Why a positive attitude is everything and will determine your success
What is the biggest single difference between successful and unsuccesfull people?
Why will a Positive Attitude determine your success ?
What is the biggest single difference between successful and unsuccesfull people ?
Why your attitude is your biggest asset ?

Your positive attitude will determine your success.  Your attitude is not being determined by circumstance outside your control. You can control your attitude. Therefore you do have control over your journey to success. Learn more about this attitude, the importance and how to develop it.

Attitude is the mental models that are deeply ingrained assumptions or generalizations that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. We often are not even aware of our mental models or attitudes and how they influence our behaviour (Senge, 1990:8). Our attitudes are our windows to the world, it is the way that we see the world and act towards it.
Victor Frankl was a neurologist, psychiatrist and university professor during the Third Reich, he was also a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp. He wrote that the last great freedom of humanity is attitude; that no matter how drastic or extreme the circumstance may be, we are still free to choose our attitude toward ‘what is’. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” (Zahed, 2014).
Charles R. Swindoll, author of the widely read book, The Grace Awakening, writes this about attitude, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, failures and successes and much more than what other people think, say or do.” He goes on to write that our attitudes impact our lives more than our appearance, talent or skills (Zahed, 2014
We all know the significant part our attitude plays in everyday life (Maxwell, 2010a). Attitude is everything. It governs the way we perceive the world and the way the world perceives us (Harrell 2009).
Each of us has the ability to acquire a desired result. Our attitude determines the level of our potential, produces the intensity of our activity and predicts the quality of the result we receive (Rohn, 2000). Attitude is the main difference maker (Maxwell, 2010a). Our outward existence will inevitably match what the heart and mind have already decided to do or be (Meyer, 2008). Marcus Aurelius stated that our lives are what our thoughts make it.
Our emotional nature governs most of our daily conduct; that determines our behaviour. How we feel about life’s events can either freeze us or inspire us to take action. With the right attitude, we can move mountains. With the wrong attitude, we can be crushed by the smallest grain of sand (Rohn, 2009).
Our attitude affects how successful we are, how we feel, mentally and physically and how we look, what we say and do (Fleming, 2001). It makes a difference in how we approach life. It influences our relationships with people. It influences how we face challenges. Successful people don’t have fewer problems than unsuccessful people—they just have a different mindset.
Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to be the best of the U.S. presidents, yet he probably would not have stood out as a great leader had he not led the country through the Civil War. Often the circumstances seemed to be instrumental in the creation of great leaders, but only when their attitudes are right (Maxwell, 2010a). Abraham Lincoln’s attitude was decidedly positive. He said “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. If we want to receive the rewards of life, we must choose to control our attitude (Rohn, 2000).
People who feel that the world is working against them to make their lives difficult, often have a problem with their attitude. Your attitude shows in just about everything you do—the way you carry yourself, the way you talk, the people you associate with, the decisions you make. Sometimes you can sense people’s attitudes just by looking at them. The way they walk or even the way they’re sitting can give off clues to how they’re feeling (Lee, 2011).
Attitude determines the size of our dreams and influences our determination when we are faced with new challenges. No one can control our attitude unless we voluntarily surrender that control (Rohn, 2009).
Attitude gives us the power to become who we want to become, and determines who others think we are. Who we are is a function of specific choices that we have made. We are where we are and what we are because of the dominating thoughts in our minds. We are what we think we are—not what we appear to be on the outside (Meyer, 2008).
Most of the time, we base what we do on how we feel about a certain situation. It is therefore important that we understand what determines our attitudes and how these attitudes affect our actions (Lee, 2011). This knowledge can greatly influence our reactions and decisions (Lee, 2011).

The only way to understand our attitudes is to turn the mirror inward; to learn to unearth our internal pictures of the world (Senge, 1990:9).

One of the most important steps we can take toward achieving our greatest potential is to learn to monitor our attitudes and its impact on our work performance, relationships and everyone around us (Harrell 2009). We therefore need to constantly assess our attitude toward our core life values (Zahed, 2014). There are three stages in this evaluation:

• Identify Problem Feelings—What attitudes make me feel the most negative about myself? Usually feelings can be sensed before the problem is clarified. Write them down (Maxwell, 2010b).
• Identify Problem Behaviour—What attitudes cause me the most problems when dealing with others? Write them down (Maxwell, 2010b).
• Identify Problem Thinking—What thoughts control my mind? These are not as easy to identify as the first two (Maxwell, 2010b).

