What is Attitude, Really?

Attitude IS Everything!

Why?  Because attitude influences everything we say and do.  Winston Churchill explained it this way…  “Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference.”  Another wise man, W. Clement Stone, had his own definition.  “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude and the big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

Today’s message is dedicated to some game-changing attitudes.

Work Ethic…
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
    
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Forward or Backward…
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”
    
– Henry Ford

Emotional Response…
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”
    
– John C. Maxwell

Potential…
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
    
– Zig Ziglar

Choice…
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Excellence…
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
– Colin Powell

Relationships…
“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.”
– Earl Nightingale

You can learn a lot about your own attitudes by looking back at certain actions you took and the ones you neglected.  You can also predict which actions you will take and its probable outcomes by recognizing and understanding your attitudes.  For example, what is your attitude about personal and professional development?  How will this attitude impact your life?  Zig Ziglar would have responded this way…

“You were born to win. But to be the winner you were born to be, you gotta plan to win and prepare to win. Then and only then can you legitimately expect to win.”
– Zig Ziglar

An Ancient Life-changing Story

Aesop’s fable, The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, teaches an important character lesson — the consequences of impatience and greed.

There once was a farmer who had a special goose that laid an egg of solid gold every day. One day, assuming that his goose was filled with gold, the farmer decided to cut it open to get the gold all at once. Instead, he discovered there was no gold inside and realized there would be no more gold for him.

The powerful lesson of this story has been largely forgotten and replaced with new cultural norms such as the “instant gratification” we seek and the “junk food” we feed our minds.  Such attitudes and their subsequent behaviors go against the wisdom of the ages.  But, even when we know better, we are influenced by the cultural mantra that says, “Give me more gold and give it to me NOW!  I need it and I deserve it”

Our culture is a mess, a downright UGLY MESS!  Zombies, monsters, thugs and other human train-wrecks have become the icons of our culture. Immoral and unprofessional behaviors are cool!  For many, texting, video games and random sniffing about the Internet are today’s engagement addictions.  It gets worse. These addictions spread like a virus and have the power to inspire and empower antisocial and even dangerous behaviors.  Our sick culture is constantly setting traps that kill our geese.  Unfortunately, the geese don’t see the dangers.

“You are what you are and you are where you are
because of what has gone into your mind.

You change what you are and you change where you are
by changing what goes into your mind.”

― Zig Ziglar

Yes, the culture is a mess and it’s time for me to reveal that you don’t have a gooseYou ARE the goose!  You were born with the capacity to produce golden eggs.  The key is to protect yourself and develop your potential by separating yourself from a sick culture that is out to steal your golden eggs and take your life.

The solution is to step away from the culture by making positive changes that restore your values and redefine your priorities accordingly.  You must decide to take care of yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.  Exercise and replace junk food with wholesome food that helps the goose get well physically.  Choose to put “cheap, sleazy” entertainment where it belongs, in the trash can.  Make better use of your calendar.  Schedule time every week to learn and practice.  Each positive choice, put into action, takes you one step closer toward wellness and the golden eggs of your true potential.  But here’s the most important part.  Unless you place God at the heart of this restoration effort, the ugly alternative is for you to remain a sick goose!

“What you feed your mind determines your appetite.” ― Tom Ziglar

Up to this point I’ve pointed mostly toward the geese that need the most help.  Hopefully you have risen above the cultural sickness.  Congratulations!  You are enjoying as more fulfilling life AND are leading others by your example!  Here’s my challenge.  Can you do a little bit more?  Are you willing to learn the art and power of engagement so you can influence others to become healthy golden egg producers?  It’s not as hard as you might think.  There are many small, simple things you can incorporate into your busy routine that will make a dent in our sick culture.  Visit CrossAbilities.com for the next engagement event AND some free resources.  These will help you be a goose that leads others toward a better life.

Visit:  CrossAbilities.com

Zig Said Chuck Said This…

“Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…We are in charge of our attitudes.”

— Charles Swindoll, quoted in “Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar”.

EVERY Small Thing Matters!

I frequently talk about the small things that transform lives. I usually do so from a positive perspective. For example, a smile or a compliment can brighten someone’s day. Let’s turn it around and see if the principle also works in a negative manner. We’ll explore it with the following questions.

  • How many times does an adult have to use profane or vulgar language before a child mimics the words?
  • How many times must a person drink and drive before they cause a fatal accident?
  • How many acts does it take to start a bad habit?
  • How much LSD is too much?
  • How long does one second feel when you’ve already held your breath for 60 seconds?
  • How many times must we neglect or offend someone before they are hurt emotionally?
  • How long will “a donut a day” be a harmless habit?
  • Can you get a $4.00 car wash if you’re one coin short?
  • From Chris DiMarco’s perspective, how important was a centimeter when Tiger Woods ball sat still on the edge of hole #16 at the 2005 Masters’ Tournament before it eventually trickled in?
  • From silver medalist Milorad Cavic’s perspective how important was 1/100 of a second when Michael Phelps won the 100 meter butterfly event in the 2008 Olympics at Beijing?
  • How important is 1/10th of a grade point in a race to be Valedictorian.
  • How important could one more SAT point be on an application to Harvard University?
  • How important is one punctuation mark?
    • I’m sorry I love you.
    • I’m sorry; I love you.

Is there an element of luck, good or bad, in the outcomes of these small matters? Perhaps sometimes, but I believe our chosen actions, at the very least, play with probability even when they don’t directly determine results. Instead of assuming we’re merely on the receiving side of luck, we should ask, “What did I do to shift the odds in my favor?  What will I do differently the next time to assure a more positive outcome?”

Zig Ziglar said, “Every choice you make has an end result.” Our beliefs, attitudes and actions are choices that influence outcomes.  He also said, “The choice to have a great attitude is something that nobody or no circumstance can take from you.” These choices, whether one-and-done or habitual, are real regardless of whether the matter at hand is small or large; positive or negative; important or irrelevant.

What choices will you make today with greater care than yesterday?  Visit www.CrossAbilities.com to see available choices waiting for you to decide.