Attitude is a choice

It’s been said, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.

It’s been said, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Yes, we are creatures of habit, and it appears there are two avenues to take in life. The first path is followed by those people who passionately want to live a great life and crave achievement, excellence, or glory. They may never get all of what they want, but the journey is important to them and their pursuit of a “worthy” ideal keeps them focused and busy. They have a higher purpose in life, a bigger vision of what is possible.

The second group is composed of the sleepwalkers in life. The rat race looks the same forwards or backwards. They are on a daily hamster wheel and won’t take a chance outside their comfort zone.

Both groups have made conscious or unconscious choices about their lives. Being optimistic and taking chances is a choice. Members of the first group strive to be better, to have more to do, to make an impact on the world, and to achieve something grand, even if they have some cuts and bruises along the way and their family and friends are betting against them.

It doesn’t matter if you want to be the best dental assistant, the best businessman, the best mother or father, the best dentist, or the best dental employee. It only matters how you do whatever you do, because “how you do anything” is exactly how the rest of your life will go.

The rest of your life will probably go just the way your entire life has gone to this point unless you do something about it. Remember, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” If your life is great, God bless you. If your life leaves a lot to be desired, the question you should ask yourself is, “What am I going to do about it?”

You have the power right now to choose how the rest of your life will go. If your way of thinking has been one of complacency, the glass is half empty, can’t wait until the weekend, envy of others who appear “lucky” or more gifted, or blaming your childhood for your present problems, choose another, more positive attitude. You can be in the winners’ circle. Your attitude and destiny are up to you.

• Fake it when you don’t feel optimistic. Acting happy even when you are not makes you feel better. Smiling improves your mood.
• Dodge pessimists and avoid negative influences.
Be selective about what you read in the newspaper, watch on TV, and the music you play. Shut out thoughts propagated by pessimists.
• Keep a mental inventory of past successes.
Review the part you played in creating the successes.
• Celebrate achievements. Share good news with everybody. Rehearsing successes helps you to enjoy the happiness repeatedly.
• Learn your own triggers. Some thoughts create happiness and others put you in an unpleasant or negative mood. Learn which thoughts trigger negative feelings and block the negative, while encouraging the positive.
• Choose to be optimistic. My 92-year-old mother-in-law is a flag-waver about attitude. Ruth Pasley says, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. To me, attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, or what other people think, say, or do. Attitude is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a school, a company, a church, or a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.”

And so it is with you. Take charge of your attitude!

Dr. Bill Blatchford’s Custom Coaching Program is now availableanytime, anywhere. Utilizing 18 years of practice-management experience with over 1,100 offices, Dr. Blatchford’s custom program involves minimal travel and maximum personal time with the coach, interaction with other doctors, and tons of support. Leadership, systems, case presentation skills, communication, and profitability are emphasized. He can be reached at (800) 578-9155 or visit his Web site at

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