For instance, you may want to give money to somebody, but feel conflicted about it. What is the feeling that is preventing the action? If there’s fear, anger, confusion, resentment or any other life-constricting feeling that’s interfering with your desire to be generous, you can ask, “Where does this feeling come from?” From my culture, from society in general, from my early family experiences, my role models, from my religious background, from a specific event or some traumatic experience related to the value of generosity (Zahed, 2014)?
Once you have detected the source of the obstacle, you may ask, “Is this attitude still true for me? Is it an accurate depiction of reality as I understand it now? Is this attitude useful or helpful for me in this phase of my life? Does this attitude help me feel happy?” If not, you can ask if there’s a different attitude you could take toward being generous (Zahed, 2014).

The first rule in winning is don’t beat yourself. Your attitude is totally in your control. You can’t control the length of your life—but you can control its width and depth. You can’t control the contour of your face—but you can control its expression. You can’t control the weather—but you can control the atmosphere of your mind (Maxwell, 2010b).
No one else “makes us angry.” We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose; not they. They merely put our attitude to a test. If we select a volatile attitude by becoming hostile, angry, jealous or suspicious, then we have failed the test. If we condemn ourselves by believing that we are unworthy, then again, we have failed the test (Rohn, 2009).
If we care at all about ourselves, then we must accept full responsibility for our own feelings. We must learn to guard against those feelings that have the capacity to lead our attitude down the wrong path, and to strengthen those feelings that can lead us confidently into a better future (Rohn, 2009).
We should live a life of choice. We cannot always choose what happens to us, but we can always choose what happens in us. Our attitude unlike other facts in our lives is something we can control and if necessary change (Zahed, 2014, Maxwell, 2010a).

Some things in life are beyond our control. We cannot change our past, predict our future, change how others act and react towards us. Some things are within our control. Our attitudes toward the areas beyond our control can make a difference. Our attitudes toward the areas that we do control will make a difference. In other words, the greatest difference we can make is within ourselves, not others.

As Swindoll writes, “I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it” (Zahed, 2014, Maxwell, 2010a).

 “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It is not easy to control your attitude. It’s hard to make yourself feel happy when you’re not (Lee, 2011). However, we all have a choice. Your mind is programmed through your own inner dialogue. This establishes your attitude, which determines how you present yourself to the world around you. You have control over the programming. Whatever you put into it is reflected in what comes out.

We can choose an inner dialogue of self-encouragement and self-motivation, or we can choose one of self-defeat and self-pity. We all encounter hard times, hurt feelings, heartache and physical and emotional pain. The key is to realize it is not what happens to you that matters; it is how you choose to respond (Harrell 2009, Lee, 2011).

Why a positive attitude is everything and will determine your success

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way”
― Henry Ford

“Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.”
― Rodolfo Costa,

We are the way we are because that’s the way we want to be. If we really wanted to be any different, we would be in the process of changing right now. If we change our attitude, we change our lives. Amy Tan stated that “If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude”. We can change anything for ourselves that we wish to change. Yet changing our attitude can be one of the most difficult things we do (Maxwell, 2010a, Rohn, 2009, Maxwell, 2010b).

The success of an attitude change is based mostly on the desire to change. When all else fails, desire alone can keep you heading in the right direction. Many people have climbed over insurmountable obstacles to make themselves better people when they realized that change is possible if they really want it badly enough (Maxwell, 2010b).

So, how do we change our attitude? We start by changing our thoughts, because they determine our actions. We can control our thoughts. Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can therefore control our feelings by learning to change the way we think (Maxwell, 2010b).

 It is that simple. Our feelings come from our thoughts. Therefore, we can change them by changing our thought patterns. Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thought. This cycle can be positive or negative. The process for developing a habit, good or bad, is the same. It is as easy to form a habit of succeeding as it is to succumb to the habit of failure (Maxwell, 2010b).

We also have to manage our attitude daily. Maintaining the right attitude is easier than regaining the right attitude (Maxwell, 2010b).

