We Are Responsible For Our Attitudes

Our destinies in life will never be determined by our complaining spirits or high expectations. Life is full of surprises, and the adjustment of our attitudes is a lifelong project.

The pessimist complains about the wind.
The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts the sails.

We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice. I am amazed at the large number of adults who fail to take responsibility for their attitudes. If they’re grumpy and someone asks why, they’ll say, “I got up on the wrong side of the bed.” When failure begins to plague their lives, they’ll say, “I was born on the wrong side of the tracks.” When life begins to flatten out and others in the family are still climbing, they’ll say, Well, I was in the wrong birth order in my family.” When their marriages fail, they believe they married the wrong person. When someone else gets a promotion they wanted, it’s because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Do you notice something? They are blaming everyone else for their problems.

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.

—Developing the Leader Within You – John Maxwell



Give People Energy

Psychologist Henry H. Goddard conducted a study on energy levels in children using an instrument he called the “ergograph.” His findings are fascinating. He discovered that when tired children were given a word of praise or commendation, the ergograph showed an immediate upward surge of energy in the children. When the children were criticized or discouraged, the ergograph showed that their physical energy took a sudden nosedive.

You may have already discovered this intuitively. When someone praises you, doesn’t your energy level go up? And when you are criticized, doesn’t that comment drag you down? Words have great power.

What kind of environment do you think you could create if you continually affirmed people when you first came into contact with them? Not only would you encourage them, but you would also become an energy carrier. Whenever you walked into a room, the people would light up! You would help to create the kind of environment everyone loves. Just your presence alone would brighten people’s days.

—25 Ways to Win with People – John Maxwell