ATTITUDE:

And just how you gonna get AT-IT-Dude?

This month’s blog is on the topic of attitude. The image I put together for this blog is a collage of emojis. And what exactly do we use an emoji for? Well, simply put they are symbolic representations of how we feel at that given moment; it is a depiction of our attitude at that point of time. Attitude is defined as having to do with one’s posture (aka body language). It is also a position or physical stance that one takes for a specific purpose (i.e., fighting, wrestling, or batting). And though both of these definitions are in fact applicable, the more appropriate definitions for us in this blog has to do with a mental position with regard to a fact or state, or a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state (Merriam-Webster).  Interestingly, this word is derived from the word Aptus, meaning fit or capable. It later became Aptitudo, which is the origin for the aptitude.

It has been said that one’s attitude determines their altitude. More precisely, the quote is

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar

So this statement infers that, how a person perceives and or thinks about a matter, to include their own ability, will have a significant bearing on how well they will do in accomplishing the task being faced. I for one can strongly attest to the validity of this. As a young person, growing up in the household that I did, positive affirmations and reinforcement were VERY rare. In fact, it was quite the opposite; if I hadn’t heard that I was worthless or a failure (and those are kind words) at least once a day, something was wrong. However, once I joined the Army it started to change. Though there were many times that I still didn’t hear “great” or even “good” job, I knew if I wasn’t being yelled at by my Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) (aka Sergeants) it was at least a good day. It was in the Army that I learned that attitude could have a far-reaching impact; your day could be made better or much worse, based on the attitude displayed by one or a group.

Going back to Mr. Zigler’s quote for a moment, I find it quite interesting that he discounts the matter of aptitude since it is conjoined with the very element of the subject. But that is something to ponder.

Over the years, I’ve become a strong believer in social modeling. Social modeling originates from family, friends, mentors, teachers, boss/ supervisor, and public figures (athletes, entertainers, vloggers, etc.) and it relates to how we interface with the world we live in. Meaning that whatever and whomever we surround ourselves with, will play a major role in who we become. Often times this is most commonly displayed in our attitudes and demeanor.

With that said, those we look to emulate or base our social behavior on may either be a positive or negative influencer. Sadly, the immature individual will seek to find acceptance however they can, and often times they will choose to follow the inappropriate believing that it makes them more acceptable and seen as cool.

Now let’s take for example the individual who feels like they are different. They begin hanging out with an anti-social group. They may choose to seek out this type of group because of the way they are typically treated, so they believe that this is a group that they can easily fit in to. Sometimes, those in the group will befriend them and bring them into their group. This epitomizes the statement of misery loves company. The activities of that group is based on a mindset that they have to be negative, rude, obnoxious, mean, and sometimes violent. The individual who joins this group will begin to take on this mindset and act out in ways that are indicative of this. Initially, it may just be in the form of how they interact or don’t interact with others. Over time, you will see this individual start acting out on property, communities, and in the severer cases even animals (Antisocial Behavior). This group fosters negative change and stifles social and personal growth through their actions and speech.

On the other hand, you could take that very same person and place them in a group that provides positive support and affirmation and this individual will actually have a positive change and grow. This group enables positive social and personal growth through their positive actions and speech. Whatever attitude you surround yourself with will be perpetuated.

A few statements come to mind as I describe these two scenarios for this individual and the group they choose to associate with and assimilate to. The first is, we are what we eat. Now I know that may sound odd since we’re not talking about food and this statement was actually used to motivate people to start eating healthier. But it truly is just as applicable for this topic as well. Think about the word consume, which means to eat. It is the root word of the word consumer. As one who purchases, rents, or even uses something, you are considered to be a “Consumer of Goods or Services”

The next thought relates to the company we keep. Here are just a few things that God had placed in the Scriptures for us to learn and gain wisdom from:

  • He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20, New King James Version, 1985).
  • Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge (Proverbs 14:7).
  • Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, 25 Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul (Proverbs 22:24-25).

Though I have identified three, one Google search reference, Bible Study Tools, identified 20 that related to this topic.

In closing this blog, I leave you with this…

Ultimately, each of us is the owner of our own attitude. Life happens, and EVERYONE is affected by it. The key issue is how the INDIVIDUAL chooses to respond. In the movie, Rocky Balboa (2006), the character, Rocky, explains to his son, the fact that life doesn’t care about anyone, and if you allow it, it will beat you down and keep you down.

Click here to see the message in full context https://youtu.be/FkJLTGweKl0

So, the question I’m going to leave you with is… Just how you gonna get AT-IT-DUDE?!

References and Resources:

Attitude (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attitude. Retrieved on 22 May 2019.

Antisocial Behavior (n.d.). Article. Psychology. iresearchnet. Retrieved from https://psychology.iresearchnet.com/social-psychology/antisocial-behavior/. Retrieved on 22 May 2019.

Bible Study Tools (n.d.). Website Reference Source. Retrieved from https://www.biblestudy tools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-bad-company/. Retrieved on 23 May 2019.

Rocky Balboa (2006). Film. Sylvester Stallone, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia Pictures, Revolution Studios. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/FkJLTGweKl0. Retrieved on 23 May 2019.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.