Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abilities + Attitude = Results

This post's title comes from John Maxwell's book, Attitude 101.  I liked it so much I tweeted it, but wanted to expound my elucidative commentary on the equation (Tangent 1).  The ultimate level of our success will be dictated as much (or maybe even more) by our attitude as it will be by our abilities.

I'll be 30 this year.  I looked in the mirror a few months ago and, aside from noticing how handsome my beard was, traveled the journey of self-reflection and reached a decision.  I had underachieved this decade of life.  Why is that?  I am reasonably confident in my abilities, and have a good understanding of what they are (and what they aren't), so why did I accomplish less than I'm capable of?  Attitude.  Some days I'm lazy, some I'm discouraged, some I'm negative, some I'm combative, some I'm gluttonous, etc. etc. etc.  Those days are where my abilities are shackled by my attitude.

How can I change my attitude?  Don't know.  Just started that section of the book. :)  In all seriousness, my own experience says that you change your attitude like you change your habits.  Consistent effort.  I can say without a doubt that my attitude today is exponentially better than my attitude at 20, and that has taken a lot of effort (as well as that process of life slapping us upside the head we call Experience).  Start with identifying the bad attitudes and the stuff in life that triggers them, and work like the dickens (Tangent 2) to fix them.  Pray, read books, listen to speakers, ask for advice and feedback. 

Tangent 1:  "elucidative" is flagged by spell check for not being a word.  I get great pleasure from this.  It's like I'm rebelling against the system, one made up word at a time.  Maybe I'm a Shakespeareal Ninja.  Then again, maybe not.

Tangent 2:  Euphemisms crack me up.  I can say "Like the dickens" or "Dad blame it" or "Crud Muffins" and most people don't even notice it (unless to laugh at me for saying Crud Muffins.  However, replace those with real, non-PG versions, and a lot of people would freak out and revoke my Christian credentials.  The spirit of the response is the same.  So, imhho, it makes sense to either 1) refrain from all interjectory language, or 2) not care about either one.  This argument is independent of two other arguments.  First, that of using references to God flippantly (or "in vain").  Second is the argument that we shouldn't do things that cause others to stumble.  For if in my language I cause my brother distress, my language should reflect my care for his distress.

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