No doubt you have heard someone talk about the significance of your attitude in everyday life. Often the difference in whether we succeed or fail depends on our attitude. While we know this to be true, we also know that changing our attitude can be one of the most difficult things we do.
Is a good attitude all you need? I have heard many motivational speakers state that attitude is everything. They use catch phrases like, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.” The reality is that life doesn't always work that way. I have seen many good people who have a great attitude but have not reached their goals.
The right attitude is vital for success but there are things attitude can and cannot do.
- Attitude is not the same as competence. The dictionary defines “competence” as, “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” Attitude is a function of confidence while competence is a function of ability. Some people love piano music and wish they could play the piano. However, they lack the talent needed to play the piano. All the lessons in the world won’t make them an accomplished pianist. It’s an issue of ability not attitude.
- Attitude is no substitute for experience. Having an eager attitude is certainly a great quality. Yet, there are often pitfalls in ministry that are not easily noticed. The experienced person knows what to look for and how to avoid potential problems. Zeal is good but it needs to be guided by knowledge.
- Attitude doesn't change facts. Facts are facts. Your attitude cannot change somethings. It is a fact that a 5 foot 3-inch guy, weighting 130 pounds, will never play defense in the NFL.
- Attitude is an ongoing challenge. Attitudes that are good don't automatically stay that way. Just because you came to church this week with a wonderful attitude, is no guarantee that you return the following week with the same good attitude. Good attitudes don't just happen. They are a choice.
I have to remind myself to have a good attitude. Each day things come my way that can really challenge my disposition. If I am not careful, I will allow circumstances to dictate my attitude.
John Maxwell has stated, “I cannot always choose what happens to me, but I can always choose what happens in me.” You cannot change other people (that’s God’s job) or often what happens, but you can change your attitude.