“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.”  Thoreau’s familiar quote introduces the theme of this blog, performance.  How can we act in ways that will move us toward achieving our goals? 

Whether at work or play our best performance at any given task does not guarantee the results we seek.  There are just too many factors beyond our control…our supervisor, the economy, the weather, natural disasters and illness, to give some examples.  On the other hand, if we do not perform well, it is even less likely that we will get the results we want.

There are two habits that make the biggest difference in our performance.  The good news is that they are also the two dynamics in life over which we have the most control, and we can cultivate them.  The first is our attitude.  The second is our effort.  Quite simply, the more we approach circumstances with our glass half full, the more effectively we perform.  And, the more time we devote to honing our skills, the better we become in delivering them.

We will explore more about attitude and effort in future posts.  Meanwhile, why don’t you take your own pulse?  On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being totally negative and 10 being totally positive, how do you rate your overall attitude today?  Where do place yourself on the effort scale?  Maybe this little exercise can serve as a gentle reminder.  Taking more control over our attitude and effort is how we affect the quality of each day, one day at a time.