You’ve heard the saying before. It was coined by the once salesman now motivational speaker, sales coach and author, Zig Ziglar. The saying goes, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” To be more exact, the quotes actually says, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
As I thought about this quote, one I have heard and used many times before, I began thinking, yes, your attitude does significantly impact and determine how far you can go in life and business. But as I began thinking deeper, the question arose, “What is the right attitude to have? How is it created? What should be used to help shape the right attitude?”
In this episode of Life Without Limits TV, I share with you five pillars to help you create and shape the right attitude to be successful in life and business. These five pillars are instrumental for assisting you in realizing your full potential, maximizing achievement and living life without limits.
What Research Tells Us About Having the Right Attitude
In his book, Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman, proved that “negative people get sick more often, are divorced more frequently, and raise kids who get in more trouble.” In fact, studies have shown you can no longer predict someone’s success based on their IQ, GPA, or any other factor you may think.
Individuals like Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, and communications mogul and founder of CNN, Ted Turner have achieved their success without first having completed formal post secondary education. And the list dates even further back than these 20th and 21st century successful individuals. Successful men like Albert Einstein, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford have all proven that having the right attitude can take you far, very far in life and business.
When you look at the definition of the word attitude, it simply means “a mental position with regard to a fact or state” or “a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state.” When you consider these two definition, you can see the importance of your attitude and how it can impact how far you go in life. So, when it comes to determining how successful someone will be, we have to fully agree with Zig Ziglar statement, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
Why Having the Right Attitude Is Important
Take two individuals graduating from high school on the same day, but from different schools. One student is taught that he can be whatever he wants to be in life and that the only thing stopping him is himself or his attitude. Whereas the other student, is being told life is hard and he should just get a job that pays good money and benefits. Notice the attitude instilled in the second student.
As the two go through college, both are excelling, their grade point average are exactly the same, but one has already started a business that has become successful and is now working on a second. This student has the right attitude about life; believing he can be whatever he wants to be and that he can create his own destiny.
At the same time, across the country the other student is nearing his last year of college. However, he is becoming concerned with his ability to find a job in his chosen field of study once he has graduated. His attitude (the feeling or emotion toward a fact or state) and thoughts about finding a job and life after college is becoming bleak and he’s now beginning to be filled with worry and doubt. What’s more, even though he’s excelling in his studies, he’s starting to feel depressed and is now dreading how his life will turn out.
What’s the difference between the two students? It’s not their grades. It’s not their aptitude for learning. No, it’s their attitudes! One’s attitude towards the future is positive and filled with hope and dreams, whereas the other’s attitude and outlook on the future is negative. Ultimately, if the second student doesn’t adopt the right attitude his life will most likely be an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs.
5 Pillars for Creating the Right Attitude for Success
As a life success coach, when I work with an individual not having the right attitude about him or herself, whether it’s in life or business, it is my job to help the person discover the root of the negative attitude, prune limiting beliefs and create a new, positive attitude which will help him accomplish his goals, give her hope for a brighter future and shape their attitude towards a successful and prosperous life.
For the sake of time, I won’t get into how I would uncover root causes or how to prune limiting beliefs, rather I want to share five pillars that I would offer to my coaching client to get him to change his outlook on life.
Plentitude. This is by far the most difficult pillar to adopt when attempting to create and shape the right attitude for success. To many, the world we live in is lacking resources and opportunities for creating a happy and meaningful life. But this is not true and many have proven it so, even in the worse of economic conditions. The fact is we live in a world that is adequately supplied and filled with an abundance of resources and opportunities. We truly live in a state of fullness.
This type of limiting belief has become a philosophy of life, belief system edged in their minds and to their own misfortune and demise. Holding to this belief has created an attitude of lack and scarcity, breeding all sorts of fears which soon turn into hopelessness and despair. However, adopting this pillar will change your life dramatically, as it did mine, and will help shape your attitude towards a happier and successful future.
Exactitude. Even though many people have dreams and ambitions, they often time don’t accomplish their goals and see their ambitions become something tangible in their lives because of lack of clarity, focus and direction. They’re aiming for everything or for nothing at all. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” This is so true of many people, but yet they fail to realize their error.
Not knowing exactly what you want will have you missing your target and coming up empty. And naturally, if you’re trying to hit so many different targets, yet coming up empty, your attitude toward success quickly can become negative. Thoughts of inadequacy or “I’ll never be successful”, and the like becomes engrained in the mind, consequently killing dreams and just settling in life.
The pillar of Exactitude states, in simplest terms, know what you want, be clear about it and pursue it relentlessly. Additionally, being clear about what you want in life or business, helps you become more focus. And where there is focus there is increased opportunities for success.
Fortitude. Life will definitely offer it’s fair share of obstacles, roadblocks and unexpected events. To persevere through such events the right attitude must be shaped and undergirded by fortitude.
Fortitude is that relentless ability to endure and remain strong through any circumstance. When tough times hit, the way you respond will be a result of your fortitude. Develop fortitude – endurance, strength perseverance – and it will take you far in life.
Aptitude. Yes, Zig Ziglar, would say, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.” He doesn’t mean your aptitude has no part in determining your altitude. On the contrary, a big part of you succeeding in life is in what you know. What he is saying is that your aptitude does in fact plays a role, a major role, just not a greater role than your attitude. Let’s look at this further.
The word aptitude carries with it different meanings. One of which is “a natural ability.” However, if you continue to read the definitions it also means the “capacity for learning.” It is your acceptance, and consequently your belief, that you can learn something new will help create and shape the right attitude for success.
Gratitude. This last pillar is one that is not often spoken of when comes to creating and shaping the right attitude for success. But my experience can attest, as well as the experiences of many others, without the pillar of gratitude you’re only going to go so far in life.
Being grateful and expressing thankfulness not only allows you to appreciate where you’ve been, what you now have, it also builds an expectation for what’s to come. The more grateful you are, the more positive you become and the deeper your faith grows. These and other benefits builds the right attitude for success.
These and other pillars will help anyone create the right attitude to succeed and go far in life and business. I like how Lou Holtz puts it: Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
The Right Attitude Leads to Greater Heights
As with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and many others, the right attitude can take you to greater heights and new levels. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it with the right attitude. To echo the famous quote by Zig Ziglar, “It is your attitude, more than your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”
Begin creating and shaping the right attitude by adopting these pillars I’ve shared. These are foundational states of mind everyone should adopt for they will help you to make new connections, learn new skills, increase your income, live your dreams and succeed in life. With the right attitude there are no limits to who you can be, what you can do and how you can live. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.“