The power of attitudes


Our attitudes reflect a collection of personal beliefs, feelings and values that influence our daily behavior. They represent habits of thought formed through exposure to people, events and ideas over the course of a person’s life. This storehouse of acquired attitudes acts like a subconscious computer master program for controlling our behavior. While we usually are not consciously aware of it, our attitudes have a powerful impact on how we see and react to events, situations, other people and even ourselves. Ultimately, our attitudes can play a major role in determining our success and happiness in life.
People with positive attitudes usually focus on desirable outcomes. They live with a sense of positive expectancy, anticipating constructive and productive results. This is especially evident by the way they treat other people. They are usually comfortable giving others credit, and their interactions tend to concentrate on helping other people feel good about themselves and their circumstances. They accept both constructive criticism and compliments with grace and appreciation.
People with positive attitudes are viewed as more confident and are usually instrumental in generating solutions to problems. Additionally, positive attitudes can be contagious, and those who display them often will have a corresponding impact on the people around them as well.
Negative attitudes, on the other hand, often generate adverse results. When presented with challenges, negative people usually focus on potential problems, i.e., what can’t be done and why things won’t work. Their glasses are always half empty, and their conversations usually center on skepticism, criticism, resentment and blame. Such people don’t respond well to compliments and often will even dismiss them. However, they remember every one of their failures and mistakes, and these memories stifle much of their productivity. People with negative attitudes are usually part of the underlying reason why a problem or conflict exists in the first place.
A positive attitude can be a tremendous asset in communicating and collaborating productively with others in any kind of circumstance, but unfortunately many people tend to cling to attitudes that restrict rather than empower them to success. In the words of James Allen from his inspirational little book entitled “As a Man Thinketh,”

“All that a man achieves and that he fails to achieve is the direct result
of his own thoughts … His condition is his own, and not another man’s.
His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks,
so is he; as he continues to think, so he remains.”

Clearly, then, it makes sense that we should control our attitudes rather than have them control us. Our attitudes are one of the few things in life over which we can have total control. Noted Harvard psychologist William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude of mind.”
Successful, positively-oriented people strive to discard any wrong or counterproductive attitudes they may have developed through prior negative conditioning and deliberately focus on replacing them with right habits of thought to empower themselves to display the right behaviors that will help them achieve what they want out of life. Possibility-focused people cast off self-limiting negative thoughts that stifle achievement and, through affirmations, positive conditioning and mental discipline, consciously cultivate and maintain positive attitudes.
Pat Iannuzzi of Symbiont Performance Group, Inc. is a performance consultant, trainer and coach focusing on selling, presentation and interpersonal skills. He lives in Litchfield and can be reached at 860-283-9963 or


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