Articles and Media

Attitude Is Everything

by Ada M. Palles

Beautiful Sunrise Why? Because your attitude sets the tone for how receptive you will be to any opportunity that is presented to you in your life, how you are perceived by others and, therefore, what opportunities will be offered to you. Your attitude will either open doors or close them.

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” - William James

Now, you may say, "But I have a terrible job," or "I have to deal with unfairness in my workplace, so I have a right to be ... angry, depressed, bitter, cynical, etc." All of that may be absolutely true. You do have a right to feel that way. But succumbing to those feelings leaves you with nothing but hopelessness, a feeling of being defeated — in fact, it strips you of your freedom — your freedom to choose!

“Everything can be taken from a man ... but the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” - Viktor E. Frankl

You also have the right to choose to not let your current circumstances strip you of hope, strip you of your power to decide, strip you of your freedom of thought. Only you are in charge of your own life and your own mind. So, will you choose a path that doesn't serve you, a path that limits your opportunities, a state of mind that ultimately leads to your own destruction? Or will you choose the path that frees you to find and pursue your happiness?

“Why are we Masters of our Fate, the captains of our souls? Because we have the power to control our thoughts, our attitudes. That is why many people live in the withering negative world. That is why many people live in the Positive Faith world. And you don't have to be a poet or a philosopher to know which is best.” - Alfred A. Montapert

I suspect that what most people want is their freedom. Freedom from feeling trapped in their current circumstances, freedom to set the course of their own lives, freedom from the whims of others' decisions, freedom from enslavement to a job that you do not like, freedom to live the life you want to live. The irony is that the only thing that will purchase your freedom is the strength to free yourself from your own negative thoughts and beliefs.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” - William James

If you're an intelligent person, you are no doubt bristling against this idea. After all, you're not an idiot, you can see the truth, and the truth is that a lot of things are wrong in the world. Your superiors at work are lame-brained, they pursue all the wrong goals, and they always approach things in the absolutely most absurd way. Your spouse is unsupportive, and your kids are bordering on delinquency. There's no way you're going to smile and say everything is hunky-dorey when everything's a mess. After all, you're the only one who seems to know it! It's just beneath you to be Pollyanna when the sky really is falling!

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” - Patricia Neal

That's not what you're being asked to do. You don't have to put your brain in storage to acquire a positive attitude. You do have to learn how to see things more creatively, how to tackle tough issues more constructively, how to communicate the severity of problems clearly, yet offer hope and solutions enthusiastically. It takes strength of will to see people and things not only as they are, but as what they might become. In short, you must throw away the attitude that says, "This is a useless mess," and adopt a new attitude of, "What can we do with this mess?" That's how sticky notes were invented, after all.

“Creative power, is that receptive attitude of expectancy which makes a mold into which the plastic and as yet undifferentiated substance can flow and take the desired form.” - Thomas Troward

It won't be easy. In fact, it is very, very hard. It will require a great deal of strength to control your thoughts, your beliefs, your attitude. But the pay-off is fourfold:

  1. you will be strong — of will, of character, of mind
  2. you will not be easily influenced or manipulated by others — they can no longer "push your buttons"
  3. you will be your own person, controlling your own destiny and outcomes, and
  4. you will reap the benefits of a positive attitude.

Nature is a harsh teacher, and one of her lessons is that only the strong prosper and survive. The weak survive only under the mercy and protection of the strong — and one could argue, don't really live much at all. It takes intelligence and fortitude to get there.

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” - Albert Einstein

A positive attitude helps people live longer. A positive attitude helps people survive tragedy. A positive attitude attracts positive people. A positive attitude opens doors you never knew existed.

Isn't it in your best interest to develop the strength to control your own thoughts, though you may be surrounded by idiots? When you weigh the costs/benefits ratio, aren't positive thinkers way ahead of the pack? If you doubt it, just remember that Art Linkletter is now 90 years old, and still at the top of his game! Now who's smart?

“The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” - Marilyn Ferguson