Why is it that attitude is everything? Does that one little word have such an impact? Well, yes it can, on both the inside and outside. It’s definition from the Oxford Living Dictionaries is, a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.
Interestingly, this dictionary also describes the North American informal meaning as, truculent or uncooperative behavior. The word originated from the late 17th century and was more to do with the placing or posture of a figure in art. It’s interesting how the meaning has more recently become to be seen as negative rather than positive.
If a person is described as having attitude, they are usually perceived in a negative way. This doesn’t do the word justice! Having an attitude can be a very good thing, it can also be used to describe challenging what’s seen as the norm and needs to be changed.
The Importance of Attitude in Life
The reality is that we all have attitude, we can’t help it because we think and feel about things. A bad attitude can be a problem although sometimes it’s a perceived bad attitude. Just because a person thinks someone has a bad attitude, that person (with the attitude) may not see it that way.
We all have highs and lows in our lives, they come along one after another, but we never know when the next will arrive. Our attitude to these situations will make all the difference to how we deal with them.
In fact, it goes further than making a difference to how we deal with different situations, it has an impact on the direction of our life. A positive attitude is what you need, but that doesn’t mean you have to think everything in the garden smells of roses. Your attitude can bring about change, not just for you, but others too.
Good, Bad, positive or Negative
Describing an attitude as good or bad isn’t very helpful. If I see something I don’t like, my attitude towards it might not be good, but it doesn’t mean it’s negative. I recently saw a TV documentary about the crime problem in the north side of Milwaukee where many of the locals have a very negative attitude towards the police, authority and the system.
Those people don’t see their attitude as bad because they feel mistreated and let down by the system. They might even believe their attitude is good for them because it helps to protect them and get them through what is a very difficult situation to be in.
I believe it’s difficult to define a good or bad attitude, but it’s easy to define a positive or negative one. Having a negative attitude is unlikely to do you any favors, while a positive attitude, even if some people see it as a bad one, can lead to greater things.
Why a Positive Attitude is Everything
Your attitude determines your behavior, which determines your situations and circumstances. Taking a positive attitude should contribute to a positive outcome. Positive is productive while negative can be destructive.
It’s easy to have a negative attitude to a bad situation, but harder to have a positive one to it, even though it would more likely have a better outcome. We should take responsibility for our situations and circumstances because it gives us the power to change them.
A Stanford Research Institute (SRI) study found that the path to success is 88% attitude and 12% education. Some might say that says a lot about education, but it says much more about having the right (positive) attitude.
We all act from learned behaviour and what has happened to us in life. That doesn’t mean that if life’s been bad for you that you’ll be a bad person or have a negative attitude. There are many successful people who only got to where they are because they were so determined to escape a bad situation. They did that by having a positive attitude.
Attitudes can become habits, a way of life. This can mean you end up having a negative attitude to a good situation because of a previous bad situation or circumstance. If you carry a negative attitude, you’ll most likely make life tough for yourself. If so, who’s to blame?
The secret is to find a way to stay positive no matter what, which isn’t easy but will help to make your outlook change. Even if life has dealt you a bad set of cards, not everything in your life is bad, look for the positives. Your attitude is yours, you own it and only you can make it positive or negative. If attitude is everything, surely there is only one type you should choose?