W. Austin Gardner
Your Attitude Makes You
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Or to put it another way, in the words of psychologist and author Phil McGraw, “You teach people how to treat you.” What you teach comes from how you see life. And how you see life comes from who you are.
Poet T. S. Eliot observed, “Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They do not mean to do harm. They are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” People are like water: they find their own level. A person with a negative self-image will expect the worst, damage relationships, and find others who are similarly negative. Those with a positive self-image will expect the best for themselves. And those who have a self-image that is both positive and accurate are likely to be highly successful, see others as potentially successful, and gravitate to other successful people. As psychologist Nathaniel Branden said, “We tend to feel most comfortable, most ‘at home’ with persons whose self-esteem level resembles our own. Opposites may attract about some issues, but not this one.”
I believe that attitude is the second most important decision anyone can make. (The most important is faith.) Your attitude will make or unmake you. It’s not the result of your birth, your circumstances, or your bank account. It’s all a choice.
John C. Maxwell, Winning with People: Discover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time (Nashville, TN: HarperCollins Leadership, 2007).
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