The One String We Have

November 28, 2011

@work

During a recent trip, I was looking for a restaurant near my hotel.  I logged onto Google Maps and plugged in my address to find a place nearby.  There was a big mall around the corner and so there were a ton of those little red markers indicating

restaurants nearby.  As I scrolled past one of them, a customer review popped up, as they do on Google maps.

Then I rolled over the letter “G” and saw this. (See picture).

Wow.  A clear, concise review in six words. (If only the picture was better!)

Imagine the pressure of working in a service environment where one surly remark from a customer who has a random beef with the way his Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger® was served (pun intended).  He has his smartphone handy and his complaint lands your restaurant a negative review on Google Maps.  There it lives,  for all the world to see.  Who knows how long or how many people will pick up this comment and decide to go somewhere else. Fair or unfair, this Carl’s Jr  now must shake off the label of having a bad attitude. Carl the third, Carl the fourth might still need to deal with the impact.

The remark made me have a flashback to a quote that I carried around with me for years.  I had hoped that my attitude could be great through the osmosis of these words.   It’s written by Chuck Swindoll and it slaps me upside the head every time I read it.   I hope it lands the same way with you.  Here goes:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will 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 that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.”

If you’re like me, at any given moment of the day, I’m at risk of earning the”bad attitude” label.  I need to decide to  play the one string that I have – my attitude – and rise above the circumstances of the day.

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