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Your Attitude Determines your Altitude!!

15 May 2015

A small boy-the fifth amongst seven siblings of a poor father sold newspapers in a small village to earn his living. He was not exceptionally smart at school, but was always fascinated by rockets. His motivation and passion led this poor boy to build his first rocket, however it crashed. But he didn’t give up. The first missile he built too crashed a number of times, as a result of which he was ridiculed by most people around him each day. Most people would have given up at this stage, but he was determined to succeed, and as a result today, he is the man to have scripted the space Odyssey of India single handedly, he is the man all of us know and the man is none other than Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.


“Confidence, Positive Thinking and hard work is the best medicine to kill the disease failure. It will make you a successful person.” Dr. Kalam


Positive thinking is a mental attitude that produces constructive results. Positive thinking brings inner satisfaction, happiness, peace and better health; improves relationships and attracts success into your life. While we all have this powerful tool, many of us are not aware of it!


We all meet people each day who are either always complaining about their manager or co-workers, their jobs or their companies; while we all may also know a few people who seldom complain of things or people around them.

Why do you think the difference exists between the two sets of people?

Is it that the people who are perpetual complainers have a lot of challenges while people with positive attitude have no challenges or problems at all? The fact is that each one of us face a unique set of challenges every day in different shapes and sizes. But what makes the difference is how we view a situation. Seeing the glass half empty or half full depends solely on our attitude.


Sit back and think who out of the two sets of people mentioned above are more successful?


Research unequivocally confirms that your attitude is one of the most important if not THE most important factor in your success. For instance, in a research by Dr. Martin Seligman, for studying the relationship between positive attitudes and sales success at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, he discovered that the agents who scored in the top half for optimism, sold 37% more than those in the more pessimistic bottom half.

More notable still, the agents who scored in the top 10% for optimism sold 88% more than those who ranked in the most pessimistic 10%.Hence, proving a positive relation between positive attitude and success? A reason behind this correlation may be that since positive emotions are associated with approach-oriented behavior (Elliot & Thrash, 2002; Watson, Wiese, Vaidya, &Tellegen, 1999), people in a good mood are more likely to enter novel situations, interact with other people, and pursue new goals (Carver, 2003).

Another factor could be that positive emotions also signal that life is good and that no threats are readily apparent (Cantor et al., 1991; Carver &Scheier, 1998). According to Fredrickson (1998, 2001), a safe and comfortable environment allows one to “broaden and build” intellectual, social, and physical resources, which can be called on in later times of need.

It may also be said that happy people have a higher degree of autonomy in their jobs than their less happy peers and that such increased control of the environment may buffer against burnout (Spector, &Kelloway, 2000). Armed with previously acquired resources and primed to pursue new goals, people who experience positive affect are particularly well suited to experience success.


Moreover, not only does an individual with positive attitude experience greater success, but also in turn affects the success of its organization as a whole. According to studies, success or failure of an organization is based on its employees’ positive attitudes rather than other factors. Positive attitudes of organization’s people lead to individual and organizational success (Sharafaddin, 2009).

A study released in May, 2014 by Bright Horizons, a provider of employer-sponsored child care, education, and work/life solutions, found that 89% of employees with high levels of well-being reported high job satisfaction and nearly two thirds of those employees reported consistently putting in extra effort at work thus indicating that happy employees are also more productive employees.


Have you ever noticed that the employees with the most positive attitudes in the workplace have the most friends? People want to be around them. Employees with positive attitudes tend to be more productive because they always see the accompanying opportunity with every challenge and know how to retrain their brains to spot patterns of possibility, so they can see—and seize—opportunities wherever they look. A phenomenon, commonly known as the Tetris Effect.


Another phenomenon suggests that the human mind has the power to turn wishes into reality through positive thinking. According to a Stanford Research Institute study - success is 88 percent positive thinking, and only 12 percent education


Furthermore, Scientists have found a physiological explanation for the power of positive thinking. When optimists and pessimists attempt the same task, their different attitudes are reflected in different neural activities in their brains. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (2010) found that participants in brain-scanning experiments who thought they were doing well on a complex task had greater neural activity in a high-level area of the brain called the posterior parietal cortex (PPT).

Different neural activity was observed in the brains of participants who thought they were doing poorly.The results suggested that personal attitudes may pre-program individuals to succeed if they are optimists, and protect themselves against failure if they are pessimists. In other words, in the Caltech experiments, changes in how the brains "lit up" depended on how the participants thought they had performed, not on whether they were successful or not. Thus, individuals who are optimists and believe they are doing well, will put out the most effort, and exhibit an increase in activity in their PPC, as compared to their pessimistic counterparts.


Thus, a positive attitude can boost your energy, heighten your inner strength, inspire others, and build fortitude to meet difficult challenges. According to research from the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can increase your life span, decrease depression, reduce levels of distress, provide greater resistance to the common cold, offer better psychological and physical well-being, reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and enable you to cope better during hardships and times of stress.


Developing positive attitudes at work however isn’t easy. As with everything in life, you need practice.

Some of the tips which may help you convert your attitude into positive attitude are:


1. You are in control – Your attitude is your choice. You have total control over your attitude and no one else can influence or change this. This is not to say that you don’t have bad days. but you have the ability to     re-frame how you are feeling and become positive.


2. You are accountable –You should be accountable for your work and for the things in your life. Being accountable means you no longer blame others for things that are going on in your life. No excuses.


3. Set realistic, achievable goals- There’s nothing wrong with setting a high bar — unless you beat yourself up for not achieving your goals. The key is to build confidence by setting realistic goals and by hitting a lot of singles rather than swinging for the fences.


4. Be Optimistic  Believing in yourself, in your team, in your colleagues and in your family is important for success. By being optimistic and consciously avoiding negative thinking, you will be able to get those around you to follow your lead and go in the same direction.


5. Be Solution Oriented – If you have a challenge at home or at work then that is a reality of life.  Your attitude will determine how you approach this challenge. Life is all about prioritizing the things that matter most in your life and focusing your efforts in these areas. This means that trivial things that go wrong every day shouldn’t get you down. Learn to address or ignore small issues and move on. With a positive attitude you will be solution oriented. Instead of letting challenges overwhelm you, turn them into opportunities. Rather than hitting the wall, climb over it or go around.


6. Show Gratitude – Being gracious means seeing the good in people and situations and expressing your appreciation. Those with a negative attitude rarely say thank you and may not see the value in others.  Each day focus on saying thank you and showing that you value a person’s contribution to your life or your work.


7. Surround yourself with positive people- Spend time with people who are positive, supportive, and who energize you. Remember, if you get too close to a drowning victim, she/he may take you down too. Pick a positive person instead!


8. Seek Professional Counseling- Going to a professional psychologist will help you break your negative thought cycle and challenge disruptive cognitions, thereby help you transform your attitude and thoughts positively.


Finally, if you want to achieve happiness, better health, stronger relationships, and continued success, you may not have to look any further than the mirror. Always remember that if we get the mindset right, it is more likely to lead to skills being developed as a consequence.The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.


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Tags: #Attitude #Altitude #Success