Attitude is Everything

Attitude is Everything: How a Young Girl Taught Me About the Power of a Positive Attitude

Prior to my presentation at LinkedIn, I waited downstairs of the AXA Tower – home to corporate titans Google and Bain & Company. I sat in awe as I overheard staff with cushy gigs drone on and on about their distaste and dissatisfaction with their job. The sentiment was ubiquitous so I went outside and parked myself on a bench.

I noticed a young girl handing out flyers on behalf of nature conservation organization WWF. Despite the sun beating down on her and being rejected by countless passersby, she took it all in stride and kept a smile on her face.

After several minutes, she walked up to me grinning from ear to ear.

“Hi, I’m Cindy. Do you have two minutes for me to share how we can save the planet?”

Infected by her optimism, I smiled and nodded.

“How may I address you?”

“You can call me Joe.”

“Ok. Hi Mr. Joe.” She pointed to a brochure in her hand.

“Can you please choose which environmental issue is the most pressing to you?”

I quickly responded, “global warming.”

When she politely asked why, I said, “Because Singapore is already hot enough.” She chuckled and without missing a beat gave a spiel on reducing our carbon footprint. After a couple of minutes, she finished her presentation, thanked me for my time, and went back to work.

I wanted to encourage the young girl and tell her how much I admired her positive attitude and determination before we parted. So I ambled towards her but before I could open my mouth the young girl said, “Thank you again, Mr. Joe. Have a great day!”

Caught off guard by her relentless kindness, I simply replied, “keep up the good work” and went along my way.

As I walked back to the AXA Tower, I reflected on the stark difference in attitude between the corporate divas and the cherubic girl. One factor differentiated them and ultimately affected their overall outlook and job satisfaction – their attitude.