Positive attitude can be your greatest asset
July 12, 2005
Before you read another sentence, think of the name of a person that you know and admire. Don’t continue until you have that person clearly in your mind’s eye. Now, what causes you to love and admire that person? Write those qualities in this space: __________________________________. The next step is this question: “Regarding what you wrote in the blank, do you admire that person because of (1) a skill they possess, (2) a position they hold or (3) an attitude they maintain?” Remarkably, seventy-five per cent of the things we admire in other people is because they possess a positive attitude.
In a comprehensive research study, The Carnegie Institute analyzed the records of 10,000 successful people. The research was done to determine the key to highly effective and successful people. With this information others could be equipped to advance in business and their personal lives. This research concluded that fifteen per cent of success was due to technical training. But a whopping eighty-five per cent was due to personality. The primary personality trait identified by the research: attitude.
The Cox Report on American Business said that 94 percent of all Fortune 500 executives attributed their success more to attitude than to any basic ingredient. In another study, John Maxwell relates how companies hire the largest salaried executives in the U.S. In that questionnaire, it was discovered that top executives were hired based on the following criteria:
5% Availability 5% Adaptability
10% Ability 10% Appearance
Why? They reason that technical skills of chemistry, physics etc. can all be easily hired and discovered. But the greatest asset any company has is its people. The key to effectively handling people and developing them into productive teams laid squarely on the top executive. If the CEO had a positive attitude, he could handle people and mold them into a team. Sour attitudes yield sour teams and poor performance.
Therefore, the greatest asset you possess for success is a positive attitude. How is your attitude? What good is griping and complaining going to do? Will curse words put air back into a flat tire or fill an empty gas tank? Will scowling looks make others perform to your satisfaction? Will sharp words directed at your spouse or children make them “perform” better? When the world hands you a lemon, squeeze it and make lemonade!
Here are six simple thought starters about fixing your attitude:
- It is not what happens to me, but what happens in me that makes a difference.
- God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it. (Consider Job in the Old Testament)
- Every problem has a hidden possibility. All the medicines we have and most all inventions are because someone had a problem. That problem led to a positive solution.
Romans 8:28 is instructive: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- Failure is not final.
- Limitations are guidelines not stop signs. I’m too short to play NBA basketball … but I can still enjoy the game.
- Your attitude is a choice – FIX IT!
Proverbs 23:7 is also instructive: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
Attitude makes an incredible difference in the effectiveness of the Gospel message. In his newly released book, To the Ends of the Earth, Jerry Rankin, president of our International Mission Board (IMB) tells of a work in Bangladesh. This is a country the size of Arkansas with a population of 140 million souls! With population this dense, you would think there are no remote or jungle areas left. Not so. In a remote area bordering both Myanmar (Burma) and northwest India, the Tripera people make their home. The road into this area is a raging river in the Monsoon season and a dusty rutted gulch at other times. The first time Christianity was brought to these people was by our IMB missionary R.T. Buckley (now retired).
When R.T. first entered the area, he found that these people had never heard of Jesus. He related an experience on one of his initial trips to establish contacts with several villages. On his way home he saw two men running down a hillside onto the road, and he stopped his car. When he asked what they wanted, they said, “Are you the man who is telling about a religion that provides forgiveness for sin?” The message that R.T. had been preaching had been talked about and shared from village to village. These men and their whole village were under great conviction of their sin. Their consciences just would not let them rest (Rom. 2:15).
Rankin accompanied R.T. on a trip to the Tripera people in 1990. Around a pot of hot tea, he asked the elders and most of the men of one village, “If you knew about sin, but did not know of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, what would you do about your sin?” The group became very animated, all talking at once, as they told of making clay images and praying to them, or putting offerings under a banyan tree where they perceived the spirits to be living. They continued, “But we never had any sense of peace or assurance that our sins were forgiven until we heard of a God who loved us and gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”
Rankin then asked them how the Christian message was spreading so effectively in their area of Bangladesh? They explained that people from other villages came and asked why their village was now clean and why the people got along so well. It had been observed that they did not get drunk, they treated their wives with respect and were honest in their dealings. These new Christians then told them about Jesus and how He had changed their lives. As the trails converged from throughout the region into the valley, and these men went to work in the fields with those from other villages, they shared the joy of their faith and the difference it made. Their witness was not an effort to introduce a new religion into their culture but reflected evidence of changed lives.
In a word, ATTITUDE changed, because their lives had been changed by Christ.
The Gospel must be lived in the form of a changed life. But good living alone never brought anyone to Christ. It was when the message of Christ is spoken (or preached) that people finally understand how sin can be forgiven and their lives changed.
Consider Philippians 2:14-16: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”