Attitude changes everything

By Henrylito D. Tacio


I am sure you have encountered these people before. There is this woman who buys almost anything just to make her look beautiful. Another woman thinks she’s beautiful and believes that beauty is skin deep.

I know of a chief executive officer who is not contented because he wants more money. On the opposite side is a regular worker who is happy because he knows he could not bring any wealth when he dies.

When I was still in college, I came to know a student who cheated because he badly wanted to pass the examination. A classmate, who studied hard, failed but still managed to say, “There is always next time.”

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference,” commented American best-selling author W. Clement Stone. “The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its successful outcome,” reminds psychologist William James. “Attitude is everything,” points out actress and model Sasha Azebedo.

“We cannot change our past,” declares Charles R. Swindoll. “We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”

Whether you’re happy or lonely, it all boils down to attitude. “Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill,” says W.C. Fields.

We are convinced that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it. “Happiness is an attitude,” Francesca Reigler states. “We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

There was a poor widow who had two sons. This widow’s livelihood depended entirely upon her two sons’ meager little businesses because she was so weak and frail. Every day, she worried about their businesses. She fretted and hoped that they would do well.

One son sold umbrellas. So the mother would waken in the morning and the first thing she would look to see if the sun was shining or if it looked like rain. If it was dark and cloudy, she would gleefully say, “Oh, he will surely sell umbrellas today!” But if the sun was shining, she would be miserable all day, because she feared that nobody would buy her son’s umbrellas.

The widow’s other son sold fans. Every morning, the poor old widow would arise and look to the skies. If the sun was hidden and it looked like a rainy day, she would get very depressed and moan, “Nobody’s going to buy my son’s fans today.”

No matter what the weather was, this poor old widow had something to fret about. If the sun was shining, she felt terrible because nobody would buy her son’s umbrellas. If the sun was not shining and it was cloudy, she also felt terrible, because nobody would buy her other son’s fans. With such an attitude, she was bound to lose.

One day, she ran into a friend and told her, “Why, you’ve got it all wrong, my dear. There’s no way you can lose. If the sun is shining, people will buy fans; if it rains, they’ll buy umbrellas. You live off both of your sons. You cannot lose!”

The Dalai Lama shares this thought: “The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.”

There are always two sides of a coin. And it is up to you how look at it. Frederick L. Collins has the same view when he said, “There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.’”

Positive attitude is better than negative attitude. In fact, it is every bit as important to success as talent. Never say negative words or you may eat them later on. “The phonograph is not of any commercial value,” a great inventor once said. “The radio craze will die out in time,” he stated on another occasion. The speaker was Thomas Alva Edison.

Describing the telephone, American president Rutherford B. Hayes said, “That’s an amazing invention. But who would ever want to use one of them?” Wilbur Wright, to his brother Orville after a disappointing flying experiment in 1901, deplored, “Man won’t fly for a thousand years.”

Pierre Pachet, physiology professor at France’s Toulouse University, said in 1872: “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” But what may be the best of all is this one: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” That genius was Charles H. Duell, commissioner of the United States Patent Office, speaking in1899.

So, take a closer look at your attitude now. Count your blessings. See the brighter side. As an ancient Persian saying goes, “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

Laugh and the world will laugh with you. Cry and you cry alone. Take heed from the words of the Bible: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

Now, “great effort,” says Pat Riley, “springs naturally from great attitude.”

For comments, write me at


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