Success Point: The Winning Attitude by John C. Maxwell

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Lou Holtz (Notre Dame Football Coach)

An airplane has what’s called an attitude indicator. In flying, the attitude of the airplane is what is called the position of the aircraft in relation to the horizon.

When the airplane is climbing it has a nose high attitude because the nose of the airplane is pointed above the horizon. When the aircraft is diving that’s a nose down attitude.

The attitude of the airplane indicates its performance.

Since the performance of the airplane depends on its attitude it is necessary to change the attitude in order to change the performance.

Doesn’t an individual’s attitude dictate his performance? Do people have “attitude indicators” that continually evaluate his/her perspective and achievements in life? What happens when the attitude is dictating undesirable results? How can the attitude be changed? And, if the attitude changes, what are the ramifications to other people around him?

So, attitude living, like attitude flying, says my attitude dictates my performance.


The attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. That is why an attitude can be seen without a word being said. Of all the things that we wear, our expression is the most important.

So, put on a happy face. It is a reminder that our expressions usually reflect our inward feelings…which reminds me of the quote…

Our outer world is merely a reflection of our inner world.” ~T. Jarv Eker (Secrets of the Millionaire Mind)

Attitudes are transmittable. Since an attitude, often, is expressed by our body language and by the looks on our faces, it can be contagious. Have you ever noticed what happens to a group of people when one person, by his expression, reveals a negative attitude?

Sometimes the attitude can be masked outwardly and others who see us are fooled. But usually the cover up’s will not last long. There is that constant struggle as the attitude tries to wiggle its way out.

Our Attitude is the primary force that will determine whether we succeed or fail.

For some, attitude presents a difficulty in every opportunity; For others it presents an opportunity in every difficulty. Some climb with a positive attitude, while others fall with a negative perspective. The very fact that the attitude “makes some” while “breaking others” is a significant fact that should cause us to explore it’s importance.

There’s a story about a grandpa and grandma who visited their grandchildren. Each afternoon grandpa would lie down for a nap. One day, as a practical joke, the kids decided to put limburger cheese in his mustache. Quite soon he awoke sniffing. “Why, this room stinks,” he explained as he got up and went out into the kitchen. He wasn’t there long until he decided that the kitchen smelled too, so he walked outdoors for a breath of fresh air. Much to grandpa’s surprise, the open air brought no relief, and he proclaimed, “The whole world stinks!”

How true that is to life! When we carry “Limburger Cheese” in our attitudes, the whole world smells bad.

One of the valid ways to test your attitude is to answer this question: “Do you feel your world is treating you well?” If your attitude toward the world is excellent, you will receive excellent results. If you feel so-so about the world, your response to the world will be average. Feel badly about your world, and you will seem to have only negative feedback from life. Look around you and analyze the conversations of people who lead unhappy, unfulfilled lives. You will find they are crying out against a society which they feel is out to get them and to give them a lifetime of trouble, misery and bad luck. Sometimes the prison of discontent has been built by our own hands.

The world doesn’t care whether we free ourselves from this prison or not. It marches on. Adopting a good, healthy attitude towards life does not affect society nearly so much as it affects us. The change cannot come from others. It must come from us. We are individually responsible for our view of life.

To end…

It is not so much your aptitude as it is your attitude that determines your altitude.”

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