Can-Do Attitude - Undergrad Success

Can-Do Attitude

Do you ever hear a grumpy radio DJ? We haven’t either. These men and women are the grandmasters of attitude control. They can turn the positivity dial up—or down—whenever they want. We want you to learn how to do the same.

But first…

What is a “can-do” attitude?

This may be one of the more obvious attitudes. It’s nice, because it’s simple. This attitude is just a mindset shift—from “I can’t do that” to “I can” or “I’m going to do that.”

Why is a “can-do” attitude important?

Let’s first look at the opposite. Have you ever spent time with the people who feel they “can’t-do” anything? Dan the Downer.

Negative Nancy. They’re all over the place. If you haven’t been spending time with these people, kudos to you. Negative attitudes are cancerous.

Positive attitudes, however, are contagious. That’s why the “can-do” attitude is so important. This attitude is fundamental to your success. We have the ability to choose our attitudes. We can choose the behaviors we wish to participate in. Positivity is just that: a choice. This mindset will shift the way you view the world and the people in it.

A “can-do” attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy

People will spend their whole lives telling themselves (and others) they can’t. “…the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Can you apply Steve Jobs’ quote to your life? No, you don’t need to build the next multi-billion dollar company. But can you engrain that mindset in your head? If you’re crazy enough to think you can change your life, you can and will.

Amy Cuddy, in her TED Talk on Body Language, leaves us with a memorable quote. “Don’t fake it until you make it. Fake it until you become it.” By approaching life with the can-do attitude that you will become the person you want to become, eventually you will. That’s a can-do attitude. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Manifest your decisions throughout your life.

How do you develop a “can-do” attitude?

1) Make a list – Because this attitude is more about your emotions, let’s trigger some positive ones. Start by making a list of all the positive things in your life you’ve already done. Don’t censor yourself. Write it all out. Be proud of it.

2) Make another list – On this list, write down all of the things you’d like to accomplish in the next year. Big or small. Again, don’t discriminate.

3) Share your second list – Start sharing things on your list with friends, family, and professors. Tell new people you meet. Tell your Facebook friends and your Twitter followers. Tell everyone about how much cool stuff you’re going to do in the next year.

Making this list “public” means you give permission to people to hold you accountable. That’s a powerful motivator.

4) Start doing – Little by little, take steps toward your goals each day. If you want to start a blog, start writing 500 words per day. If you want to get better at playing the piano, start playing for 15 minutes each day. Want to lose weight?

Quick thoughts on a “can-do” attitude in your job search:

Can you stay on the ball when the job search grind gets a little tough? Can you keep reaching out to make connections even when you’ve been declined recently?

You’re going to have to if you want to take control of your life. If one strategy isn’t working out, don’t give up. Ask your friends what they’ve done. Reach out to recruiters and ask for advice.

Can-Do can be done.

Are you willing to stay positive?