Zig Ziglar used to say we need “a checkup from the neck up.” One time I spoke to an HR manager who was having a hard time filling a position; the position had been open for more than two months. I immediately recommended a member of JobSeekers; he was imminently qualified for the job. She said they had already interviewed him and decided not to hire him. Why?
She said he had a poor attitude.
Friends, sometimes the number one thing standing between you and a job is your attitude! Maybe you need to do “a check up from the neck up.”
I witnessed this at a job fair one time. As people approached the JobSeekers’ table I was hosting, I’d ask, “What do you do for a living?” They’d look at me and squint one eye and wrinkle their brow and say, “[Well duh], I’m unemployed!” While I was checking for attitude, they were checking to see if I had a brain.
If attitude is your problem, this is good news because it doesn’t take years to earn or learn a new attitude the way a college degree, a certain skill set, or specific industry experience would. Your attitude is a decision you make every day. I learned this bit of wisdom several years ago: “Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, you make a decision about what kind of day you’re going to have.” I challenge you to “decide” to have a good day today, tomorrow and every day during your job search.
In addition to job search, attitude plays a key role in how we deal with poor health, death, divorce, persecution and financial woes.
Here are five examples:
An old lady.
Once there was an old lady who lived in an assisted living facility. As her health deteriorated, it became necessary to move her into a nursing home. She was almost blind. When the day came, her son walked her into the nursing home and down the hall toward her new room. As they approached the door to her room she exclaimed, “Oh I love it! The furniture is so nice and the curtains are beautiful!” Her son said, “Mom, we’re still in the hallway.” She replied, “I know son, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to like it here.”
In January 1997, Cosby’s only son, Ennis, was robbed and murdered on a Los Angeles highway after he stopped to fix a flat tire. On Dr. Richard Rahe’s well-known life change index, the death of your child is worst life change a person can experience. It must be even more bewildering if your child is the victim of a random murder. I wondered how Cosby would ever be able to make people laugh again. I was amazed when he was back at work and as funny as ever just a few months later. (Boy, has Cosby’s stock sunk since I first wrote this!)
Our chaplain, Howard Tisdale (1921-2012), quoted Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) often. Frankl survived the Holocaust, even though he was in four Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz, from 1942-45. His mother, father, brother and wife died in the camps – from the harsh conditions or the gas ovens. His entire family, except for his sister, died. In Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote about choosing one’s attitude: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way … Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, insufficient food and various mental stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways, in the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually.” (p. 104-105)
The apostle Paul.
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) With this in mind, he wrote to the church in Philippi: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:10-12)
These examples are great, but do you know who the best example is to those around you? It’s you! Not only has God given you the opportunity to grow and to draw closer to him; he’s calling you to be a powerful witness in his name. Don’t let God down. There are people watching you to see how you bear up under the difficult circumstances you are in right now. Decide right now that you will bear this burden with dignity, that you will overcome any obstacle, and that you will be joyful no matter what the circumstances. You will bless others by doing so, and as a result, you will bless yourself.
Rick Warren says, “Life is a series of problems: either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ-likeness.”
I rejoice greatly that I know you. Along with the other members of the Ship’s Crew, we want you to find a job, but even more so, we want you to know the joy of the Lord.
See you on Friday at JobSeekers – where we’ll do a check up from the neck up!
Copyright © 2016 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved