Your attitude – in business, sport, relationships and in life, will determine the altitude or the heights you achieve.

How many of you watched Andy Murray as he cruised to victory at Queens for the second time? His body language was so refreshing; his head was high, shoulders back. I might have to watch a replay – but I’m sure I even saw him crack a smile a few times!

He was confident… but what was that teasing “through the leg shot” all about? Please beware – there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance or complacency.

Yet, his performance was worlds apart from the spectacle he made of himself at the recent Australian Open as we were subjected to relentless slow motion TV replays of his foul mouthed Tennis Tourette’s and internal self-destruction.

Let’s hope he has learnt to master the internal game of tennis – the game in his head.

In sport, as in business, confidence is a massive factor and it’s often what separates the winners from the losers, we need to be mentally fit to win.

Over the years, I have read many books on self development and attended numerous courses on the same topic. I’ve walked on the red hot coals and smashed through blocks of wood with my bare hands – the success every time comes from your mindset, attitude… and action.

I also know many people that have bought all the self development books under the sun, got too busy with stuff and just popped them up on the book shelf without reading them… along with all the others. Problem! That’s “shelf” development not “self” development.

Have you ever been amazed by how quickly your attitude improves after achieving even a relatively small success? Or how a complete stranger with a poor attitude can drag you down in a matter of minutes?

Attitude determining your altitude is not a new concept. Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher and 16th Emperor of the Roman Empire, put it simply: “our life is what our thoughts make it”. He got it!

Thomas Edison the American inventor, scientist and businessman said, “nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.” Again – it’s about attitude. He got it!

Contrary to what many people often want to believe, outside influences don’t usually determine your happiness or success. Instead it’s how we react to those influences that will make us happy or sad, experience success or failure. So how do you change your reactions to those outside forces?

  1. Learn how to handle frustration
  2. Learn how to handle rejection
  3. Learn how to handle pressure

So with all that mastered you can do anything, right? Wrong. As Gerald Ratner knows in business…

     4. You must learn how to handle complacency

Here’s the quote that led to his fall from grace… People say, “how can you sell this for such a low price?”, I say, “because it’s total crap”. Gerald Ratner… oops, missed point 4 and mixed in a large dose of arrogance!

Here’s someone’s life history I’d like to share. As you read the time line, consider when you might have thrown in the towel and accepted defeat and failure…

Failed in business aged 21

Defeated in a major political race aged 22

Failed again in business aged 24

Had to deal with the death of his sweat heart at the age of 26

Suffered a nervous breakdown aged 27

Lost a congressional race aged 34

Lost another congressional race aged 36

Lost a senatorial race aged 45

Failed to become Vice-President aged 47

Lost another senatorial race aged 49

Was elected 16th President of the United Sates aged 52

The man’s name was Abraham Lincoln. Could he have become President if he had the wrong attitude? Would Edison have invented the electric light bulb if he accepted failure after his 900th attempt?

A negative attitude will pull you down and with it go your results. Never forget that it’s your attitude determines your altitude.

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