Attitude The ever-intriguing question: We are all endowed with diversepotentialities and have a multitude of aspirations in life, but at the end of theday only some of us become successful, while others are left to do the catch-up work. Now let us figure out the reason for this: A person is only as goodas his attitude. Attitude always calls the shots. Cogitate about the followingsituations: (1) An immensely talented doctor has problems in getting along with his hospital staff. (2) A husband, once besotted with his wife, cannot stand her anymore. As a result, their domestic atmosphere is simmering with ill will (it is an aural and visual extravaganza for neighbors). (3) A manager does not have the support and backing of his subordinates. (4) A film actor has reservations about working with a particular director. (5) A political behemoth (his finely tuned political antennae help him to sense problems that less-experienced politicians might not detect) is washing the dirty linen of his rival in the full glare of the public eye. These are the words of my friend that ring in my ear whenever theterm “attitude” is mentioned: “Attitude is my priceless possession.” Thesewords deserve the highest praise! Attitude is best described by these words: (1) Temperament (2) Mental outlook (3) Way of thinking (4) Mentality
More than 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote,“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” Let megive you an example of what I mean by the idea mentioned above. Stephenjoined a software company as a junior software engineer for a low salary(initially). He was an eternal optimist. He had patience and gave whateverwork he did his best shot. His philosophy of life was, “Work not just to earnpaychecks, end-of-the-year bonuses, and perks, but to your heart’s delight.”His friends Curtis, Esteban, Caiden, and Cory also worked at the samecompany. Within 8 months, Stephen got a raise or a promotion. But hisfriends continued to cruise along in the same old situation. They wondered ifStephen had mesmerized his superiors with his saccharine talks. But thisidea was just a figment of their imaginations. Year after year, Stephen wentfrom strength to strength but that kind of action was missing in his friends’lives. He became the darling of his boss. He was even labeled as “Mr.Dependable” (It wasn’t a misnomer.). His friends could not make sense ofwhy they were where they were, and why he had gone so far. The trick thatcontinued to work for Stephen was his positive attitude. After he added somemore good years to his stint with the company, he went on to acquire the topposition in the company. His friends, even to this day, are trying hard tosolve this puzzle. But I have the answer for you: we don’t see things as theyare; we see things as we are. We interpret our experiences, labeling them asgood or bad. However, our interpretations do not necessarily have an effecton reality; they just have an effect on us. Attitude for career successCareer success is not just about your education, talents, support at work,skills, and experience, it is also about your attitude at work. IllustrationAlysa and Shayna applied for a job (as a .NET developer) at a company.They both had hands-on experience with C#, XML, VB.NET, ASP.NET,and SQL server. They possessed mind-blowing communication skills, bothoral and written, and also good problem-solving abilities (developingstrategies to anticipate and solve problems in advance). D-day
Alysa was called in for a behavioral interview. She was overwhelmed by alot of tricky questions that were intended to bring out the best in her. Theprocess lasted for 35 minutes. Now it was Shayna’s turn. She was also interviewed in the same tough-as-nails manner. But unlike Alysa (a softie), Shayna was a tough cookie. Shehandled the questions tactfully and was able to project herself very well. Interviewers’ verdict: Shayna outscored Alysa in terms of her world-class attitude. They liked her energy and spirit. Alysa’s attitude was termed a“downer.” She was lousy and unenthusiastic in her approach. Final outcome: Shayna clinched the job (a real cash cow) We are people who are eager to develop only a positive attitude;therefore, the focus now shifts to addressing a “positive attitude.” Positive attitude A positive attitude is a way