale to create solutions.
Being proactive is crucially important especially if you want to become a good role model for people surrounding you. If you are a brother or sister, you may want to demonstrate to your siblings that you can handle your temper and that you are more logical. If you are a father or mother, you may have to stop your yelling first before you can teach your children how not to yell when problems happen. Let me give you an example. My dad used to be a strongly reactive person. Because he made his decision quickly, he would shout if someone could not respond to him rapidly like he wanted. However, my mother, siblings and I decided to run a campaign his reaction. So, we have decided not to shout in the house, and each time my dad was about to shout, we stopped him by asking him to verbally explain his irritations. This has worked effectively. Nowadays, my dad doesn’t yell in the house as often as he used to anymore. What is funny is that he has become quite articulate in his order and response.
2. Consider what people think of you, but don’t live by what they think.
You and I are clearly aware that we are living in a people-bound society. It is quite difficult for us not to think about what other people are thinking about us. Having said that, I want to caution that it is people’s right to think or say whatever they want about us, but it is also our choice whether to listen to or care about those words.
Personally, I have developed this powerful attitude since I was at the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) where I undertook my undergraduate study. At the time, I remembered there were many people criticizing me. To describe me as a person, they used adjectives like cocky, arrogant, too proud, selfish, individualistic, stubborn and etc. Some people even criticized me in public settings such as classroom and other formal events.
However, did I care? If I had cared about their words, I would not be who I am today. Probably, I would have lowered down my standard in order to meet theirs. But, I did not because I knew clearly that I was doing the right things. So, I have led my life the way I have always wanted it to be despite countless criticisms from other people.
Now, I guess you might think that I am stubborn because at least I should give some thoughts to what people think or say about me. Before you prejudge me, I want to give a little consideration to this question “who’s the heck knows you better than you do?” If your answer is no, I guess you understand why I don’t care much about what other people think or say about me. If it is yes, I think you should invest some more time to study yourself because you are currently facing with problems if you have failed to clearly know about yourself.
Before I end this point, I just want to draw your attention to the concept of constructive criticisms. It’s good to listen to criticisms from people who want you to be good or better. For information, you can read this article: Constructive Criticisms: 5 ways to find good people for support.
3. Learn to forgive and forget.
I may sound like I’m another version of Buddha, but I think a person doesn’t have to be a Buddha to forgive and forget. My father might be a very good example. Even though my dad is a reactive person, he is incredibly kind especially in his way of thinking. If you let him solve any problem, he will turn a big problem to a small one and a small one to no problem at all. As a son, I rarely if not never see or hear that my dad wants to take a revenge on anyone. He simple forgives and forgets, and I believe this makes his life much emotionally happier and mentally better.
Learning to forgive and forget is beneficial since this world doesn’t belong to us. There are so many things that we can’t control. So, when these uncontrollable things occur to us, there are two options we have: (1) remember them and try to revenge and (2) forgive and forget. The previous is what I used to do and what did not give me anything besides more troubles. However, the latter has proved to work well with my life.
For example, after curing the wound at my right leg (caused by a shot during a gang fight), I really wanted to go back to my gangster life to revenge because my friends spotted the group who shot at me. However, I did not because I made a tough or embarrassing (as many people put it) decision to quit, forgive and forget. Had I continued the revenge, I would not be here writing this article, I guess.
4. NO means ‘Next Opportunity’.
I have learnt and developed this attitude because I am a salesman. I sell everything that I have that could be sold, and I take pride in that because I know the importance of getting people know what I’m doing and appreciate the benefits that I can offer them. True selling is not about getting people to buy what they don’t want to, but letting people to make best decision on what they should or are about to buy.
Any great salesperson knows that they can’t take “no” for an answer. For this reason, they have defined “no” as “next opportunity” rather than “no” as “no”. It’s one of the best definitions ever coined because a lot of people, including professional salespeople who have received trainings, hate the face “no”.
Personally, I also used to despise “no” because I could not accept the refusal especially after putting so much efforts into preparation.
Because “no” is a “next opportunity” now, I don’t give a d*mn much to the number of no-s. Whenever I go out to make a business deal, I yearn for positive outcome. Yet, I don’t get devastated in case I can’t get it. If I get a no, I just reassure myself that it’s time to move on to other opportunities.
This principle can actually applied to almost all aspects of our life. Let us put it in love. Supposed you asked a girl if she loved you and you got a no, I hope you wouldn’t kill yourself over this no. I also don’t want or expect you to dread your life along because of the no. You don’t need to question whether you are not good enough or what. Shut up and go for next opportunity which could mean (1) waiting for another time to confess again or (2) looking for another girl.
5. Learn to stand out.
The ability to stand out from the crowd with whom you socialize is crucially important. It helps you answer why people should choose you while there are so many choices.
If you want to learn how to become outstanding, you can enjoy reading this article: Uniqueness: How to Become Outstanding