I’ve found myself talking often this past week about attitude and how your attitude is both completely under your control and the #1 predictor of your success. Because, as William James so eloquently stated, "The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." Since I have noticed a rash of negativity swirling around the universe this week and I wish to nip it in the bud as they say, I’m sharing some of my absolute most inspiring quotations on the power of attitude as my article this week. Pick your top few favorites that really resonate with who you are and use them as mantras this week. Post them around your office where you’ll see them often or take a minute to read them out loud in the morning and evening. Consistency with this will help you rewrite any negative attitudes you may be harboring and allow you to experience the levels of joy and success you want and deserve. Oh, and DON’T judge yourself around any of this. Focus on how you want to feel and how you want to experience the world moving forward no matter what you have felt or thought in the past. Nothing matters in this moment other than your right to be happy and fulfilled.
This first one is THE quotation than began the transformation in my life many, many moons ago that brought me to where I am today…
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, 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 everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will 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% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” Charles Swindoll
For the other free spirits out there, Carl Rogers says, "If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning."
Edwin Friedman adds that “The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech."
As someone who is well known and honored for having created so much lasting beauty in this world, Frank Lloyd Wright knows that “The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."
Henry David Thoreau beautifully phrased the same sentiment when he said, "Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be."
And, to put it even more literally and practically, "I am no longer cursed by poverty because I took possession of my own mind, and that mind has yielded me every material thing I want, and much more than I need. But this power of mind is a universal one, available to the humblest person as it is to the greatest." (Andrew Carnegie)
So, "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." (Marcus Aurelius)
And "The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances." (Martha Washington)
Because, "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." (Spinoza)
Even after being exposed to the darkest side of humanity, Victor Frankl still believed "Everything can be taken from a man but ... the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
The key message in all of this is that “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi)
Never ever, ever forget that “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” (Buddha)
I hope these quotes have inspired you as much as they continue to inspire me. I’ll end this list with what I believe to be the most powerful saying I ever heard. You may even be familiar with it as it is often quoted. These words touched me so deeply that they actually inspired me to have the courage to start my business and they underlie everything I do in my business even today. They are…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)
If you didn’t see your favorite inspiring quote here, please share it with me. I’ll compile a list and share all the gems with this community.
As always, have fun with this!
© 2010 Ruth Hegarty
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