My aunt used to tell me, “Your attitude accounts for 90% of what you’re able to do in life,” and my life is proof of that statement.
My childhood wasn’t perfect. I grew up in poverty and witnessed friends and family die from drugs and gang wars. For a time, I succumbed to the circumstances of my life. I dropped out of high school and became an unwed teen mother. While other children were being edified with words of success, encouragement and hope, I was fed words of failure, despair and hopelessness. People told me that I would never amount to anything, and I believed them.
Your thoughts define your attitude.
Your mind is like a window that looks out to the world. If your mind is filled with thoughts of negativity, your view of the world will be altered toward this perspective. Of course, the opposite is also true. When your mind is intently focused on the positive, your attitude will shift toward a more positive outlook.
Consider this scenario:
You spent months planning a perfect beach getaway weekend. As you pack, you quietly smile in anticipation of time off from a hectic job. You’re tickled because you snagged a great deal for paying for the trip upfront. Who cares if it’s non-refundable? You’re not changing your plans for anything! You check the weather forecast to see if you need to bring a light jacket for the evening. Oh no! Thunderstorms are predicted for the entire weekend. You’re immediately filled with disappointment and dread as you think about your plans being flooded away by rain.
You are in control of your attitude.
People are unpredictable. Life is unpredictable. In either case, there are too many variables for you to control. As a result, you will face disappointment and frustration. While you cannot always control people or life’s circumstances, you can control your thoughts and your attitude – in any situation. With this control you are free to choose your response. In the midst of what may feel like losing control, you actually have it!
There is immense power in knowing that despite the swirl of changing circumstances, you have control. Claim it! The power of choice enables you to see various possibilities and can reveal untapped opportunities. Compare this to the reactionary attitude of someone who feels defeated, angry or upset. That person will react and often chooses a path that closes doors, rather than opens them.
Your attitude can open doors, or close them.
Your attitude is like a fine wine or a bitter poison. People know from the first sip the kind of attitude you carry. If you have a negative attitude, chances are it came from past baggage such as, self-doubt, self-hatred, low self-esteem, or unforgiveness. These internal feelings cloud your outlook. They make you toxic like a bitter poison. As a result, people avoid you for fear of being poisoned themselves. You miss opportunities and you’re robbed of chances to reach your full potential. Choose to be the fine wine. Choose a positive attitude.
Your attitude is your turnaround.
In the past, my attitude was a bitter poison that negatively affected my life. Until one day, I made a choice. I decided to take back my power to choose, accepted responsibility for my situation and actively moved to change my circumstances. I completed my education and pursued my dream full force. That choice was powerful as I realized how my aunt’s statement, “Your attitude accounts for 90% of what you’re able to do in life,” radically changed my life then, and continues to impact it today.
I’d love to hear how your attitude shaped your life. Please add your experiences and thoughts by commenting on this post.