Quotations for Motivation #32 --- Attitude

Quotations on Attitude (Set No. 2)

We learned when we were youngsters that the appearance of things sometimes depended upon which end of the opera glasses we were looking through. And we also learn later in life that the apparent importance of things depends entirely upon the perspective.

Sometimes large things look small and small things look large. And before we are rushed into anything, we often need to pause and put it a little way off—and see it from all sides. A little time and distance help us to see many things much differently.

I well remember the comment of one distinguished college president. As a boy he played upon the college campus, and all of its surroundings seemed somewhat commonplace as far as he was concerned.

Some years later, after winning high honors elsewhere, he returned to his boyhood town to become president of that same college.

As he and his companionable wife walked one evening on the college campus, they talked of past years and of many memories. “When you were a boy,” she asked, “did you ever dream that you would be president?”

Quickly and whimsically her husband replied: “Nothing so small as that!”

He had an impressive position. Many men envied him; and he himself was not unappreciative. But the dreams of his boyhood had carried him far beyond where he then was.

“Nothing so small as that!”

Perspective changes many things—most things. Some things that appear important at one time appear unimportant at other times. Some things seem smaller as we grow older. Some things seem larger. Most things change with time and distance—and with thought and reflection.

We who have left some years behind have all perhaps had the experience of remembering some past scenes and situations as bring greater and grander than they really were—or at least than they now appear to be.

To us the swimming hole was wide and deep, and an outlet for many of our energies and activities. But the swimming hole may not now look like much more than a mud hole—and we wonder why we ever thought it was so big and important a place.

I watched some boys building a tree hut. It didn’t look like much more than a big box, but OI know from what I remember that tree huts to boys are big and important places. They are castles or frontier cabins—or forts or robbers’ roosts, or special private places where no one uninvited must ever enter. Some years from now a box will look like a box to these boys—but not now. Right now a box in a tree is a very important place.

Perspective is important in appraising troubles. Things we later laugh at may not seem laughable when first we face them. The flat tire that prevented our reaching the picnic may at the moment seem like a cruel casualty. But give the incident a little time and distance and it may be remembered more pleasantly, and certainly more vividly, than the uneventful picnics we reached at the appointed hour.

To the hurried and harried mother who has worked hard to make things presentable for a party, a burned cake, a careless boy, or a dog’s mud tracks on the living room rug can seem at the moment to be unbearable. But time proves that they aren’t.

We need perspective to appraise the more serious troubles and disappointments also. At the end of a deeply discouraging day things can look very dark. But a little sleep helps. Another day looks different—or another month—or another year. Time and distance do many things.

Sometimes perspective works the other way. Sometimes what we thought were small mistakes look larger with the years. Sometimes small compromises become more serious than we supposed.

Perspective changes values, and people—at least in our eyes. When we have been moving in a certain small circle we may come to think that what those particular people think is all important. But when our little circle dissolves, or when we begin to travel in some other circle, we may wonder why we once attached so much importance to the opinions of some people and so little importance to the opinions of others.

When we are pressed with decisions, when we can’t see all sides, often the only safe procedure is to take time (and sometimes to take a little distance too) before we let ourselves be rushed into serious situations or decisions.

We all need to take time to determine whether we are looking through the large end or the little end of the glasses.

---Richard L. Evans, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 12, 1950.

More and more I am convinced that it is the mental attitude that we have toward our work, and toward life, that regulates our happiness.

We know that we are going to be compelled to face sorrow, disappointment, losses in one way or another, and dozens of unexpected emergencies. Therefore our best possible defense is to be prepared to meet them with a calm and courageous attitude of mind.

No one with a defeatist attitude of mind can hardly hope to be much of a success. We have to expect success, plan for it, and work toward it, with the feeling in our mind and heart that it is sure to come—that it will not be sidetracked by any turn of fate or misfortune.

The right mental attitude of a worker toward his job is the most important equipment that he takes to his job. He who does his day’s work, and merely feels that “it will do,” cannot hope for much advancement, or even reasonable happiness. Incentive must be well fed. The mental attitude of a worker which is to do his very best—and hope the next day to do better—is the one that has placed every leader above the mere follower.

The happiest people are not to be found solely among those who are in good jobs and who have much in material possessions. It is common to find those who have very little who know and experience a wealth of happiness. They seem to be blessed with a good sense of values, and so do not complain because they fall heir to experiences difficult to handle. Their mental attitude is one of triumph. They do not call upon wants beyond their capacity to absorb them.

