As I shared in my last post, one of the teachings from John that has caused me to grow the most is How to be a REAL Success. Previously I wrote on Relationship principles that I’ve learned from John over my career working with him. Today I’ll share on the A in REAL – Attitude.
One of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned from John is that attitude can be one of my greatest assets. Ultimately, my attitude is my choice. Neither negative people nor negative circumstances can control my attitude. It’s ultimately up to me to choose the attitude that I have. As a high school student, my parents gave me a poem by Chuck Swindoll, entitled Attitude that shaped my thinking. This poem was on my desk throughout high school and college and has become ingrained in my thinking.
“Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… We are in charge of our attitudes.”
Question for reflection: Is your current attitude one of your greatest assets?
Secondly, I’ve learned from John that successful people think differently than unsuccessful people. Specifically, I’ve seen him model finding time every day for intentional thinking. There is not a day that goes by that John doesn’t spend time in solitude thinking. I’ve traveled the world with him and seen him have days that were incredibly busy but no matter how heavy the load, he always finds time to get away and spend time in thinking and reflection. I’m not yet at the place where I can say that I take time everyday just to think, but I’m close. Between running and spending time at the end of each day on my porch or in my hot tub, there is hardly a day that goes by that I’m not spending intentional think time regarding my life and leadership responsibilities.
Question for reflection: Are you carving time daily for intentional thinking?
As it relates to attitude, I’ve also learned from John that the difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. I’ve never met anyone who spends less time looking in the rearview mirror of life than John. He has truly modeled how to make failure your friend. Through reflection he is able to pull out lessons to be learned and modifications to be made in the future. but he doesn’t stay mired down by failure. He moves on quickly to the next quest and takes the wisdom gained from the failure to make him better in the future. This practice is still a work in progress for me. Too often I want to beat myself up or become discouraged from failure. I’m continually working to learn lessons from my failure and be able to move on quickly to the next opportunity or initiative.
Question for reflection: Are you making failure your friend?
Share with us below or on Facebook or Twitter your favorite principles on Attitude. Also, be on the lookout later in August for two posts from Mark Cole, CEO of The John Maxwell Company on what he’s learned from John on Equipping and Leadership.