Attitude: The key to greatness!

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Do you ever wonder what is takes a great person to be great? How come all great persons are vibrant? How can they get over negative circumstances so fast? How does their life manifest positive results so frequently?

Well most of their traits can be clubbed under one umbrella called : The Attitude.

There is a motivational quote:

[tweetthis]It is your attitude not your aptitude that determines your altitude.~Zig Ziglar [/tweetthis]

This is how important it is. Aptitude comes secondary. First is attitude.

Pic courtesy:

Pic courtesy:


You may have come across many usages of attitude both positive and negative. e.g. xyz celebrity is full of attitude (pride). Why do you have so much attitude (pride in negative sense). He has good attitude (positive sense).  But what precisely attitude is?

Wikipedia defines attitude as – an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object).

A simpler and practical definition would be “The perspective with which you choose to view your life and everything in it”.

This definition removes a lot of ambiguities in the use of word attitude.

But the most important thing I like about this definitions is that it implies that the attitude is a Choice. (the perspective with which you choose….)

It is upto us with which perspective we view our lives. Hence if we want to be great like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama,  George Washington, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett etc we have the choice to tune our attitude to their attitudes. Warren Buffett believes in simple living and high thinking. This is his attitude. Steve Jobs believed in innovation and individualism. Bill Gates believes in philanthropy and using technology to make a difference in the world. Abraham Lincoln believed in equality. Mahatma Gandhi believed in Ahimsa or non-violence and living life with high moral values.

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

 ~Oprah Winfrey

One common thread in above examples is that these people had a strong positive attitude towards the life. They believed in something positive and gave thousand percent of their efforts to be true to this attitude. Second they lived their attitude continuously for year and years together. This is what made them great people.

But we realise that not everyone want to become Barack Obama or Mahatma Gandhi etc. We want to lead our lives and at the same time make most of it. Attitude is the key to make most out of our lives. A person who holds a strong positive attitude lives his life more fully than a person who continuously wallows in self pity.

With a positive attitude you can make a great difference in your life and the lives of people around you – your family and friends. Parents with positive attitude raise happier and confident children. These children are more likely to be happier than their counterparts.

An employee with a positive attitude is an asset to an organization and an employee with a negative attitude is a liability to his organization.

If there is one takeaway you want from this post then it would be:

We are hired for our skills and fired for our attitudes.

This is true not only in employment but in general day to day dealings as well.  We are accepted for our skills but later on rejected for our attitudes.

Whenever negative happens to us we get in to self-pity or blaming mode. Rather we should ask ourselves : Is it really other person’s fault or did I deserve it due to my attitude? You will be surprised how often the answer will be the attitude. But what to do in case it is genuinely other person’s fault. In that case ask yourself : How can I get out of (or not fall into at the first place) negative emotions of self-pity and/or blaming, through positive attitude? The answer will help you move on with the life rather than getting stuck in the past forever.

Remember we have only so many years to live on this earth. Life is too short to hold grudges.

Hence use positive attitude to snap out of the negative emotions and start living life to the fullest and start working towards your dreams.

I would like to close this post with this positive video called “To the crazy ones” by Steve Jobs:


Note: You may also like to read my follow up post on 8 Ways to develop positive attitude in life.