How many times have I heard parents of teenagers use those words when referring to their loving teens? Having survived three teenaged sons, I’m sure at some point one member of my family or another could have benefited from an ‘attitude adjustment’ at some time or another. I’m sure my sons would have, at that time, said either my husband or I could have easily adjusted our attitude to meet theirs. Looking back for any of us who are managers of volunteers, our training ground very easily began with living with teenagers or being a teenager. Some of us have done both. What does this have to do with attitude?
There aren’t many things in this world over which we have control. The one thing amazingly, is our attitude. Rhonda Byrne says in the now famous book, cd, or dvd versions of ‘The Secret’, that ‘gratitude attitude’ is how we should begin each day. It’s often difficult to get people to realize the only control we have in life is over our own attitude. Even those loving teens over whom we believe we have control, will make choices which are not in keeping with what we believe should have been their choices. In working with staff or volunteers of a volunteer program, there will be many occasions where our own attitude about a decision or choice someone else has made with which we don’t agree may be the determining factor of the outcome. Does someone else actually ‘make you feel’ a certain way? No, we choose to feel the way we feel. In working with volunteers and staff, it is sometimes very difficult to help them realize that they too, choose to feel the way they feel about a particular situation. The statement “when you said ______, you made me feel_________” is definitely a difficult one to deal with for everyone involved.
The sun isn’t shining today….nor has it been in sight for many days now. We could choose to be upset about that which probably doesn’t make us feel any better. Or we could decide that there are greater issues with which to be concerned. We could even find ourselves happy that we have the rain so that we are not worrying about fires, drought or any other adversity created by having no rain.
What situation are you going through that changing your attitude would make your life easier? You do have a choice. Conveying a ‘gratitude attitude’ to your staff and volunteers and living it, will truly become infectious and will make the job a little easier.
Ann Swain is the Director of the Orono Senior Companion Program and a featured blogger.