of thinking positively that says, “I takepersonal responsibility for the decisions I make, I attract high-quality thingsto my life, and I am always brimming with confidence.” I stay positive by (1) Reading inspiring books (of all genres). (2) Listening to motivational tapes. (3) Reciting inspirational quotes to myself. A simple yet powerful method to have a positive attitude: Say “no” to finding faults in things; instead, be a person who seeks a solution to a problem. As far as I am concerned, I abhor the word “problem.” Instead, I want to refer it as a “challenge” (a word that plays a cardinal role in the making of a successful person). Therefore, never say, “Yuck, I have got a problem,” but instead say, “Gee, I
have got an exciting challenge.” The idea involved here is “self-talk.” Change your self-talk, and it will make a world of difference in your attitude. Silas is a tennis player and has been ranked number one for manyyears. He has many Grand Slam titles (the Australian Open, 3 times; theFrench Open, 2 times; Wimbledon, 4 times, and the U.S. Open, 2 times) tohis credit, thus making him invincible in his sport. What is so special abouthim that puts him in a different league altogether? He hits the gym regularly,goes swimming (a sort of half-hearted dog paddle) on Saturdays andSundays, practices his shots (serve, forehand, backhand, volley, half volley,overhead smash, drop shot, and lob) with his trainer for 6–8 hours a day,meditates for half an hour, and devotes “thinking time” to laying out gameplans for each tournament, match, and opponent. He plays each match as ifhis life depends on it. His sex appeal, bulging biceps, magical timing ofshots, engaging smile, ground coverage, and the power behind his shotsmake him a superpower in men’s tennis. All in all, he is a great, well-rounded player to watch on the tennis court. Is it any surprise then thatnobody wants to miss the slightest bit of action when this player is playing?Once, during a post-match interview, he spelled out the reason for hisinvincibility: “I never say die come hell or high water. I always play tough.Aggression comes naturally to me. It is in my DNA. My mind is alwaysfocused on positive outcomes. Because, I know that only by being positivecan I play my natural game. A positive attitude is my potent weapon.” There is no magic pill to develop a positive attitude overnight. It takes alot of effort, but it is worth its weight in gold. It is the greatest asset you canfeel proud of at any time. Hence, my dear friends, adopt a positive attitudeand experience the positive happenings that will result in your life. A positive attitude says: You can achieve success. Positive Attitude: Positive Results. Difference in the attitudes of two peopleRalph Waldo Emerson hit the nail on the head when he said, “To differentminds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.”
Onan and Sener were college friends. Both of them finished theirM.B.B.S with impressive grades. They decided to do P.G. at a foreignuniversity (outside their non-English speaking country). They took thePLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board) and TOEFL (TestOf English as a Foreign Language) exams. Because they knew their medicalstudies backward and forward, passing the PLAB was a piece of cake forthem, but the TOEFL (CBT – the computer-based TOEFL) proved to be achallenge. On a scale of 0-300 on the CBT, Onan and Sener got 160 and 168,respectively (not good enough for admission). Both of them did miserablyon all the four sections of the CBT: listening comprehension (0-30 scale),structure/grammar (0-30 scale), reading comprehension and vocabulary (0-30 scale), and essay writing (0-6 scale). Onan took it as a personal responsibility to learn the nuances of theEnglish language. First, he developed a passion for English. He read a lot ofEnglish-language dailies: the San Francisco Chronicle, the Mercury News,the Newark (New Jersey)-based Star-Ledger, the Washington Post, The WallStreet Journal, and The New York Times, and read stories/news items (thathe found interesting) for 10-15 minutes every day. He befriended Harry,who was proficient in English, and conversed with him regularly, as well asbought a good dictionary and watched English-language movies once aweek. Over time, Onan mastered the English