A mental attitude of calm and peace, even in the midst of disturbing and tragic circumstances, is sure to being anyone through the bitterest sort of a storm or darkness of day.

I like that though, which I planted in my mind from somewhere long ago: “Work as though you were to live forever. Live as though you were to die tomorrow!”

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Feb. 25, 1939.

There is something wrong with you, if you wake in the morning with a bad taste in the mouth, if you are depressed, uneasy and despondent. When you are in such a condition you are unfit to do your best work, you have lost your interest in the problems of life and are uninteresting and uncongenial to those about you. There is something wrong with you, not with others, not with life, nor with your fate or lot, but simply with you. It may be physical, it may be mental; it may be with your own character. In nine cases out of ten the trouble can be traced to your mental attitude. Take hold of yourself; change the current of your thought by recalling some good deed, some joyful experience. Force yourself to look for the good, the beautiful and true. Do something for others and forget yourself. Resolve that this day shall be a happy day, a “red letter” day, full of kind words, good deeds and cheerful thoughts, and sunshine will take the place of gloom and joy of sadness.

---George F. Butler, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 14, 1909.

You should resolve to discover some good, some bright side, not the mere element, in everything and in every situation. You must make this a real pursuit of your soul.

---George F. Butler, Hays Free Press, Hays, Kan., May 13, 1920.

If we are wise enough to keep our thoughts young, our hearts will never grow old.

---John Wesley Holland, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 23, 1939.

Put the best construction on all you see and you will construct the best in yourself.

---William Jennings Bryan, The Daily Standard Union, Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 13, 1910.

There is beauty everywhere, but it is not always obvious to the casual.

---William Jennings Bryan, New-State Tribune, Oklahoma City, Okla., March 23, 1911.

The best wish we can think of for everyone is: May the best that is in you bring the best of the world to you.

---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 1, 1931.

Persistent good nature is one of the best of fertilizers.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma Farmer, Guthrie, Okla., April 20, 1910.

Strange is man that he should hoard ills in his heart, when he might make is a storehouse for the beautiful.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Feb. 4, 1911.

If we will make it the habit of our lives to look on the bright side, we will always have a bright side to look on.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Hull Index, Hull, Iowa, May 3, 1895.

A sore head is a sign of a shallow one.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The Reporter, Chelsea, Okla., Nov. 6, 1903.

Mental pictures offer us an opportunity to practice new traits and attitudes which otherwise we could not develop very easily. This is possible because your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined. If we picture ourselves in a certain situation, it is near the same as the actual performance. Mental practice helps to make perfect; but you've got to act as though you want to do it, and do the things you would do if you were successful. Then you will become so.

—Hartman Rector, Jr., The Reaper, Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 20, 1971.

A positive mental attitude is gained by making up your mind to pay the price of success.

—John L. Anderson, Motivator, Portland, Ore., August 1964.

Attitude has been defined as the way one feels about himself, his surroundings and the work in which he is engaged. If we have faith and confidence in that which we are doing we begin each day with assurance, see each problem as a challenge and meet each task with determination.

—O. Preston Robinson, The Progress of the British Mission, London, England, Feb. 1, 1964.

When we sincerely like people and try to get their point of view, we create a mental attitude that actually releases from within ourselves "that something" which others sense and to which they naturally respond. ... Sincerely serve people and try to get their point of view. ... People [will] reflect it in their attitudes toward [you]. Life is, indeed, a mirror, and this world would be a better place in which to live, and much human static would be eliminated, if we would try to like each other and seriously attempt to get the other fellow's point of view.

—Julian Pennington, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 19, 1933.

Character is molded and strengthened largely in the use of two things: first, a good mental attitude; second, the constant, consistent use of time. "Time waits for no man." It is flowing all the while; we must use it or waste it. It is one thing that men can neither replenish or store. The knowledge, the training, and each achievement take time. We must make the most of every minute available. Mental attitude must be positive. To use time wisely requires character and builds more character. One who has a good mental attitude will use his time wisely and one who uses his time wisely will develop the right attitude.

—Parley A. Arave and James P. Low, Northern Lights, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, August 1959.

A man who is not sure of himself cannot by sure of his work. A man must think in terms of his ideals and not in terms of his own shortcomings. Efficiency is the ability to get the maximum result out of the best conditions obtainable and starts in the mental attitude in which we tackle our work, which should be one of kindly feeling, toward all associated with us. No business can be greater than the men who run it, and no man can be greater than his thoughts. “As a man thinketh, so is he,” and so he does.

