“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill
In daily life, we are presented with messages that are intended to shape attitudes and opinions, and we form perceptions based on every experience we have. In general, attitudes are how we feel about things. It is the opinions and beliefs, whether negative or positive in nature, that are developed about people, places, and things. Attitudes can be based on:
- Affect or feeling
- Cognitions or belief and knowledge
- Behaviors or actions
- Some combination of these elements
Little by little we form an attitude about life and the way the world works, though if we’re not careful we can fail to recognize how fundamental our attitude really is.
How attitudes relate to success
Attitudes often predict behavior, and conversely, there are many situations where an individual’s behavior can change their attitude. We hold stronger attitudes toward different areas of our life, and there are certain convictions, that no matter what we hear to the contrary, we aren’t going to change our mind. This can of course be positive and empowering, or it can inhibit and prevent us from making change to improve our life. Consider your attitude toward different areas of life. Where do you notice very strong beliefs, opinions, and convictions? Particularly consider an area of your life not going as well as you would like. How do you feel about this area? What are your feelings about the place or setting, and the activities and people involved? Areas where attitude can either inhibit or enhance success:
- Money and finances
- Career and work
- Friends and family
- Socializing in general
- Happiness and emotions
- Outlook toward the future
- Religion or spirituality
- Exercising and health
- Your daily responsibilities
- Managing time and energy
Do you have a positive or negative attitude toward these areas? Are you cynical, discouraged, and hopeless, or do you feel a sense of hope, excitement, and control? How you feel about these areas will significantly impact the outcomes and overall success you experience. Are you feeling empowered or defeated? Focusing our attention incessantly on matters that disturb us keeps us disturbed, and our obsession with problems leaves no room for solutions. If we want something to change in life we must search for the potential and opportunity to grow and develop. A positive attitude results in enthusiasm, vitality, optimism, and enjoyment. A negative attitude can drain enthusiasm and energy, and lead to discouragement and discontent, which will only keep us stuck in our problems.
Feel in control and empower yourself
What do you believe controls what happens to you? Are you responsible for your own fate or do situations and circumstances determine what happens? Having a sense of control helps us to feel liberated and free to move beyond struggles. There is a psychological theory called locus of control, which has a big impact on our attitude.
- Internal Locus of Control – Feeling personally responsible for what happens and the outcomes that occur.
- External Locus of Control – Feeling the environment is in control of what happens and how things will turn out.
Having an internal locus of control offers a sense of mastery and competence when things turn out well, and provides positive feelings about us, the situation, and activity. On the other hand if you feel out of control, it becomes difficult to cope and deal with what is happening, and you may feel trapped. This is a scary feeling. Don’t jeopardize your future outlook and attitude. Know that you are charged with the responsibility to decide your own fate.
Believe you can achieve
Do you believe you will be successful in a particular situation or not? Believing you can achieve something is perhaps the most important ingredient in the recipe for success. If you have negative feelings toward something, it’s not likely you will perform well. If you want to achieve a goal or improve in a certain area, work to improve your attitude about this activity along with your self-confidence in your ability.
Develop your attitude and philosophy
11 other amazing bloggers and I have been developing the ebook The Great Life Philosophies: Advice for Significant and Successful Living. The book offers incredible insight and wisdom about how to develop and discover your personal values, true potential, inner-strength, and personal insight to help you experience a successful and significant life. I feel a life philosophy is very similar to the attitudes we hold. A philosophy is how we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us, and it comes from the thoughts and experiences we have. In turn our philosophy impacts our actions and behavior, which ultimately impacts our life. When it comes down to it, our philosophy and attitude impacts the type of life we’ll live. Do you have a life philosophy? For greater knowledge you can download the ebook shortly. It’s totally free and will be released the week after Valentine’s Day! You can download from this blog or one of the many contributors’ blogs, so stop back here for more information to come, and please leave your comments below about this post and your perspective on how attitude impacts your life! Photo credit: tibchris