Your Attitude Matters

Is it possible for an individual to achieve success without a good attitude? The answer is yes, but their attitude will determine how much (or how little) they enjoy the success.  Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth-century poet stated, “He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.” He understood that contentment is an inside job and based on attitude.

So yes, your attitude matters a lot. The thoughts in your mind will always be more important than the things in your life. In fact, attitude matters so much that the book I ask any new team member to read more than any other is The Fish Philosophy by Stephen Lundin. It’s a short and simple book with four powerful lessons, the first being “Choose Your Attitude.” I want my team to know that their attitude is a choice they make every day. Attitude is not something you are born with, it is not genetic, it is something you choose. And you influence your attitude by who you surround yourself with, what you read and listen to, and the quality of the questions you ask yourself.

Here’s a biggie…one of the secrets of maintaining a good attitude is valuing people. You can’t dislike people and have a good attitude at the same time. Think about it: Have you ever met anyone who always treated people poorly but had a positive attitude? Likewise, you cannot have a bad attitude and encourage other at the same time. Encouraging others means helping people, looking for the best in them, and trying to bring out their positive qualities. That process drives negative thoughts right out of your mind.

The legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” Read that again. I’ll wait… Okay? What happens doesn’t matter. Throw yourself into making the best of it and you’ll be fine. You don’t control the event. You do control your reaction to the event. So choose your attitude wisely. Your own resourcefulness is your biggest resource. Have faith in your resourcefulness to find solutions and enjoy the process.

When Mother Teresa was asked the requirements for people assisting in her work with the destitute in Calcutta, she cited two things: the desire to work hard and a joyful attitude. If someone could be expected to be joyful among the dying and poorest of the poor, then surely we can do the same in our lives no matter the situation.