—Le Noir Asay, Y News, Provo, Utah, Oct. 23, 1947.

When we understand that life is made up of attitudes we will choose our attitudes with more care.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., May 9, 1930.

Get the right attitude. Attitude is to study with a purpose. It is getting the right slant on the thing you are doing, or the thing you want to do.

—Anderson M. Baten, The Philosophy of Success, New York, N.Y., 1936.

It is refreshing and inspiring to talk to a teacher whose every mental attitude, action, and bearing suggests that she has a grip on things--that realities have life meanings, and that there is a spiritual substance by which one lives, breathes, and goes forward. Teachers who go around with worried faces, who keep a questioning mood, and who have grave doubts as to the future under right conditions, certainly hang to the gift of life with a slipping hand. That which drives us on to better things is the consciousness that we have left behind something well done. ... Both success and failure, as well as all the satisfaction that we gain out of [our work], are products of our attitude of mind. Little do we realize how we are ruled by our prejudices, our set ideas, our environment and the particular people with whom we must associate. Unconsciously, they influence our attitude of mind, but as we learn and grow, ... this attitude changes for the better. One's attitude of mind toward one's work has more to do with its success and happiness than anything else. ... Too many of us worry about results before any plan or belief in them has been carefully worked out. Belief is behind all possibility. ... This belief is something that cannot be bought, or borrowed. It must be created within you. And when it is created it begins to do business at once!

—B. Edward Boudreaux, Louisiana Schools, Baton Rouge, La., December 1946.

Attitude and desire are closely related. Good attitude will bring us the desire, and poor attitude will destroy or take away any desire we may ever have. Some people allow themselves to "get down" and acquire a poor attitude because they feel someone is out to "get them" or because they have failures, they are quick to put the blame on someone else and feel that someone else is the cause of their failures instead of correcting their own faults and trying to eliminate their mistakes.

—Raymond W. Eldredge, Thoroughbred, Louisville, Ky., July 1967.

Certainly no one individual can control what is to happen all over the world, but he can control and is responsible for his own attitude toward what does happen in the world. No doubt many things will happen in the days ahead that we as individuals will not like. What is going to be our attitude in the face of these facts? If we take the broad view of acceptance and learning, we can continue to grow and be better people. If we refuse the way of acceptance and grow bitter and cynical, then we draw ourselves into a shell and refuse to have much to do with the rest of the world. This is the way of selfishness and defeat.

—Harold L. Hawkins, Baptist Hospital Echo, Alexandria, La., December 1960.

I often feel that life is "changes." We go from one season to another, from childhood to teens and from teens to adulthood. When we stop changing it's death. If we had only one season the nature would not survive. If we only had day or only night, nothing would survive. So we should always be ready for changes. ... Happiness, success, growth, are the results of a good attitude in front of changes. ... Start to be the "best" yourself possible. Now you can work against it; it will bring frustration, disappointment and no results. Everything is in your hands. ... Things will be different because of you and your attitude.

—Pierre H. Euvrard, The NEWS of the South Africa Durban Mission, Durban, South Africa, April 1992.

Most people are not up on what they are down on.

—Jack Faber, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., June 6, 1968.

Attitude is an outward expression of the depth of one's inner resources of faith and hope.

—Marel Brown, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 7, 1943.

You can’t sharpen your wits with a dull attitude.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., June 27, 1966.

There are three fundamental requisites for the attainment of a wholesome, constructive mental attitude. Here they are: 1. A rational, reasonable discontent with oneself and with things of the world as they are. 2. An earnest desire to rise above things as they are. 3. A sincere conviction that a glorious success is possible to anyone who thoroughly believes in the ultimate attainment of his aims and ambitions, and who is willing to match his confidence and faith with effort. But this does not mean cynicism. It is constructive, growth-producing criticism and discontent I have in mind. ... It has always seemed to me that while the cynic may have his purposes in life, his visual qualities of sourness and pessimism are almost never provocative of real growth. Surely no one wants to urge too great a regard for credulity, but as between the cynic and believer, who of us would not take the believer every time? There is a constructiveness about the attitude of the believer that, down the years, has left glorious landmarks of achievement the world over.

—Earl J. Glade, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 30, 1938.

