ATTITUDES: BLESSING OR CURSE?

We are either the masters or the victims of our attitudes. It’s a matter of personal choice — blessing or curse.   ~Paul J. Meyer, Founder Success Motivation Institute, Inc. & Leadership Management International, Inc.

What Is An Attitude?

Your attitude is the only thing on the planet, over which, you have total control! But just what is an attitude, anyway? The dictionary says that an attitude is your manner, disposition, feeling, position,etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation,especially of the mind. An attitude then is an opinion, or the way one predictably reacts to a given situation. An attitude is a habit, a habit of thought. If you know someone’s attitude about something, they are almost totally predictable in that area.

How Are Attitudes Acquired?

We are conditioned beings. Whatever we are repetitiously exposed to, determines our attitudes about life: our family, our schools, television, movies, school, church. friends, and so on. With so many choices and people packing our heads about so many things, how is one to know what lessons to believe as reliable guideposts to success on the highway of life?

How Important Are Attitudes?

Your Attitude determines your Altitude, just ask any pilot. Studies consistently show that a positive attitude, combined with goal setting, is a major key to success in life.  Most people are conditioned by life to have a negative attitude. They are pessimistic by nature because they have experienced mostly negative results and feedback in life. People tend to live up to, or down to, the expectations placed upon them.

A positive attitude with a goal attached is placing an expectation on yourself. Just as negative attitudes are formed by repetitious exposure to negative ideas (the average child is exposed to more than 10,000 murders on TV and in the movies by the time they are grown), they can be changed the same way, by repetitious exposure to positive ideas such as the fact that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 in his search for the filament for the electric light bulb, and yet he persevered until he was successful. Now THAT is a positive attitude. His belief was that every failure brought him one step closer to success.

Repetitious exposure to inspirational experiences of real people can, over time, reverse a negative attitude. The fact that Henry Ford was bankrupt several times and that Abraham Lincoln lost 17 elections before he was elected President,serve to inspire others to overcome their own particular obstacles to achieving their dreams.

If a person does not have a positive outlook on life, he or she will miss out on most opportunities that come their way, out of fear of failure. A negative attitude produces a half-hearted effort, at best, which inevitably ends in failure. A  positive attitude welcomes failure as a learning experience, knowing that he who fails the most, learns the most, and must ultimately succeed!

Embrace failure. Make “Fail Early and Often” your mantra. And, as Winston Churchill admonished the British people during the height of the London Blitz,

“NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!”

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