“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.” – Muhammad Ali
Quick story -When I was younger, I was accepted into the math and science for minority students (MS2) program at Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts. That program changed the course of my entire life and for that, I will be forever grateful. You see, Phillips Academy is a very prestigious school, probably more prestigious than any of the students in the program realized at the time. It is a well-known and esteemed boarding school with alumni of the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Presidents George H. and George W. Bush. I remember getting to campus and one of the first things that I heard was, “Always remember, your attitude will determine your altitude in life.”
I didn’t know the importance of these words at the time, but the people who ran the program and who would mentor me over the next three summers did. Not only were the alumni impressive, there were students from all over the world who had come to further their studies over the summer. Many of them were pretty well-off and brilliant which was, at first, intimidating.
The purpose of the program was to not only cultivate our interests in math and science but also to expose us to a world that many of us did not know existed. I believe the purpose of that motto was ingrained in us to the point that even though we came from underserved communities, we began to believe that anything we dreamed of in life was possible as long as we kept the right attitude.
Everyone was taught to accept the concept and belief that we could succeed, even though in many respects we were “starting from behind.” Complaining and lack of confidence were addressed and defeated by our mentors because they understood that these were dream killers. Negativity is like weeds growing in a garden. If you don’t do what is necessary to remove the weeds then they will overtake your garden and destroy your crops.
Many people don’t realize the bearing their attitudes have on their outcomes in life. Your attitude carries powerful energy that can either thrust you towards success or halt you in your tracks. You must remember that regardless of whatever difficulty you are challenged by, you are always in control of your attitude and how you respond to any situation.
You have to decide whether or not you are going to be a warrior or a whiner. You have to decide whether or not you are going to be a champion or a chump. You have to be determined to keep a positive attitude even when you are in a job that you hate, a terrible relationship, or when people don’t like you. It is the one key factor that will either push you forward or hold you back. Perspective is everything. What makes any event wonderful or tragic is your perspective and your reaction to the circumstances life brings your way.
Part 2 of 4 in a series called The Mindset of Success. Contributed by Dr. Tangie Watkins, Success Coach. You can learn more at Dr. Tangie | Going Deeper | Living Happier