In 2010, I wrote a mini-article about attitude (copy below):
While the above mini-article was written about writers/authors, the same principle applies to everyone in whatever they are doing. Discipline and enthusiasm are important, but it is purpose that infuses our efforts and gives us and our work that extra kick that carries it over the top into the success zone.
Of course, we strive to do our best, understanding that as we learn and grow, what we do grows as well. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I believe a key ingredient to success and doing well is loving what you do.
When you love something (or someone), you nurture it, you care about it, you give it that extra time, attention, and focus because you love it. You want to give it your very best. That very best may not be perfect, but it’s the best to your ability at the time, and that means you’re closer to your vision of that perfection than if you attempt and effort and you don’t love it.
That’s worth remembering.
Your attitude toward what you do has an enormous impact on it and on you. If you give your all, you can rest in that, knowing you did all you could and all you knew to do. That insulates you from the impact of others’ views, some of which might be less than flattering because people tend to lash out now and then based on how things are going in their own lives and with what they are doing.
It’s not right to tear others down to elevate yourself, but some seem to feed on that. You can’t control them, but you can control you–your reaction to them. Over time, you develop what I call rhino-hide. And you couple that rhino-hide with understanding that some of the comments you receive well might have nothing to do with the work and everything to do with the commenter being in pain, being frustrated or generally unhappy.
That tempers the urge to fire off a blistering response. That rhino-hide tempered with compassion insulates, and that insulation is very helpful in times such as this.
Remember, no one has more power to impact you than you give them. Weigh the value. There can be gems in criticism, but that kind of positive criticism is never cruel or vindictive, and it never attempts to attack you, the human being. It seeks to better the work to help strengthen the work.
Attitude isn’t everything, but your attitude is a big thing. Again, because it’s so important, remember you can’t control others, but you can control you and their impact on you that you permit. Exercise wisdom and judgment. Not all comments are worth taking inside yourself. Be fair and judicious!
And be grateful to those who offer you constructive feedback, suggestions. After all, they don’t owe you either, but both do aid you in learning and growing. That’s a gift.
Lastly, know that you choose your attitude. Choose wisely because the person most impacted by it is you.