 “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value that must be protected (Rohn, 2009). We can make our attitude our greatest asset when we choose to have the right attitude (Maxwell, 2010b).

Leadership training consultant Mark Murphy tracked 20,000 new hires at Fortune 500 companies and found that nearly half of them failed within the first 18 months on the job. An overwhelming 89 percent of those failures stemmed from “attitudinal reasons,” (Taylor, 2013).

Author and educator Roger Martin told the Harvard Business Review that he once hired only “smart” candidates. After many of those high-potential employees failed, Martin turned his attention to candidates he deemed less “brittle” with a better attitude. Those workers turned out to be more successful than the “smart” candidates (Taylor, 2013).

So we have to go to work each day with a positive attitude so our colleagues can feed off that. And take steps to make sure your working environment is positive too (Taylor, 2013).

Each of us has an overall pattern of thinking that is either positive or negative. The pattern you choose affects every aspect of your life (Meyer, 2008).

A negative attitude causes you to doubt your ability to achieve, while belief in your potential allows you to take the necessary action for success (Meyer, 2008). Negative thinking creates negative results.  Positive thinking creates positive results.  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it (Chernoff, 2014). Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, your mind can achieve. Develop the complete belief that you can do anything you set out to do, develop a can-do attitude (Hill, 2011).

A positive attitude will also allow you to view challenges as opportunities rather than threats. People with negative attitudes think, “I can’t…” or “I doubt…” In contrast, each time you act from a positive attitude, your self-confidence is enhanced, your ability to achieve is proven, and you know you can succeed (Meyer, 2008). If you think you can’t – you won’t.

Positive emotions can also improve our daily physical health, which in turn keeps us working faster and longer, and therefore makes us more likely to succeed. Research shows unhappy workers take an average of 15 more sick days per year than their more joyful counterparts (Achor, 2014).

Be an optimist.  The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty (Edberg, 2014). Gandhi said: “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive because your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” 

We must replace all negative events with positive thoughts. We must override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with a conscious, positive internal voice that helps us face new directions. Our internal conversation – that little voice we listen to all day long – programs our brain and affects our behaviour. We must therefore take a closer look at what we are saying to ourselves. We can reprogram our subconscious with positive thinking through repeating positive affirmations to ourselves (Harrell 2009).

For example, if you get a parking ticket, be grateful you have a car; similarly if someone is stressed about studying, they can be grateful they can afford an education; kids being a little challenging, be grateful they are healthy enough to create the noise and that you are a parent.  A positive attitude can completely change your life. A positive attitude is an inside job. Start taking full responsibility for your attitude today (Zahed, 2014).

One good way to become a more optimistic person is to ask questions that empower you instead of making you feel like a victim. If you are in negative situation you can for instance ask yourself: what is the hidden opportunity in this situation? If we see ‘failures’ as temporary setbacks that we can learn from, we can become grateful for the valuable lessons that they teach us (Edberg, 2014b, Meyer, 2008).

We need to take care of the basics. We need to ensure that we eat, sleep and exercise right. A good lifestyle determine how we feel, think and how much energy we have. Exercise can turn around a negative mood through relatively quick positive feedback to ourselves (Harrell 2009, Edberg, 2014b, Edberg, 2014, Chernoff, 2014).

We can also motivate ourselves by discovering what motivates us. Basic motives include love, self-preservation, anger, financial gain and fear. Self-motivation requires enthusiasm, a positive outlook, a positive physiology (walk faster, smile, sit up), and a belief in yourself and your God-given potential (Harrell 2009).

Studies of the psychology of peak performance have found that most great athletes, surgeons, engineers and artists use affirmations and visualizations either consciously or subconsciously to enhance and focus their skills. Nelson Mandela has written extensively on how visualization helped him maintain a positive attitude while being imprisoned for 27 years. “I thought continually of the day when I would walk free. I fantasized about what I would like to do,” he wrote in his autobiography. Visualization works well to improve attitude (Harrell 2009).

We also need to listen to what we say. What we speak reflects what we believe about ourselves. If we find ourselves speaking judgmental and disparaging things about our circumstances or those around us, we know our attitude needs to change (Harrell 2009).

