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I believe that heredity (the genes that you inherit) have some part in forming attitudes. However, most important in shaping them, is the family environment, especially in your early childhood: the impressionable years up to the age of seven. Also critical are your lifetime experiences and events (whether happy or traumatic) in later years. What is happening in your life today, yesterday and all those past years. There are three areas of life in which your attitudes are formed.

1. A sense of BELONGING which is picked up before birth. The "vibes" in the womb of the mother (hard to be a father in this process) will determine whether we are really want- ed by the mother, and this can determine our degree of security (or insecurity) in later life.

2. Your sense of WORTH will be determined by your im- mediate family in your early childhood. They instil in you an inner sense of well-being and of being loved. The role of mothers and fathers is critical in the socialization process for the development of your attitudes. Their expectations of you play a big part in your life script.

3. Your sense of COMPETENCE will also originate in the family environment. That is why it is very important to praise and encourage children. If they are continually repr- imanded, children will feel that they can't ever do things right. This then develops into the child thinking, "I am a person of no worth who is no good at anything." This atti- tude grows over time and can be re-inforced in the working environment. Even extremely competent business execu- tives can feel insecure on a personal level and have difficulty in personal relationships.


Golda Meier, an earlier Prime Minister of Israel, was once asked what made Israel such a success against the might of the united Arab armies. Israel, as you most probably know, is a small country set in the middle of a desert, with virtually no natural resources and no wealth. Meier replied, "All that my country has is the spirit of it's people. If the people lost their spirit, not even the might of the United States of America could save us." A right attitude through- out the country overcame all the odds and insurmountable difficulties throughout it's turbulent history.

The top salesman for Bell telephones in America is a quadri- plegic. Although he can only blink his eyes and open his mouth, his attitude and perseverance have made him num- ber one. (Stanford University after doing extensive research, said that all success is 87.5% as a result of your attitudes. Your skills, abilities and knowledge make up the other 12.5%).


1. Enlist the co-operation of a positive close friend that you can confide in. Share your personal goals and dreams. Ig- nore the "knockers" who will try to put you down out of jeal- ousy (the "tall poppy syndrome" so prevalent here in New Zealand, but especially Australia). 2. Seek out the right people (successful and enthusiastic ones who have the right attitude). DON'T NEGLECT YOUR OLD FRIENDS TO GET IDEAS, but remember, your poten- tial has nothing to do with your ultimate performance.

3. Select a model to emulate or follow...who you would like to be like? (Only if you are not happy with the way you are.)

4. Learn from your mistakes. Daley Thompson, the former great British athlete in the decathlon said..."I will learn more than any other experience from my failures than my successes." In his goal setting, Thompson was content to grow slowly, be- cause slow growth is more solid, and he did it in small steps.

Look beyond your mistakes and savour successful experiences. Don't feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about your achieve- ments. Make daily affirmations to yourself that you are doing well and are on the right track. Reward yourself for minor achievements, or steps on the road to your bigger goals. Give yourself credit, no matter how small your achievements, because mental rewards will boost your motivation. All rewards must come from within. This conditioning will cult- ivate a
positive attitude in you. (Just like Pavlov's dogs were con- ditioned to salivate through association of ideas.) I remem- ber that from my studies in psychology many many moons ago.

Look forward to positive outcomes and rehearse them in your mind, rather than anticipating failure. Don't repeat bad experiences-our attitude ties us down and limits us, so that mediocrity becomes our destiny.

5. Make the most of any situation you find yourself in. Try not to be anxious. Things will work out in the end.

6. Avoid self-pity. Resilient people don't feel sorry for them- selves too long. The person who wallows in self-pity or bitter ness spends too much time on introspection and not enough time plotting a comeback.

7. Be persistent. Winning often means getting up one more time than you have been knocked down. Persevere and never give up.

8. Adapt to change and see it as a challenge rather than as uncertain and frightening.

9. Always keep things in perspective. Because our job is such a big part of our self image, a career set-back can make us lose perspective. If you become unemployed, don't see yourself as a failure, but rather as having options and an opportunity to pursue a new direction.

and finally,

10. Believe in yourself, but trust in God.


Realistically analyse your strengths and weaknesses. As a matter of interest, people generally list more weaknesses than strengths, especially women (nice things those!). Too often people discount their accomplishments and focus on what they haven't been able to do.

Making money in itself is not success, but rather a by-product of success. Most successful people use the technique of visual- isation to foresee ideal outcomes. If you can foresee getting your desires in the mind, then you can get there in the least I think so!

"As a man thinketh so is he." Haven't I got that one in already?

Success or failure is not a matter of luck. The key ingredient is a winning attitude, together with PERSEVERANCE and common sense.

Your attitude determines your destiny:

Remember to stick at a task when things don't go right. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", as my dear father used to tell me often. Did it work though with me? All successful people have true grit and stickability, as well as natural ability. The winner is often the person who gets up one more time than they are knocked down. You will hit attitudes in others who say 'you can't do it'. You have a choice then: a) To remain convinced that you can do it. b) Stay with their attitude and quit yours.

All the world's greats would never have been great if they had listened to the opinion of even their closest friends. Caruso, the world's greatest tenor, was told his voice sound- ed like a tin can. Thomas Edison, the inventor of motion pictures, was advised that no-one would pay to listen to sound coming from a screen. Edison told Henry Ford to give up making cars and work for him instead and make millions. Marie Curie was told to forget about radium. Laurence Olivier was told by friends to give up acting. Benjamin Franklin was told to stop fiddling with lightning. People told Johnny Weismuller (Tarzan) that no-one would ever beat his fifty swimming records. His 1936 world record was the qualifying time for the 1972 Olympics! Attitudes of the time said his records could never be beaten. Now 12 year old girls regular- ly beat his times.

Christopher Columbus took 14 years to raise funding for his ships and crew before setting out on his explorations. The science and culture of the day had said that the world was flat. However, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain had faith in Columbus. With that faith and money behind him, Columbus took just six months to discover the New World.

In the same way, a "flat-world mind-set" can limit our thinking and lead to mediocrity. In the same way that you can train fleas to jump a certain height in a bowl, when you take away the bowl, they still do not jump higher than the learned height.

Our mind can tie us down and limit us, so that mediocrity becomes our destiny. Negative attitudes get cemented in concrete.




* * *

A short exercise:

Talk to your best friend or partner *(I hate that common New Zealand expression- cheapens the institution of mar- riage anddenotes immoral living 'Yes, sir "Mr goody goody two shoes") about:
* I far prefer the term 'spouse', which could be an abbrev- iation for "spastic mouse". Enough about my personal opinions...

1. The picture you hold of yourself (i.e.. how you see yourself): Is it positive or negative, are you an introvert, extrovert, popular?

2. How you see other people seeing you 'their perception of you, or looking glass). Which brings to mind the following wise words (not mine)...

"I am not what I think I am." "I am not what you think I am." "I am what I think you think I am."

Abraham Lincoln grew up in a very difficult environment. He had less than one year of formal schooling. He experienc- ed defeat and failure year after year, but is one of the great- est success stories of all time. In spite of everything, he had the right attitude to achieve success.


Craig is a writer, who believes in encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and accomplish their dreams in life, whatever they may be. The various books* that I "felt inspired to write" are
available at:


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