How's your PMA?

  • Published
  • By Mark Williams
  • Directorate of Communications and Information
I'd like to start my commentary by asking a straightforward question: How many of you come to work each day with a Positive Mental Attitude, or as I call it, PMA? Or do you just show up physically compliant, put in your time, and pick up a paycheck every couple of weeks.

If you fall into the show-up to pick-up category, chances are your disposition already has you turning away from this article. Bah humbug, right?! 

So, I'm thinking you're afraid to learn, to hear the truth, to discover that your moral fiber is being held captive. Am I wrong? If so, I (double) dare you to read on! 

If your daily outlook is less than sun-drenched (especially in Colorado), what changed? Maybe that promotion didn't happen, or your annual review didn't go as expected, or maybe problems at home got carried into the workplace. 

Somehow, distressing internal or external influences grabbed your optimistic freewill when it was vulnerable, and jammed it into the garbage can with Oscar the Grouch. Remember him -- showed up every day, but was ornery, never smiled, didn't get along with anyone, and would never help out? Know anyone around you like this? Or, maybe this is what you have become and don't realize it. 

The way I see it, successful people have a strong need for self-determination. More simply put, I do what I do because I choose to, not because I have to. 

People who are doing what "they choose to do," tend to be happy and proactive professionals. Their mental attitude is not only positive, but upbeat, and their optimism helps defeat skepticism, despair and futility. 

Just the opposite are the people who are doing "what they have to do." They're generally compliant employees who put their time in for money. They are neither happy nor down to business. 

Self-determined individuals whose PMA is in check aren't necessarily putting time in for money. If you can remember back to your high school or college days, or maybe even a recent training session, you could tell the difference between instructors who were teaching because they loved teaching and those who were teaching because they needed to collect a paycheck. 

Successful people are devoted, and their sense of commitment leads to even more success. They have a drive that comes from the inside, not from the outside, and their optimism is resistant to difficult situations. They don't give up when times are tough. In fact, most will try even harder. 

So, if you're struggling with a difficult situation or difficult times and your PMA is in the can, look to someone that hasn't lost theirs. 

A Positive Mental Attitude can be inspirational to others. It can calm turmoil, confusion and chaos. It enables and uplifts people's spirit and gives hope when folks are feeling overburdened or negative. 

So take a minute now and check your PMA. If it's under siege, think about what makes you happy ... got it? Now, use that as a building block to regain control of your PMA. 

With your PMA in check, you'll find that desperate situations are now open opportunities, and success is ready and waiting for you.