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

Daily Quotes 8/29

Some of the quotes I’ve selected recently have been quite long.  Length was not the objective. The message simply resonated with me. To make it up to those who like pithy phrases, this post is for you. Each phrase is meaningful and short ( ten words or less thanks in part to contractions and hyphenated words) making it highly quotable.   Try memorizing one or two of these. Then, see what happens when you cleverly slip one into your conversation, especially if it’s one of the Latin phrases.   😉

“Semper fidelis” — U.S. Marine Corp motto meaning “Always Faithful”

“Be prepared.” — Boy Scouts motto

“Jesus wept.” — Bible, John 11:35, shortest verse in the Bible


“Inches make champions.”
–- Vince Lombardi

“Underpromise and overachieve.” -– Tom Peters

“Never give up.” — Winston Churchill

“Action conquers fear.” — Pete Zarlenga

“Facta, non verba” — Deeds, not words


“Fear clogs; faith liberates.”
— Elbert Hubbard

“Facts are stubborn things.” — Ronald Reagan

“Lead from the front.” — Audie Murphy

“Gloria in excelsis Deo” — Phrase in Christian hymn meaning “Glory to God in the Highest”


“What gets measured gets done.”
-– Peter Drucker

“Your attitude determines your altitude!” –- Denis Waitley

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” — Milton Berle


“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
— Colin Powell

“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” — Kahlil Gibran

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” — Lily Tomlin


“You may delay, but time will not.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Do something wonderful; people may imitate it.” — Albert Schweitzer

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” — George Carlin


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
— Victor Borge

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy

“On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth.” — Bruce Willis (On the difference between men and women)

“On the other hand, you have different fingers.” — Steven Wright


“‘No’ puts distance between you and the wrong influence.”
— Jim Rohn

“Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.” — Ayn Rand

“There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” — Mark Twain


“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
— Charles F. Kettering

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.” — Groucho Marx

God bless,

— CC

Optimize Your Optimism

The ABC’s of Professionalism

Do you remember Winnie the Pooh’s friends Tigger and Eeyore? These characters could be used to teach a seminar on optimism and pessimism.

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

— A.A. Milne (1882-1956), “The House at Pooh Corner”, p. 11.

Tigger: Come on, Rabbit. Let’s you and me bounce.
Rabbit: Good heavens! Me bounce?
Tigger: Why, certainly! Look, you’ve got the feet for it.
Rabbit: I have?
Tigger: Sure. Come on, try it. It makes ya feel just grrreat!

— Walt Disney’s “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” (animated film), 1977.

Probably the most familiar description of optimism is a comparison to its opposite using a glass that is half full of water. To the optimist it is half full – the pessimist sees it as half empty. Some hold a different understanding of these terms.

“We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic.” — Susan Jeffers

If so, how can the very same glass be unrealistic to one and realistic to another? They are both the same glass of water. The view Jeffers describes could only originate from someone with the mindset that we live in a world where outcomes are generally unfavorable.

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” — James Branch Cabell (1879-1958), The Silver Stallion, 1926

By the way, what causes pessimists to think they need to “save” the optimists?

“An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out? — Rene Descartes

An optimist, coming from a different emotional universe, has a more positive perspective. Good or bad, he makes the best of every situation and is more productive and happier because of it.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

“I will say this about being an optimist– even when things don’t turn out well, you are certain they will get better.” — Frank Hughes

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” — Bible, Proverbs 15:15

The current downturn and volatility of the stock market along with other economic uncertainty has many people stirred up to the point of panic. Not so with one of my optimistic friends who admitted to being behind in his long-term investment goals. He correctly recognized this situation for what it is – a HUGE opportunity to catch up. Stocks-based investments are on sale at 1989 prices!

An optimist goes on an adventure, while the pessimist stays home. Maybe this is a good thing. We need people to “mind the store” while the rest of us are out living life. Great leaders are optimists. Their optimism was not the result of their climb to the top — it was the cause. They go a step further, by their inspiration.

“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet, London, November 9, 1954

“The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” — John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life … in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” — Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), Farewell Address, January 11, 1989

How can someone become more optimistic? It starts with a decision. Yes, it is possible to decide today to become more optimistic. Here are five steps to get you started.

1) Take a personal inventory — Write down all of your blessings. Focus only on the positive. If you’re pessimistic, you’ve spent enough time and effort dwelling on the negative. Post your list of blessings on your bathroom mirror, by your bed and other prominent places. Add to your list regularly.

“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” — Bible, Psalm 118:24

“Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” — Psalm 106:1

2) Seek God’s help daily — Develop your new positive attitude through prayer. Give thanks for each item on your list of blessings. Seek forgiveness for your mistakes. Ask God for strength, wisdom and guidance.

“He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

— Bible, Isaiah 40:29,31

3) Purge the negative thoughts — Throw away the negative stuff cluttering your mind. Write down your liabilities, barriers and excuses. Then tear them up and burn the pieces – literally! The next time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, take a moment to remember that purging process.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” — Bible, Romans 8:31

4) Fill your mind with positive thoughts — Without the negativity there is room for positive thoughts. Make good choices for what you read, listen to, and watch on television. Put driving time to good use — turn your car into a university on wheels. Even if you can’t feel it, your mind is hungry, too. Feed it daily!

“Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant, but not a favorite author.” — Jim Rohn (1930- ), Weekly Ezine, Issue 48 – July 26, 2000

“Before you change your thinking, you have to change what goes into your mind.” — Zig Ziglar (1926- )

5) Reinforce your positive thoughts — Start using positive language. Practice it until it becomes a habit.

Friend: “How’s it going?”
You: “OK, I guess.”

This type of response is no longer acceptable. Only words like good, great, and fabulous are worthy of an optimist.

“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.” — Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

Follow the program and you will enjoy the results. Here are some of the things you can expect from your new attitude:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson (1933- )

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell (1937- )

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.” — Patricia Neal (1926- )

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” — Anonymous

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.” — Susan J. Bissonette

Have a fabulous day!

God bless,

— CC

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© Copyright November 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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