Be Half Full.

by Justin Ahrens
Busy or bad day? Like Grandpa said, your response is your responsibility. Your grandpa may not have said that, but it’s true. All too often we get going so fast that we lose the ability to see past ourselves. This often leads to us being a bit short, forgetful, or just not really present in a conversation or meeting.

If you are having a crazy day (or even a bad one), YOU are in control of how that affects your interactions, whether with coworkers, clients, strangers, family, or the FedEx guy. Does it really take that much extra energy to smile, write a simple greeting with your message, take a breath, or be cordial? On the flip side, if you don’t take the time to be polite, the damage control could be way harder to deal with.

We seem to have plenty of time these days to tweet or update our status on our social media of choice. We need to be careful to not vent on those outlets as well. Clients and potential clients pay attention, so if you want to use that medium as a way to garner new business relationships, remember these are extensions of you and your company. I’ve entered a meeting where a client has said, “Hey, I hope your day has gotten better.” After some further conversation, that client read one of my tweets and thought my day was perhaps a bummer because I was meeting with them. Attitude adjustment! Luckily no damage was done, but it could have been an expensive lesson. I often reflect on this Winston Churchill quote, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

We are all guilty from time to time, so here are some things to think about:

1. At work, tell your coworkers if you are stressed out or having a bad day, mainly so your bad juju doesn’t mess with the environment, and people know you’re aware of your ’tude. Often, letting people know helps you relax and get over what’s bugging you.

2. Even if you are in a hurry, you have time to add a friendly greeting or signature to your emails. In fact, you could make a couple of templates with greetings or signatures to help you stay in the green.

3. Smile. Look at someone in the eyes. Put your iPhone away. Take a minute to really listen, hear, and cordially respond back.

4. Before you say how crappy your day is on Twitter or how much the last conference call made you want to poke your eyes out on LinkedIn, remember you don’t know who is reading your statuses.

I’m not saying you can’t have a bad day or be honest, but treating others with respect is always the right thing to do.


Image of glasses, half empty or half full?

If you are having a crazy day (or even a bad one), YOU are in control of how that affects your interactions, whether with coworkers, clients, strangers, family, or the FedEx guy.
Image courtesy of Rule29


Quick Tips
1. If you can recognize you are funky, you can often work out issues in the car or on your commute. Scream at the top of your lungs. Listen to you favorite music, grab a morning treat, or call someone who cheers you up.

2. Set aside some time to just be still—this will help you slow down, pause, and tweak your attitude. Whether you meditate, take a walk around the block, or just go somewhere you can relax for ten to fifteen minutes, it can make the shift you require.

3. Grab a nap. Use your lunch break for some quick slumber. In your car, in your office, or under your desk George-Costanza style, maybe you just need a quick cat nap to recharge and refocus.


Dig Deeper!
1. For more on napping and productivity at work

2. A good book on learning when to say yes and how to say no: Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend

3. Plenty of other people are having a bad day as well—here’s an outlet to relate: http://www.wefeelfine.org/


5 thoughts on “Be Half Full.

  1. Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

    Naps do wonders – since college, over 30 years ago, I’ve usually taken about a 20 minute nap most afternoons. It’s a great attitude adjuster.

    In regards to the “half full” reference: A college friend, illustrator/writer Tracy Hayes, once told me that her mother never sees the “glass” as half empty or half full, it’s “Oh, what a pretty glass!” I like that perspective on things.

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