Attitude – The Success behind Every Successful Person

In all my training interventions, irrespective of the topic being presented to diverse audiences, I hone in on the importance of attitude;

  • Attitude towards self
  • Attitude towards work
  • Attitude towards responsibility
  • Attitude towards life

Much has been written on this subject as ‘attitude’ is recognized as a fundamental key to opening doors to both personal and business relationships.  We often hear parents preaching this to their children or employers enforcing this with their staff to offer excellent customer service.  Yet the very responsibility to ‘lock’ this in as a standard practice is often inconsistent in everyday behavior.

What are the major components of attitude?

  • Affective: emotions or feelings
  • Cognitive: belief or opinions held consciously
  • Conative: inclination for action
  • Evaluative: positive or negative response to stimuli

You can’t build anything without a solid foundation. The “A” is for Attitude – the foundation sustaining all successful people.  Attitude is the “advance man” of our true selves.

The roots spread inward and are anchored in past experiences, and the fruit branch outward exposed for all to see.  Attitude is both our best friend and our worst enemy.  It is more honest and more consistent than our words.

It is a manner that draws people to us or repels them.  It is never content unless it is expressed.  It is the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present, and the prophet of our future.  Yet, who controls our attitude?

Your attitude is 100% within your control!  There are plenty of things in life over which we have no control.  For example, there is absolutely nothing we could do about how people react to us, or our products and services.  All we can do is control the manner in which we react.  Yet, so many people let the reactions of others determine their outlook for the day.  Think about it; are you as positive, upbeat, and driven on a day full of rejection or criticism as you would be on a highly successful day?

How do you react to failure?  Do you walk away discouraged and complain about it or do you take control, stay focused, accept a lesson learned, and go on with your life?  Success is based on good judgment and good judgment is founded on experience.  The only way one can gain experience is through failure.  We have to fail often to succeed once.  This, and the way you react, is a reflection of attitude.

How you react, how you think, what you say to yourself, or what you believe about yourself are all within your control and are portrayed by your attitude.  You must first realize that your attitude is 100% within your control and then, learn to reflect, confirm and take hold of that attitude.

You must improve the attitude you hold towards yourself.  Learn to overcome fear and to deal with rejection and failure in order to increase your productivity while saving time and money.

What is your attitude towards your organization, the team players, and the products and services?  Do you have an owner’s mentality?  If so, what would you do differently?  Why are you not doing it?

You must address these issues and possess a strong belief before you can move forward. Otherwise, the negativity is reflected in your attitude and is portrayed in your body language.

If you don’t believe in yourself and the organization that you represent including the team, the products and the services; then, it is time to find something you do believe in.

It is impossible to engage others to believe in your product or service if your attitude projects the opposite.  Are you ready to improve?

Have you wondered whether it might be contagious?

Do you wake up in the morning, and if it’s sunny you feel good, and so you have a good day.

If it’s cold or raining, do you say what a lousy day it is, and this affects your attitude, and so your day is not as good as it was yesterday when the sun was shining?

Have you had one of those days when nothing seems to go right?  The alarm never went off, there’s no milk left for your coffee.  Is it at this point that you say “Nothing’s going to go right today?”

As if to prove you right, the car refuses to start, and when you eventually arrive late to work, your co-worker smiles at you but on seeing your mood, her smile fades, her good mood disappears within minutes.

You’re so busy you have no time for a lunch break, and then the computer crashes.

How’s your attitude at this point?  How’s that co-worker feeling?

To cap it all off there’s a traffic hold up on the way home.  When you eventually get home to your partner, do you say “I told you it was going to be one of those days, and I was right?”

A great percentage of how you feel on any one day is determined by the way you want to feel.  What you expect most to happen increases the chance of it happening.

If you think about attitude, it is contagious, isn’t it?  It only takes one person to be in a bad mood, and this infects the next person who passes it on to the next one and so everyone ends up in a bad mood, and all because of that one person.

Attitudes are contagious, so remember to make yours worth catching!

You can control your attitude, and let’s face it, sometimes it’s the only thing we can have control over.

Most of us have so much to be thankful for; a roof over our heads, work, food on the table, people who love us, and friends who care about us.  Sometimes we tend to forget this and take it for granted.  The choice is yours whether you endure your life or enjoy it.

Take the step to change!

This brings me to discuss the necessity of making an on-going self-assessment of our attitude toward our core life values. Mine are

  • Love,
  • Generosity,
  • Gratitude and
  • Compassion.

One by one, I encourage you to check into our attitude toward what you claim as your highest values to make sure that we continuously purify and uplift our lives in very practical ways.

What is my attitude toward, for example, helping others?  When I want to be generous but feel conflicted about giving money, time, attention, service, or a smile, am I feeling a blockage of some sort that’s keeping me from giving?  If there’s fear, anger, confusion, resentment, or any other life-constricting feeling that’s interfering with my desire to be generous at any given moment, I can ask, “Where does this feeling come from?”  From my culture, from society in general, from my early family experiences, my role models, from my religious background, from a specific event or some traumatic experience related to the value of generosity?

Once I have detected the source of the obstacle, I may ask, “Is this attitude still true for me? Is it an accurate depiction of reality as I understand it now? Is this attitude useful or helpful for me in this phase of my life? Does this attitude help me feel happy inside at this moment?”

If not, then I ask if there’s a different attitude I could take toward being generous with my time, energy, attention, finances, or any other way.  What other attitude could I take toward giving generously?

Victor Frankl, neurologist, psychiatrist, and university professor during the Third Reich, wrote that the last great freedom of humanity is attitude.  No matter how drastic or extreme the circumstance may be, as it was for Frankl being a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp, we are still free to choose our attitude toward ‘what is.  In Man’s Search for Meaning, he wrote that “everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

My recommendation

My suggestion is to replace negative events with positive thoughts.  For example, if you get a parking ticket, be grateful you have a car; similarly, if someone is stressed about studying, they can be grateful they can afford an education, kids being a little challenging, be grateful they are healthy enough to create the noise and that you are a parent.  Stop moaning about your job, be grateful that you have one while many live in despair.  And the list can go on…A positive attitude can completely change your life.

A positive attitude is an inside job.  You are responsible for your attitude.  Start taking full responsibility for your attitude today.  For a peaceful life, accept your realities as they are with a positive attitude, and don’t wish things were different.