The first two parts of this three part mini-series brought us two important topics: habits and values. While these two topics are important when it comes to living a happy, healthy life, there is another equally, if not more, important topic to discuss: Attitude. Attitude is defined simply as a way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that is typically reflected in a person’s behavior. It is our attitude that determines the world we live in. Think of the outside world as a mirror reflecting our internal attitude. A positive attitude generally leads to a positive experience in life. A negative attitude can lead to a gloomy, “woe-is-me” existence. Put another way, your attitude is the driving force behind your journey in life. We all have a desire to live a long, healthy, happy life full of great experience’s with great people. However, most people fail to realize we hold the key to a successful life-it is our attitude.
The world we live in is a reflection of the attitude we present to the world, not the other way around. Most people adopt the notion that the world treated me a certain way so my attitude will reflect that. This line of thinking is backwards. The world doesn’t play favorites. It does not care who “wins” or who “loses.” It simply moves forward one day at a time regardless of how we feel about it. The truth is, the world around us, the people we come into contact with, our successes or failures in life are a direct reflection of our attitude. Think about those whom you come into contact with on a daily basis. The ones who have a better attitude tend to be those that are more successful (not just financially, there are a lot of rich people out there that have awful attitudes). If we want to change the environment in which we live, we must first change our attitude towards our environment. It is foolish to expect something to change if we continue to do the same things. Life is a pretty simple system of cause and effect. If I want a promotion at work, I need to step up and work harder. If I want to lose weight, I need to get off the couch and stop eating bon-bons. A great attitude that says I expect to be successful will most likely lead to a successful outcome.
I recently read an article about the great NBA legend Larry Bird. For those who don’t know, Larry Bird is one of the best basketball players of all-time. He is also one of the most confident individuals to ever walk the planet. Part of what made Bird so great was his affinity for clutch time performances. He had a knack for always making the big play when his team needed it the most. When most people would feel pressure from big time situations, he had no problem rising up and making the big shot. When a reporter once asked Larry how he knew all of the clutch shots he took would go in, he responded, “Cuz I was the one taking ‘em.” His attitude was one of confidence and expecting success. He expected nothing less than a successful outcome, and more often than not, he got it.
A great attitude can lead some great things in life. Most successful people have great attitudes. Try building a spaceship and flying to the moon with a poor attitude towards your work. It isn’t going to happen. The great thing about your attitude is just that, it is yours and you are 100% in control of it, much like your effort. Like most things, building a great attitude starts with practice. You should start developing the habit of having a great attitude in any situation. Don’t allow the world to frustrate you, remember it is a reflection of your attitude. Don’t dwell on past failures, or regrets. Instead, start today moving forward with a positive attitude towards life. Expect to be successful in whatever it is you do. Greatness will not just be handed to you. You have to work for it and it starts with a great attitude.