language, both oral andwritten. Once this happened, he retook the CBT and scored 275 (much to hisdelight). Sener, on the other hand, did precious little to become betterprepared. Though he made attempt after attempt, his CBT scores went on adownward spiral. This spilled over into his personal life too. He could notthink with a clear mind. He kept dwelling on the past. He was at sea, notknowing what to do next. To sum up in a few words, his life changed for theworse. Shockingly, he was sent to a mental health institution three times formental breakdowns (blame it on his fragile mental strength). Two men.Same circumstances. One came out on top of the situation, and the otherplayed into the hands of it. What was the difference? Their attitude. That’sall. Just their attitude. What goes in, must come outTimothy was standing in a long queue to pay his telephone bill. It was a sun-kissed atmosphere and a congested place in which to stand. The going was
very slow, thanks to the inefficient telephone clerk, and the customers, allsweating profusely (to the point of dehydration), were getting restless,impatient, and frustrated, and were yelling at the clerk. But he went abouthis business without a care in the world. Timothy had no issues with theclerk, however. He kept his cool and balance. Sure enough, after 4 hours oflong, patient waiting, Timothy was within reach of the counter, when theclerk announced, “It’s lunch break, see you after the break.” Timothycontinued standing there without uttering a peep. After having a strawberryyogurt during his hour-long lunch break, the clerk returned to his work.Because Timothy was now the first person standing in the line after theclerk’s break, the clerk asked him, “Well, how has your day been?” Timothyshook his head and said, “I am having a great day!” The clerk was stupefiedby this answer and again asked, “Why are you so fortunate to be having agreat day today?” Timothy smiled and replied, “I always have great days. Iquit having those bad days years ago.” The above illustration teaches us that Timothy had programmed hismind in a positive way. As a result, he had become an overtly positiveperson. A great guy indeed! Reversal from a negative attitude to a positive attitude Switching from a negative attitude to a positive attitude is no picnic. Along-standing habit of negative thinking (formed by deep-rooted negativebeliefs) needs to be replaced with high-quality beliefs (at the subconsciouslevel). For this, you need to commit to allowing positive thoughts into yourmind on a daily basis (forcibly, to start with), then, with the passing of timeand with patience and persistence, positive thoughts will begin to outnumbernegative thoughts. As a result, negative thoughts get dislodged from yourmind, and you will emerge as a positive person. Thus, with a positiveattitude, you will feel stronger and better. You might even not be able tohelp thinking, “Why didn’t I swear by a positive outlook a long time ago?” A positive attitude: (1) Helps to widen your social circle. (2) Pushes you to innovate regularly, “Push the envelope.”
(3) Provides a fighting spirit. (4) Makes you a “smart thinker.” (5) Keeps your self-worth at a high point. (6) Instills confidence in your actions. (7) Keeps you high-spirited. (8) Sets you up for a successful mission in life. (9) Encourages you to cultivate good habits. (10) Gives you a likeable personality.Here are some questions about a positive attitude that will give you food forthought (1) Is a positive attitude a silver bullet that will solve all your problems? Certainly not, but it gives you the confidence and courage to face those uninvited guests (difficulties) that continually knock at our doors on a regular basis. (2) Will you become stinking rich from a positive attitude? Yes, attitude is an important aspect (but not the only aspect) in a person’s financial success. (3) Is a positive attitude a “must” for everyday life? Yes, you cannot imagine life without a positive attitude. The long list of benefits that a positive attitude brings with it cannot be outnumbered by anything else in the world. (4) Can a positive attitude make all your dreams turn into a reality? Why not! It can certainly lay down a roadmap for where you can start your journey and where you can travel…until you fulfill your dream(s).