We need to cultivate enthusiasm in ourselves. Enthusiasm is to attitude what breathing is to life. Enthusiasm comes from commitment and belief in our actions. It enables us to apply our gifts more effectively; it stimulates action (Harrell 2009).

We must set the context for our days. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. So, we must make sure that we begin the day in the right way. We can, for example, do the hardest thing on our to-do list first. When it is done we feel good about it and ourselves and the context for the day is positive (Edberg, 2014, Chernoff, 2014).

We can also rewrite how we feel by how we act. We can act as according to the way we want to feel. So, smile even if you do not feel like it, be friendly. You will receive positive feedback and after a few minutes you will actually feel it for real (Edberg, 2014).

The ultimate level of human need extends into the spiritual realm. Just as we feed our bodies in response to our primary need to survive physically, we need to feed our spirit because we are spiritual beings. Many people find powerful and positive motivation in their faith (Harrell 2009).

Humour is a powerful motivator. The more humour and laughter we have in our lives, the less stress we have, which means more positive energy. There are also health benefits to lightening up (Harrell 2009).

If we are trying to change our attitude we need to stay away from forces that try to drag us back to our old mindset. We therefore have to stay away from negative, pessimistic people and watching negative television shows and news (Edberg, 2014b, Chernoff, 2014, Chow, 2013). Other people’s thoughts have a big influence and emotions are contagious. We should also replace the old negative stuff with something positive. If we have a vacuum in our lives then we are more likely to revert back to our old habits. We can for instance replace reading the newspaper with listening to personal development CDs, watching something fun or just having a good conversation with someone that is positive, funny or enthusiastic (Edberg, 2014, Edberg, 2014b). Remember surround yourself with positive, supportive people; to enjoy life, take the fun and don’t take yourself too seriously (Fleming 2001, Chernoff, 2014, Chow, 2013).

If is not possible to change to being positive overnight and it is a gradual process.  We might be able to stay positive for a little while initially, but with practice we get better. Mental fitness is like physical fitness. If you let things slide then you get out of shape and then you can’t do the things you used to do. Being positive does not mean that everything will always work out the way we plan, but it will help to keep us going in the right direction (Edberg, 2014b).

 “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”
― Coco Chanel, Believing in Ourselves: The Wisdom of Women

Our mindset or attitude controls our thinking, which controls our actions. The right attitude is therefore a basic necessity for success (Rohn, 2000, Maxwell, 2010a, Huso, 2013). Successful people do not have fewer problems than unsuccessful people, they just have a different mindset in dealing with them. When you have the right attitude, you can do the remarkable; it is one of the fundamentals necessary for a good life (Rohn, 2009).

An absolutely essential ingredient for success is a positive self-image. The world operates on the basis of the law of attraction: what you are and what you think will attract corresponding conditions. If you have a negative self-image, you attract negative results. If your self-image is positive, you attract positive results. This may appear simplistic, but it is absolutely true (Meyer, 2008).

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than the past, than education, money, circumstances, failures and successes and much more than what other people think, say or do.” Charles R. Swindol
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
“I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it” (Zahed, 2014, Maxwell, 2010a).
Why a positive attitude is everything and will determine your success.
Why a positive attitude is everything and will determine your success.
Why a positive attitude is everything and will determine your success.
  • Achor, Shawn (2014): A Joyful Attitude for a Long (and Happy) Existence Positive thinking will add years—really good years—to your life. [Online] Available from http://www.success.com/article/a-joyful-attitude-for-a-long-and-happy-existence
  • Chernoff, Marc (2014): 12 Steps to make a dream a reality. [Online] Available from http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/03/21/12-steps-to-make-a-dream-a-reality/
    Edberg, Henrik (2014): Winston Churchill’s Top 6 Fundamentals for a Successful Life. [Online] Available from http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2011/07/08/winston-churchill/
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    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-hyder-zahed/our-attitude-is-everythin_b_5777816.html
  • Huso, Deborah (2013): Get Some Attitude Serial entrepreneur Warren Stuhl on Startup Success. [Online] Available from http://www.success.com/article/get-some-attitude.
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  • Zahed, Hyder (2014): Our Attitude Is Everything. Huffpost Good News . [Online] Available from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-hyder-zahed/our-attitude-is-everythin_b_5777816.html

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