As you probably know by now, I am really tuned into the topic of life and career success. I was watching CNN over the weekend and saw a piece on how to get promoted. It offered the following three pieces of career advice:
- Have a positive attitude.
- Arrive early or on time.
- Don’t get too personal.
All three are great career advice, but I’d like to focus on the first point – have a positive attitude. When you have a positive attitude you care. Tweet 100 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Care about what your do. If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer. If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”
I’ll use myself as an example. I care about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve. I care a lot. That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and I give it away for free. That’s why I write a nd post to this blog five days a week. That’s why I wrote Success Tweets Explained, explaining each of the 141 common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. I do all of these things because I care. I care a lot about helping you achieve the kind of career success you deserve. And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career success coach – somebody who gives really great career advice.
When you care you do your very best. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of one of my favorite books: To Kill a Mockingbird. There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me. It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film. He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
If you remember the book or the movie, Atticus knew he was licked before he even started. But he had a positive attitude. He did his best to defend an innocent poor black man in the racist south of the early 20th century. Even after the foregone guilty verdict came in, he remained positive and upbeat. He had a positive attitude about reversing the verdict on appeal.
It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there. You do your best. And doing your best can be a scary thing. When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking. But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.
I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard. I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could. I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”
When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written. I knew it was the very best I could do. I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough. After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools. Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?
I cared about the quality of my application, I had a positive attitude about it, so I did the very best I could. The story in this case has a happy ending. I was accepted and got my degree. Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.
The career success coach point here is simple common sense. Successful people have a positive attitude. They are proud of what they do. They care. They follow the career advice in Success Tweet 100. “Care about what you do. If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer. If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.” Does your work show that you have a positive attitude? Does it show that you care? Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude? Take it from a career success coach, if you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable, make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do.
That’s my career advice on maintaining a positive attitude and caring about what you do. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.
PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained. It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.