Do you want to be rocking in your life? Develop a positive attitude and just chill. Optimism: The tonic for a positive attitude Optimism helps stave off difficulties, annoyance, anxiety, and uneasiness…. It helps a person to maintain self-control, even in times when his life is in a shambles. Scientific evidence reveals that the recovery rate (from illnesses) of optimists is faster than that of pessimists. So optimism rocks! It does good not only to your mental health but also to your physical well-being. It pays 10/10 times and surely is the tonic for a positive attitude. Synonyms: Hopefulness, Cheerfulness, Positivism, Confidence Health snippet: I once read an article about a study at King’sCollege Hospital in London, England. It was conducted among cancerpatients who had undergone mastectomies. Researchers at the hospitaltracked the progress of fifty-seven women. Of the ones who had a positiveattitude when they were diagnosed with cancer, seven out of ten were stillalive ten years later. But of the ones who felt a sense of hopelessness duringdiagnosis, eight out of ten had died. Optimists (1) When faced with a difficulty, take the bull by the horns. (2) Are bounce-back believers. (3) Search for a silver lining in the dark clouds. (4) View the hard blows in life as short-term, fleeting troubles. (5) Are surrounded by friends because of their positive, self- assured, and gleeful demeanor. Pessimists
(1) When faced with a difficulty, run for cover. (2) Meekly surrender to the situation. (3) Are always ill at ease about the dark clouds hovering over them, and they do nothing. (4) View small obstacles as permanent spoilers of their lives. (5) Are loners. They have an antisocial mind-set. Pragmatic and workable tips to build a positive attitude (1) Learn from setbacks Everyone, without exception, has crosses to bear and hits that bumpin the road. This is just the way life is. What sets people apart is how theyreact to that bump. Are you one to spin out of control in despair? Or do yougrab a hold of that steering wheel and steer yourself straight? Whenever youare faced with setbacks or stumbling blocks (in your relationship—atempestuous relationship; your career—an unsatisfying career; your health—declining health; your finances—unstable finances), view them as learningexperiences that are rich in lessons. The person who takes the rough with thesmooth becomes a balanced, mature specimen. I have it in me: the “What can I learn from it?” approach towards setbacks, but what about you? (2) Always be grateful for what you have Consider the following examples of ungrateful people: (a) Darrius thinks his house is not big as Makhi’s. (b) Tyshawn is discontented because his car is less expensive than Deshaun’s.
(c) Guadalupe is annoyed that his business is not thriving as muchas Arnav’s. Darrius, Tyshawn, Guadalupe are people who do not value thethings that they have. They are dissatisfied and over-aspiring. Tip: Create your own personal gratitude journal and enumeratethe blessings you have: an upbeat mood, strong relationships, apositive frame of mind, resilience, a serene domestic atmosphere, aclose-knit family, a flourishing career, trustworthy friends…Thisexercise may look simple, but it will do wonders for your attitude. Say with humbleness: Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings that you give me—my health, my family, my children, my work, my friends, and everything, God!! (3) Store only good things in your memory bank As I nostalgically take a walk down memory lane, the following names (with their positive features) come to my mind in the twinkling of an eye. (a) Mateo – with a showstopper of a smile and a mastery of witty banter. (b) Reginald – whose brain runs with tremendous horsepower and who has the ability to speak from the bottom of his heart. (c) Gunnar – a guy whose unassuming nature can win over anybody and who knows the art of making marmalade for his family. (d) Ezequiel – a crisis man and a problem solver to the hilt. (e) Rocco – known for his sense of style, from his double-breastedsuits to his accessories like a pocket handkerchief, a silk tie, andJohn Lobb shoes.
(f) Jamison – a person, rather, a genius (in every sense of the term), who makes dance look so easy that anybody can think of shaking a l eg . (g) Reese – a damsel famous for her “hypnotic eyes” and for having a cool, seductive charm. (h) Levi – a man of many talents. A professional drummer and singer. He is also a professional narrator for the U.S. Library of Congress, and has recorded a number of audio books for the blind. An honors graduate in religious studies, specializing in Chinese Buddhist history. It has been eons since I first met these beautiful people, but theirmemories are mint fresh. This is the beauty of feeding positive things intoone’s mind. They never get wiped away (even after years and years), andcan be easily “downloaded” from your memory. (4) Root out self-limiting beliefs Noah is a wimp. He considers himself inept at his work. Every night he goes to sleep with tears in his eyes. He is not taking steps to address the issue of a “low self-concept.” Unfortunately, he has conditioned himself to think “I am deadly dull, I’ll remain this way.” Noah is symbolic of many who lack confidence or have little confidence. But the tragedy is, with this kind of mind-set, the disadvantages are unimaginable. Solution: Ask yourself why you feel inferior to others. Dismiss thoughts that whittle away at your self-confidence. Elicit the unnoticed, hidden, and bright features of your personality and bring them out. Learn the skills that are imperative for success. With everyday efforts, you’ll outshine yourself. (5) Acquaint yourself with the ploy of triumphing over problems:
