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    The Gift of Contagious Positivity

    The Gift of Contagious Positivity
    June 25, 2017 16207 Views 6 comments

    "The Gift of Contagious Positivity"
    from The Gift of Attitude

    by Sam Glenn

    Years ago, I met a local business owner whom I only knew as the "Vitamin Store Lady." She had told me her name (perhaps a few times), but I forgot it. I will admit that I am one of those people who struggle with remembering people's names, though I have tried to get better at it. The Vitamin Store Lady, on the other hand, was skillful at remembering me every time I walked into her shop: "Well, hello there, Mr. Sam Glenn! You look an inch taller!"

    Once a month, I would stop by her vitamin and nutrition store to grab a box of protein bars, extra-strength fiber, and a bottle of Flintstones Chewable Vitamins.

    When I first met the Vitamin Store Lady and encountered her positivity, I wasn't sure if it was real or whether she just had eaten way too many happy vitamins. But with each visit to her store, I discovered she was the real deal. She walked the talk, and her attitude led the way. I got to know her a little better with each visit. She reminded me of a loving grandma who enjoyed looking out for her grandkids. I think her best marketing strategy was her attitude. I was so impressed with her service, kindness, and personality that I told everyone I knew to go there. She didn't ask me to spread the word, and I didn't receive anything in return for referring people to go there. I was simply a happy customer, and happy customers like to spread the good word. The reason I told everyone was because when you have an experience that makes your day, you want others to have a similar experience, especially people you care about. I knew that anyone I told would be treated right and, as an added bonus, would leave the vitamin store feeling good about themselves and life.

    When I left the Vitamin Lady's store, I always had a little more pep in my step, like my attitude had gotten a surge of positive energy. She just had that way of being so encouraging, making you smile, and making you feel good about life.

    Considering what I do, speaking to organizations about the gift of an optimistic and confident attitude as it relates to achieving success in life and at work, I began to pay closer attention to the Vitamin Store Lady. I wanted to make sure her attitude wasn't just for show. I wanted to find out her motivation for treating people so well. She stood out from the crowd with her gift of creating positive experiences for others. If I had to rate her attitude, I would have put it in the Rock Star Attitude Hall of Fame! I might speak about and write on the subject of attitude for a living, but the learning never ends. This was a classroom opportunity for me, and I was going to seize it.

    On one of my routine visits to her shop, I thought it would be nice to give her a few copies of my latest book, A Kick in the Attitude. She was so thrilled, you would have thought that her name had just been announced on The Price Is Right: "COME ON DOWN! You're the next contestant on The Price Is Right!"

    We engaged in a conversation about attitude for nearly an hour. I mostly listened. This was her time to shine, and she dazzled me with her remarkable stories. She shared about her family and all the rough times they had gone through and how they survived and became closer. She talked about why she started her business and how growing a new business can be challenging on a limited budget.

    Everything she communicated somehow found a tie back to having a helpful attitude. And as if her attitude wasn't enough, she had an infectious laugh that didn't quite sound musical, but it was hilarious.

    Before I left her store, she had me sign the books I gave her and reached up to give me a monster momma-bear hug. And as I was walking out the door, a friend I told about the shop was walking in. How cool is that?

    As I walked to my car with the biggest smile on my face, I felt recharged. I thought, Wow, that made my day! I feel like Tony the Tiger. I feel great, and it didn't even involve Frosted Flakes. When I give my speeches, I want others to know this feeling and experience.

    One day during the fall, when I was traveling frequently, I had to be at the airport by 2:30 p.m. to catch a flight to Texas, so my plan was to leave the house a little early and pop into the vitamin store to get some vitamin C. By this time, whenever I went to the vitamin store, I was smiling before I even walked in the door. I knew the Vitamin Store Lady would be there to help me feel better with some vitamins and her contagious attitude.

    The bell rang as I walked through the store door and, as I was trying to stomp off some of the snow on the doormat, something didn't seem the same. When I looked up from making sure the snow was off my shoes, I saw a white-haired elderly man working behind the counter. I had never seen him before. Was he new? I scanned the entire store quickly. The Vitamin Store Lady wasn't there. It must have been her day off, or maybe she'd run out for lunch. I grabbed a bottle of vitamin C and placed it on the counter to pay.

    "How's your day going?" I asked with a smile to the man working the counter.

    He only nodded and didn't look at me. "It's fine, I suppose."

    The man seemed lost, dazed, and relatively out of it. Plus, his short responses seemed cold. I thought, If the vitamin store lady knew this guy was so gloomy serving customers, she would not be pleased.

    So I asked him if the owner would be back anytime soon. The man's head just dropped, and it was all he could do to hold it together. Now I was confused. I asked, "Are you okay, man? Do you need something?"

    He slowly lifted his head, and instantly, I could see pain in his eyes as the tears welled in them, and he summoned what looked to be part of a smile but not quite. And in a soft, gentle tone that was barely above a whisper, he asked, "Are you by chance the motivational speaker guy?"

    "Uhhh…yes, I am."

    "I recognize you from the picture on your book. My wife, who owns this shop, talked about you all the time. She shared your book with me also."

    "Oh, so you're her husband. It is so good to finally meet you! Your wife mentioned you in a few of her stories…but all good stuff though."

    He half smiled and said, "Yeah, she has some good stories, and we will sure miss her."

    "Huh? What happened?"

    And then he said, "My wife started to get sick a few weeks ago, and we found out she had advanced leukemia. We started treatment, but it was too late. She passed away four days ago. I am here trying to keep her store running. She always looked forward to when you would stop in. She talked about your book and how you would make her day by making her laugh."

    My stomach just dropped. I got that sick feeling, and I'm sure there was a look of pure shock on my face. I stayed for as long as I could to offer some comfort and support. Before I left the shop, I told him, "Your wife was always so nice to me and had such an amazing attitude. She always made my day, and her attitude was such a gift."

    He let out a little breath and had a look of remembrance, as if he could see his wife right in front of him. "Yes, sir, she was a gift to us all."

    I feel bad that I did not remember her name, but I know one thing for sure: I will never forget her attitude. She used her attitude to grow her business. She used it to get through rough times with her family. She used it to be a great wife and to raise her kids. She used it to make a customer's day. She used it to be a friend. She used it up until the end, but the legacy of her attitude will live on. That, my friend, is an example of how you can use your attitude as a gift.

    Shop The Gift of Attitude >>

    Michaele Bonenberger June 26, 2017 at 10:50 AM
    What an uplifting story! God's gift of "attitude" should be recognized and used by all people. Have you read the recently published book, "Talking With God," by Adam Weber? It is also very uplifting and one that should be read by everyone.
    Maggie Brown June 26, 2017 at 4:10 PM
    That was a great example of using your attitude as a gift. It made me realize that
    I have done that without even knowing it. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you
    for sharing the story, it made my day.
    Karen August 24, 2017 at 7:02 AM
    How beautiful! That story made my day!
    Paulina June 20, 2018 at 11:43 AM
    What a beautiful story. It just made my day and goes to show that attitude is everything and definitely a choice. Loved it.
    Keith Rolston July 2, 2018 at 2:36 AM
    What a touching story! It would be wonderful if as many people as possible around the world could read this fascinating story to reflect and use it to change their attitude for the better.
    Keith Rolston, Perth, Western Australia
    Sherri Dietz August 29, 2018 at 6:30 AM
    Wonderful story, it reminds me of my 4th grade teacher and how much I learned from her.

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