To this day, I still remember those simple words written in black bold letters on a white board stuck on the door of the employee lounge when I worked part-time as a cashier at the Royal Bank of Canada while pursuing my Master’s degree in Psychology: It’s not the aptitudes; it’s the attitude that counts! I wasn’t the quickest cashier or the one which the most knowledge in financial affairs but I did genuinely want to help out my customers. I was actually grateful that this was the employee motto ‘cause my “cashier” aptitudes were… how shall I put it… much to be desired! I once handed over $5000 cash to a customer and forgot to withdraw it from his account (oopsie!) or the time I wrote the wrong branch number and transferred money to another person’s account. In both cases, I was able to correct my mistakes and had an amazing supervisor who guided me through it all and was understanding. But I learned early on that being kind, having a pleasant demeanor, taking the time to genuinely appreciate your colleagues, customers and superiors paved a brighter path, even if you are not the best in the field.
In the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson, the author emphasizes that mindset and attitude are key to getting you where you want to go. People with positive outlooks are more likely to have better outcomes in whatever life throws their way. They are not victims, they do not make excuses, they own their successes and their failures. Besides, there will always be somebody better, younger, more skilled than you at some point. Skills, although very useful, can only get you so far but a positive, happy attitude can get you to your goal and a happier life.