“The only disability in life is a bad attitude #truu”
My nephew posted that on his Facebook wall today. It’s a popular way to think. And the first response from one of his friends was, “Varner used to tell us that the only thing life you have a 100% control over is your attitude.” It’s a wonderful soundbite, perfect for our memetic culture, but it’s not accurate. So this post is for my nephew.
I’m certainly not going to debate the value of a positive attitude. That would be silly. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Besides, you can’t throw a rock into the internet pond without hitting a post about how important a positive attitude is. 8,460,000 Google search results can’t be wrong.
My response to him on Facebook was this, “You also have control over your effort. The greatest attitude in the world will do nothing for you if you don’t put forth the effort required to make things happen.” In a culture of doing, a positive attitude is a very powerful thing.
In a culture of entitlement, a positive attitude means nothing. Unfortunately, what I see evident in too many young people today is a positive attitude of entitlement. They expect success will come to them with little effort, and they are very, very positive about it. I say, good luck with that.
The key to success in life is not a positive attitude. The key to success in life is working your butt off, going the extra mile, and contributing more to solving problems than those around you, all while maintaining a positive attitude.
So in keeping with the inspirational quote theme, here are a few soundbites that place the emphasis on action:
“Success is dependent on effort.” – Sophocles
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Winston Churchill
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.” – Calvin Coolidge
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.” – Plato
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napolean Hill
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Creative Commons Photo via Flickr – by QISUR