Attitudes are Underrated

Attitudes are Underrated

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.


About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Attitudes are really everything and especially when we’re up against a transition or a difficult time is when I really need to make an inner change.
    Dorit Sasson
    Giving a Voice to Your Story

  2. Love the idea that I should always stay positive no matter how dreadful my day is going.

  3. Attitudes are everything and they are something that we control. So true. We can choice to be a glass half empty person or a glass 3/4 full person. I choice the full glass any day.

    Great post and quotes. Thank you for sharing.

  4. There was a saying here that applies to those who emigrated here from UK. Those who are not happy with there move need to “take the cure”. That is, they need to go back home for a visit to appreciate everything they have here. A slightly different take on the old man and the boy but the same principal – it is all about attitude.
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  5. So true, Rachel! My wife and I are facing some serious challenges right now. We can let them destroy us or define us, but with the right attitude they strengthen us.

    You reminded me, too, that I have a copy of Frankl’s book which I have been intending to read. It’s definitely time to do so!

    Thanks for a stimulating post, and helping me restore my attitude 🙂

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  6. Rachel, What a great reminder to maintain a positive attitude even in the face of adversity! Your attitude effects all your experiences in life both negative and positive. If you stay positive you will attract good experiences. Thanks for sharing Viktor”s and the two brothers stories.
    Shelley Alexander recently posted…Orange Coconut YogurtMy Profile

  7. Our Pastor just told that story a couple of weeks ago at church. 🙂 It is so true, your attitudes shape your surroundings so often instead of the other way around.
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  8. Hello Rachel! Love this, it is important to learn that attitude is a choice. Life happens Right? It is up to decide how we are going to take it, A Positive Attitude is such a better choice. Thanks for the great reminder.. Chery :))
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  9. I love that last part about the two brothers who asked how the people are in their new town. I totally agree with your conclusion! But I think the whole concept of changing one’s attitude is more complicated. It can be affected by illness, by hardship, by unresolved issues. And changing it can seem like pushing a boulder uphill. I still think that’s the goal, but it’s helpful to know that if you’re finding it difficult, there is probably a good reason.
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  10. Hi Rachel,
    I couldn’t agree more, although sometimes it is harder then other times to keep up a good attitude. I do try!