#180WordOfTheWeek – Attitude
#180WordOfTheWeek -14 Nov 2016
By Mohale Wamorena
An American author once told a story about a four year old boy who had been misbehaving. His mother tried her best to reprimand him, but he would not seem to listen to her. So she instructed him to sit on a chair in the corner of a room and not move, but when the little boy took his seat, he defiantly said to his mother “Mommy, I am sitting on the outside, but I am standing on the inside”. Those of us who have spent some time with little children would know that they can be cheeky and defiant at the best of times, so many of us would relate to this story. What is striking about it, however, is that as recalcitrant as this little boy may have been, there was perhaps unwittingly, a degree of wisdom in his words. Many times we allow external experiences to shape our internal perspective on life and that couldn’t be further from what is right.
It was James Allen – an accomplished psychologist in the USA who declared: “It is impossible to travel within and stay still without”. In other words, that which is happening on the inside eventually affects what is happening on the outside. This is the central point of attitude. It has to do with the inherent state of your mind and your heart, such that it matters very little what the external reality is, if it is in contradistinction to the internal reality. By definition, attitude is a way of thinking and feeling that is expressed through behaviour. Sometimes people do behave a certain way because they want to present a certain attitude, but these pretenses are never sustainable – ultimately your true thoughts and feelings will find expression. Your true attitude will be revealed. Attitude is extremely important because it is about perspective. It is about disposition. It is about the manner in which you see the world and life in general. This is important because your experience of life can never transcend your perspective on life.
It reminds me of a story I once read, concerning a grandfather who had been visiting his grandchildren. Being a man who had come of age, playing with the little children wearied him so he decided to take a nap. Whilst he slept, the little rascals decided to smear Limburger Cheese on his beard. A moment later the elderly man was awoken by the uncomfortably strong smell of Limburger cheese and thought to himself ‘Something stinks in this bedroom’. So he stepped into the kitchen. To his surprise, the kitchen also stank. So he decided that maybe he should go out into the garden and get some fresh air – only to discover, to his absolute shock, that the garden also stank. Out of frustration, he belted out “The whole world stinks!” This is precisely how some of us walk through life when we have “Limburger cheese” on our beards. We walk through life thinking that the world stinks, but the reality is that we are the ones who carry that stench around everywhere we go through our stinking attitudes.
It was the famous personal development author – Steven R. Covey, who in his timeless best-seller – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – said “we see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it.” Attitude is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest determinant of one’s success or failure. This is why somebody once said that attitude is your way to altitude. You cannot achieve greatly positive things in any arena of your life, without a greatly positive attitude. Afropolitan, your attitude must assimilate your hopes and desires in life. A negative attitude will only get you negative results. Think about all the areas of your life concerning which you have a negative perspective and make a deliberate decision today, to adjust your attitude. Am I suggesting that you can find something positive in anything? Emphatically, yes. Adjust your attitude and make progress in your life.