The ravages of remaining cowed by problems for a long time can cause deep psychic wounds. It becomes next to impossible to lead life smoothly. The huge burden makes you break out in a cold sweat. To add insult to the injury, you get caught in a vicious circle of fault-finding and worrying. Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns (in the following format): Area Problems Solutions Family -- -- --- --- -- --- --- --- --- Health ------------- - --- --- --- --- Job -------------- --- --- -- --- --- Academics -------------- --- --- - --- --- --- Don’t allow distractions to rattle your composure. Grapple with the problems by keeping a cool head. See the problems as exciting challenges rather than the end of the road (just what the doctor ordered!). With an open mind and clear-eyed observation, look for the opportunities in the problems. Surely, you will be able to unearth them sooner or later. In the face of any number of problems, keep your level of perseverance high. (6) Do not listen to the merchants of doom Once a running contest was arranged for a pool of tiny frogs,whose objective was to make it to the apex of a skyscraper. A largecluster of people gathered around the tower to see the race andwhoop it up for the participants…The race began…Candidly: Not aliving soul present there gave the tiny frogs a chance of provingtheir mettle. They were skeptical and uttered statements such as:“No way these frogs are going to get there,” and “This Herculeantask is beyond their grasp.” The little frogs, who realized what they
were up against, kept plugging away and exerting every bit ofeffort, but all they could only manage to do was fall down (one byone) like a house of cards. Ultimately, these little creatures gotfagged out and gave up. But there was an exception. Onediminutive frog, after a marathon effort, was the only one whoreached the top. Now comes the $64,000 question: How did this frog manage toreach its goal? The answer is rooted in the fact that the winner wasDEAF. Here is a timeless piece of advice for you: when you trainyour sights on something, go all out to achieve it. In the process, ifany kind of sarcasm starts to filter into your journey, just tune itout. Stay focused and complete your mission. Achievers vs. failures(1) Achievers have their minds imbued with positive feelings; Failures have their minds saddled with negative feelings.(2) Achievers work from dawn to dusk, seven days a week; Failures are indolent.(3) Achievers welcome constructive criticism(s); Failures cannot brook criticism(s).(4) Achievers are tough; Failures are namby-pamby.(5) Achievers have a vivid, mental picture about their journey of life; Failures are meandering through their lives.(6) Achievers perform actions that take them forward; Failures take retrograde steps.(7) Achievers have mental flexibility; Failures have dyed-in-the-wool, out-of-step ideas.(8) Achievers are intelligent risk takers;
Failures are yellow-bellied. (9) Achievers have a why-not attitude; Failures have a what-if attitude. (10) Achievers know how to reinvent themselves; Failures don’t have a clue as how to recover from a life crisis. (11) Achievers have swashbuckling confidence going their way; Failures are underconfident. (12) Achievers are trendsetters; Failures are trend followers. (13) Achievers keep their cool amid difficult situations; Failures feel the heat when beleaguered by situations. (14) Achievers pay undivided attention to their work; Failures are inept at work. (15) Achievers are good at thinking on their feet; Failures are slow-witted. Wrap-up Things tumble. Life appears murky. The future looks precarious. But aslong as you maintain a positive attitude, nothing can chafe yourpsychological balance. Trillions of words can be penned down while givinginspiring advice, but the words that spearhead the list have to be positiveattitude. Hence, in every situation of life, keep your positive attitude intact.If it is replaced by a fleeting negativism, rediscover the positivism throughwhole-hearted efforts, self-contemplation, and inspiring books. A newfoundsurge of positive energy helps to tone down negative circumstances. Apositive attitude acts as a protective shield against the difficulties of life (justas ozone acts as a protective shield against the ultra-violet rays of the sun;ozone is the earth’s primary filter for ultraviolet radiation). Be good. Thinkand act positive.