What exactly is positive thinking? Why is positive thinking so important? Positive thinking, in my opinion, involves many things: 1. Selecting a concrete, realistic goal that I want to achieve. 2. Setting myself a time limit. 3. Mapping out a positive and direct path to reach that goal, setting up stepping stones and road markers to assure me that I am on the right course, and making daily plans that will assure the highest efficiency. 4. The most important step in positive thinking is the follow through--constantly knowing in my mind that I will make the goal. That is positive thinking. It is most important, especially when we realize that we can and do mold our character by our thoughts.

—D. Edwin Byington, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, January 1972.

Why set goals? We limit ourselves if we fail to set goals. When we set goals for ourselves we're going to have a better attitude toward our work. We're going to know that we have something to work for. If we haven't got any particular goal in mind we're going to go about it with the halfhearted spirit or with the "I don't really care" attitude.

—David Hartman, Pathfinder, Mercer Island, Wash., January 1972.

"Tension" means a nervous anxiety, an intensity of striving, a strained condition of relations. The idea is a condition of stress due to the pull of opposite forces. ... The ability to deal with tension determines one's physical, mental, and spiritual health. There are two basic types of tension: constructive and destructive. Constructive tension is necessary for growth. It is a builder of men. Destructive tension inhibits growth and destroys man. It reveals a negative attitude, bad spirit, and critical tongue. It is the result of harboring ill-feeling and resentment. Therefore it is obvious that a constructive tension is necessary to grow spiritually mature persons.

—O. Charles Horton, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 16, 1963.

The mental attitude gives a word its seasoning. Think kindness into it, and it will go forth with power to inspire; fill it with spitefulness, and the same word arouses antagonism. ... Words are the clothing of our thoughts, and it is regrettable that they are often sent forth so shabbily dressed as to be unworthy of recognition.

—H.S. Jenison, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 5, 1922.

Moods are the cultivated mirages that some people use as camouflage to hide their better selves.

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., March 30, 1920.

Attitudes are habitual ways of thinking and feeling. Attitudes determine conduct, and conduct in turn reveals attitudes.

—J.E. Lambdin, The Baptist Training Union Magazine, Nashville, Tenn., May 1942.

There are four kinds of people: 1. Those who sell ideas that produce sorrow. 2. Those who let everybody go their way. 3. Those who try to feebly make people but are always reminding themselves of their own inadequacies. In doing so, therefore, little is accomplished. 4. Those who make brand new people out of people by selling them on a goal--an upward reach. Help them get a grip on themselves, to become unselfish, more devoted, more loyal. Always give more than you receive. Give a little more than you are asked to give. We can achieve nothing without paying the price.

—Casper W. Merrill, West Central States Mission Bulletin, Billings, Mont., January 1959.

Few accomplish anything worthwhile without motivation. Motivation is what fires up our determination or stimulates our will or desire. Many people become fed up with their work. Some sociologists believe that four out of five people are bored with their jobs. Boredom soon corrodes into indifference, all due to a lack of motivation and direction. When a man becomes infected by the virus of discontent, then he is fertilizing the seeds of negative attitudes. This disease can be contagious to those around us as it keeps growing, as well as lowing our self-esteem and hindering our progress. It is a symptom, and a symptom is a red flag with danger written all over it. Our attitudes are very basic to our motivation and how we go about our job. If we allow ourselves to become discouraged, we become unhappy and once we are unhappy we are very ineffective and start to sow the seeds of negativism. We must continually ask ourselves as we take inventory of our attitudes, "Do I want to be happy?" Of course, we all know the answer. We want happiness more than anything else and all too often we fail to realize it is we who control our attitudes and in the end our happiness. We should chase from our minds any thought that does not edify or enlarge our being by asking, "How will that benefit me or my happiness?" Then if it's not beneficial it should be cast aside.

—Richard L. Millett, Florida Ft. Lauderdale Mission Newsletter, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., January 1978.

The attitude which one has toward his work is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of the effort put into his work. If one feels his task below his station, unimportant, or unnecessary, his attitude will be reflected in the quality of his work. Therefore, with the proper attitude, [he] will not have the inclination to accomplish his work successfully. It affects him in numerous ways: He lacks enthusiasm; his work is halfhearted; he fails to demonstrate sincerity and conviction; he doesn’t make favorable impressions. ... When [he] exhibits a negative attitude, it is, in most instances, because he fails to comprehend the importance of his work.

—Lee A. Palmer, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 1953.

The trouble with so many people in trying times is that they stop trying.

—Hamilton G. Park, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 8, 1947.

NOTE: More quotations on Attitude can be found in this Hub: Quotations for Motivation #2

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