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The term “X Factor” is defined as both a noteworthy special talent or quality and a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.  These little things make a small impact as the unseen things that account for visible success.  When I onboard new team members, I talk about positive attitude as the “X Factor,” or critical element that will set them up for success, not just at Chick-fil-A but for the rest of their lives.

It’s a rainy day today, but I woke up this morning to the song “It’s a beautiful day” by Jamie Grace.  Christi and I both have this song set as our alarm clock on our phones.  The song starts “wake up and smile…” and later says “when trouble seems to rain on my dreams, it’s not a big deal, let it wash all the bugs off my windshield.”  I love this song because it has such a positive message and helps me start my day on a positive note, even when it’s raining.  I spend the next 10 minutes, thinking about the things I am thankful for to start my day with gratitude.

I feel that it’s very important to be intentional about starting my day with gratitude and a positive attitude because it seems as though we are surrounded by “black holes” of negativity these days.  A few months ago I was made aware of some negative comments about my restaurant on a Facebook page dedicated to negativity.  This page is called “Polk Vent.”  The fact that this page even exist disturbs me.  People use this page to complain about things and express their negative opinions rather than getting facts and approaching those (businesses, people or government) they are complaining about with their feedback or concerns like a mature adult should do.  Honestly, some of the comments I read on this page sound like a 10 year old wrote them.  I avoid reading comments on this page as much as possible, but I recently decided to post positive messages to counter some of the negative messages.

In my book Leader Farming, I challenge readers to imagine for a moment that you have a twin who is identical to you in nearly every way.  They look the same as you and even have the same IQ, but one thing is different.  One person sees a glass of lemonade as half-full while the other person looks at the same glass and says it is half-empty.  Which one is correct? Is this just semantics? Far from it! This scenario reveals how a person views life and often whether they have a growth or scarcity mindset.  One person has a positive outlook while the other has a negative outlook.  They are identical in every other way, but their attitude, a seemingly small and insignificant thing, makes a big difference and positions them for either success of failure.  When everything else is equal, a positive attitude is what leads to sustained success.

I once met a close friend for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  Toward the end of the conversation, he looked at me and said, “One of the reasons I wanted to meet with you today is because of your positive attitude.  I have recently realized I have some very negative people in my life, and I plan to begin avoiding those people and instead surround myself with positive people.”  Several years ago, I started getting rid of the negative influences in my life, I stopped watching the news and I distanced myself from negative friends and family.

Though I’m not always the most positive person, I believe attitude is everything, and I intend to do whatever it takes to stay positive. I challenge you to begin eliminating the negative “black holes” and find ways to intentionally infuse positivity in your life.

Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.  

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