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Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States, stated, "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.  As the writer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson held a front row seat to the struggles of freedom and those of oppression.  We read of a person of influence who had witnessed the oppression of a government, yet, instead of letting the events such as, taxation without representation and oppression by others, control his thinking with bitterness, he chose to rise above and fight for a higher purpose of freedom.

Attitude is the precursor and the most important criterion to success.  It is an emotion and not physical.  Yet it possesses the power to control every physical aspect of your life.  It is something that you cannot see, yet it is easily visible by others.  The world will notice your attitude before your knowledge in your work.  Therefore, you must take the steps to guard it carefully.

Attitude is the first quality that marks the successful man.  If he has a positive attitude and is a positive thinker, who likes challenges and difficult situations, then he has half his success achieved.  Your world is not made meaningful by what you can evaluate and define, but by what you can appreciate and adore.  There is a profound difference in what you find interesting and what you find important.  The most common characteristic of successful people, especially leaders, is their ability to maintain and project a positive attitude.  The commentator, Paul Harvey, stated,  "I have never seen a monument erected to a pessimist."  However, attitude is more than just simply 'looking on the bright side.'  It precedes both knowledge and hard work.  Without the proper attitude, effective knowledge is difficult to obtain.  Hard work simply becomes a series of tasks without commitment and passion, thus having a lessened effect.

Your Attitude is Controlled by Your Thinking

As a man thinks, so is he.  Your thinking is a powerful force that will prepare, feed, and guide your attitude.  How you think determines how you behave.  It controls your emotions, your beliefs, your expectations, and your behavior.  So many attempt to have a positive attitude and never address their patterns of thinking.  Norman Vincent Peale stated, "People become really quite remarkable when they begin thinking that they can do things.  When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success".  What happens to you has less an effect than what happens in you.  Yogi Berra, baseball great, stated, "Life is like baseball; it's 95% mental and the other half is physical."

Attitude Requires Commitment

Daily life comes with pressures,  Adversity will come and will test your attitude.  People will let you down and things may at time just seem to go wrong.  However, being committed to a positive attitude creates a focus on your purpose.  Success cannot be measured in short-term occurrences but in the long-term results.  Expect problems to occur but don't let them deter your commitment to your attitude.  Find a way to keep the enthusiasm into the pursuit of your purpose.  Accept that there will be challenges.  It's not supposed to always be easy.  If it was, everyone would do it.

Attitude precedes both knowledge and hard work.  Without the proper attitude, effective knowledge is difficult to get. ------Dr. Tony Daniel

Remember, Attitude is Contagious

Whether your attitude is positive or negative, it is the picture of who you are to the world.  Your attitude, positive or negative, is contagious to other around you.  It will have an effect on your teammates, your coworkers, your family members, and all others with whom you come into contact.  Positive attitudes about life inspire others to excel in their pursuits.  People want to be near someone with a positive attitude.  It helps them feel good about themselves and increases the motivation to take risks and be proactive.

So, seek to be constantly reminded of your attitude. How it is affecting you and others?  Fifteen percent of success is due to technical training.  Eighty-five percent is due to personality; the greatest personality trait is an positive attitude.  Think of it this way, one is able to hear what you say over what they see you doing.

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