Your Attitude Determines Your Success
The following blog post is adapted from Chapter Seven of my book, 'You the Leader', available here.
'Keep your heart (attitude) with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.'
Attitude is everything. In this verse from Proverbs, Solomon admonished us to guard our hearts, our inner attitudes, with 'all' diligence because all the issues of life spring from that source.
Paul told us that faith, hope and love are the highest attitudes we can nurture within: 'And now these three remain: faith, hope and love' (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV). Certainly these are the most powerful characteristics of the inner life. Let me give you five others as well. These are imperative to success:
1. A Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is imperative to bring anything to pass. It is vital we see the upside of everything. We've all met people from the negative crowd; their views are cynical, suspicious, and depressing. To be positive, however, is the key to identifying opportunity and brightening others around you. Everything is attracted to light; they are attracted to a positive view.
2. A Willing Attitude
Willingness is an enormous key to success in life. It's difficult to get unwilling personalities to do anything; they always have a reason why they can't do things. I love the 'can-do' crowd. Success comes in a 'can', not a 'cannot'! Working with a team of willing people is a dream. No problem is so big that can't be solved. No dream is impossible. Achievement doesn't have a lot to do with faith, education, or talent, but everything to do with the simple attitude of willingness.
3. A Thankful Attitude
Thankfulness triumphs over just being positive because it brings God and others into our bright view of life, and because it invokes a humble heart. On the other hand, there are times when being positive simply becomes cold, insensitive arrogance. If we're thankful, we acknowledge that it wasn't our prowess that accomplished anything. Thankfulness places credit where credit is due.
4. A Joyful Attitude
Humor is part of a great attitude. Humor begins by never taking yourself too seriously. I can't remember meeting a great leader yet who did not possess an equally great sense of humor. Humor reveals sanity. People more easily trust someone who is able to laugh at genuinely funny things than those who have outlawed any expressions of happiness from their emotions. Humor allows us to see the lighter side of life. This, in itself, is a relief from the pressures of leadership.
5. A Motivated Attitude
Motivation is an attitude - it's a spirit of continual enthusiasm. Motivation is an attitude of going for it. 'Let's make things happen!' is how leaders think. Leaders don't wait to see what will happen; they make things happen. In order to keep ourselves in the 'can-do' and 'do-it-now' attitude, we have to continually fill our motivation tank with all the motivators we can lay our hands on. Surrounding ourselves with positive people who believe in what we're doing and who encourage us fills the motivation tank.