Attitude is an internal decision. No outside force can make me feel better or worse without my allowing it do so. Eleanor Roosevelt said it well, “No one can make you feel bad without your permission.” If I choose to face each day, each moment with a positive attitude - then I have already set my self up for success.
It also sets a purpose for the day, the meeting, the deadline, etc. Attitude dictates our ability to accomplish goals from the outset. Rather than work hard and hope for good luck, I choose to dictate the environment into which I put myself. Linebacker Ray Lewis stated it like this: “There are thermometer leaders and thermostat leaders. One reads the temperature of the room and adjusts himself to that temperature, while the other man sets the temperature.”
When I have chosen the positive state of mind, I can engage the full capacity of what my mind is able to comprehend. I can commit to train. I can dream big at this point. I can also hyper-focus on the task at hand. In high level military training like the Navy S.E.A.L.s, they are constantly trained to see the primary objective and not stray until its completion. Once the objective has been accomplished, they immediately move on to the next objective. It is this single-minded methodology that makes them elite warriors.
Life will distract us at points, but if I have first chosen what my attitude will be, I can remain committed and vigilant to the task at hand. After I have completed enough tasks - a goal will have been met because of my attitude and my chosen commitment.
Effort is simply the outflow of the first two principles. Your efforts to learn and achieve will be measured based on your attitude and commitment towards a goal. Full concentration cannot makeup for a so-so attitude. Full effort with a poor attitude or sub-par commitment, is simply misguided activity - not progress. Not to make light of it, but that type of misguided effort is perfectly played out when Harry and Lloyd miss the turn to Aspen in Dumb & Dumber and drive a sixth of the way across the country in the wrong direction!
Mistakes will be made, errors will occur, bad things will happen; but these three components (ATTITUDE, COMMITMENT, EFFORT) are interconnected and each successive one, depends on the previous. Otherwise, it is a blind squirrel finding a nut. Luck can happen, but opportunity can be manufactured by adhering to these principles. Essentially, this becomes an argument for a competent plan versus an incompetent series of events. Both yield results, but a well-laid plan with a competent process will produce far better outcomes. I will choose A.C.E. to be my motto. Will you?
Next… How to build a plan and set goals