I have found that if I ask 10 people to define “attitude”, I usually receive 10 different answers. Attitude is an important word; however, few people really understand it. Attitude seems to be easily recognized but poorly defined.
Viktor Frankl, the renowned Austrian psychiatrist, survived the Holocaust even though he was in four Nazi death camps. He had secretly been keeping a record of his observations in the camps on scraps of paper and later converted those scraps into his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl said:
Everything can be taken from a person but one thing–the last of human freedoms–to choose one’s attitudes in any given set of circumstances…to choose one’s own way.
Frankl was right. Attitude is a choice. You could be faced with a thousand problems, many or most over which you have absolutely no control. However, there is always one thing you are in complete and absolute control of and that is your own attitude.
When you surrender control of your attitude to a seemingly negative situation, you tend react to that situation. Reacting is usually inappropriate. If you were to remain objective, you would respond to the situation appropriately and thus create a winning situation.
If your attitude towards the world is good, you will tend to attain good results. Conversely, if your attitude towards the world is poor, you tend to attain poor results. If you are wondering what kind of attitude you have, Earl Nightingale had a simple test that will give you an accurate indication of what it has been like up to now. Just answer this question with a simple yes or no: Do you feel the world is treating you well?
If you answered with a quick yes, congratulations! You have a good attitude. If you answered with a no, your attitude is bad. Now if you have trouble deciding, you have an average attitude. How is that for simplicity 😉 ? Our environment is simply a reflection of our own attitude. Earl Nightingale stated that “a man’s environment is a merciless mirror of himself as a human being” . The world reflects our attitude back to us in our experiences.
There is a story of two brothers who decided to leave their hometown and move to the city:
Outside the city the first brother met an old man.
‘How are the people here?’ asked the first brother.
Well, how were the people in your hometown?’ asked the old man in return.
‘Aw, they were always grumpy and dissatisfied,’ answered the first brother. ‘There wasn’t a single one among them worth bothering about.’
‘And’, the old man said, ‘you’ll find that the people here are exactly the same!’
Later the other brother came along.
‘How are the people in this city?’ he asked.
‘How were the people in your hometown?’ the old man asked as before.
‘Fine!’ said the other brother. ‘Always cheerful, always kind and understanding!’
‘You will find that the people here are exactly the same!’ said the old man again, for he was a wise old man who knew that the attitude of the people you meet depends upon your own state of mind.
Generally speaking, if you are cheerful, frank and good-humored, you will find others to be the same.