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Quotations for Motivation #33 --- Attitude

Updated on September 21, 2015

Quotations on Attitude (Set No. 3)

A great many people ruin their ability to see good in others by constantly holding their defects in mind.

It is impossible to develop the better side of one’s nature, that which appreciates the good, the beautiful, and the true, while the mind is filled with thoughts of an opposite kind.

The faculties which appreciate noble qualities may be left wholly undeveloped, or they may be paralyzed and blighted by habitually discordant processes of mind.

Nothing strangles the power to see the virtues of others more quickly than cherishing an uncharitable and faultfinding spirit.

On the other hand, by holding charitable, magnanimous, loving thought toward all, we not only surround ourselves with a sunny atmosphere, favorable to the growth of all that is best in us; we also produce a similar effect on those who come within the radius of our influence.

How beautifully, for instance, a child develops under the loving thought of a sweet-tempered, sunshiny mother! Not alone are its best qualities encouraged and nourished, but their rapid development kills the possibility of the growth of antagonistic qualities, just as the rapid maturing of cultivated plants checks the weeds which might otherwise strangle them. Encouragement of one discourages the other.

By way of contrast, notice a child who is constantly scolded, criticized, and found fault by its mother. You will find that the child’s worst qualities are rapidly developed. The thought of mother holds towards it discourages the unfoldment of the better side of its nature, and eventually destroys it.

In the same way, a teacher who holds the depreciative, critical thought in regard to a pupil, discourages his growth. As a rule, children need the sunshine of merited praise. They require appreciation and encouragement to aid their normal development. Nothing so chills and discourages a pupil, so quickly robs him of spontaneity and enthusiasm, as a faultfinding, critical attitude on the part of the teacher. A child can no more unfold its good qualities naturally in a chilling, depreciating atmosphere, than can a tropical blast unfold and blossom in the chill of Arctic regions.

Whatever you do, don’t ruin your capacity for appreciating the good and the beautiful in others, for seeing the better side of human nature. Don’t borrow in the mire of discontent, fretting and faultfinding so that you cannot appreciate moral cleanliness, sunshine, and beauty of disposition.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., February 1903.

I know of no finer way to make this a better place in which to live than to praise those who do worthy things. Both the giver and the receiver are blessed beyond words.

There is a vast difference between flattery and honest praise. The former disgusts, the latter lifts the spirit, like light turned on in a darkened room.

Honest praise never hurt anyone. It makes a better servant, employee, or friend. Without it, many a servant, employee and friend has been lost to the one most needing his service. We would all shrivel in usefulness and importance, both to ourselves and the world about us, without this praise given to us when desired.

Most critics feel it more their duty to find fault than to praise. Many of them even become blind to praise. Praise at the right time [helps] to make many a man or women happily successful.

Many a person has risen to great heights encouraged by a kind word of praise early in life. To give praise is the simplest service anyone can give—and it costs nothing but the effort to give it. And how many of us need it—every day of our lives!

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Oct. 8, 1940.

Mental attitude is the supreme controlling influence in life. There are only two sides in life—the dark and the light. If you look upon the dark side, the light side of course is shut from you—and the opposite is true. Then why not look upon the light—the bright sided? Why always expect the best to be? If you form the habit of going to bed at night in a happy frame of mind, you can be assured that you will awake in the same mood—perhaps even in a happier one!

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 4, 1940.

We have known an individual who called himself “frustrated” by circumstances and individuals when all that was wrong was within himself. No doubt you have known of person who complain bitterly that the “world was against them” and, in fact, we expect that all of us at one time of another have felt somewhat the same way. We dare say that all of the misfits and failures in the world have been guilty of becoming chronic complainers that “the world and all that’s in it was against them.”

Our attitudes in life, pretty much identify us, just as the clothes we wear. If we go around expecting the world to be against us, and for people not to have much in common with us, we’re pretty sure to find things just like we expect them. A positive attitude attracts and a negative attitude rejects.

Quiet, inner control will afford that outer peace, calm and serenity which we sometimes find so much to be envied in other people. Have you tried that? The next time you are tempted to become irritable, angry and explosive, try the feeling of quiet, inner control. It is our guess you’ll find it much better than just “counting up to ten”—and then “letting go.” Sometimes, oftentimes, it can be the difference of what you are and what you’d like to be.

---Earl L. “Jack” Sampson, Williamson Daily News, Williamson, W. Va., March 11, 1950.

I am not responsible for my misfortunes, but for my attitude toward them.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 16, 1927.

We miss the beautiful in life because we do not look for it.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 8, 1933.

We never recognize the beauty of our world unless there is some beauty in us.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 11, 1935.

People seldom improve who never impact their own attitudes.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 9, 1939.

The best way to provide for one’s old age is to preserve a youthful outlook.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 13, 1959.

The bright side of life is pretty much a matter of personal reflection.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 21, 1967.

The man who is always looking for mud misses a good deal of fine scenery.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Forest Republican, Tionesta, Pa., Sept. 24, 1890.

People who never look up are not much account at lifting up.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Norman Transcript, Norman, Okla., Oct. 17, 1891.

Some people spend so much time in thinking about the thorns of life that they miss all the roses.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Randall County News, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 13, 1909.

Your power of thought is the only thing over which you have absolute control. To use this power effectively, you must think accurately. The sacred nature of this exclusive privilege is significant that the Creator reserved it for men as a marker which distinguishes him from all other living creatures.

Accurate thinkers permit no one to do their thinking for them.

Successful people have a definite system by which they reach decisions with accuracy. They gather information and get the opinions of others. But in the final analysis they reserve to themselves the privilege of making decisions.

Accurate thinking is based on two major fundamentals, (1) Inductive reasoning based on assumption of unknown facts or hypotheses, when the facts are not available, and (2) deductive reasoning, based on known facts, or what are believed to be facts.

The accurate thinker always takes two important steps. First, he separates from facts fiction or hearsay evidence which cannot be verified. Second, he separates facts into two classes--important and unimportant.

An important fact is one which can be used to advantage in attaining your objective. All others are worthless.

It is a tragedy that many people base their thinking on irrelevant hearsay evidence and unimportant facts which lead only to misery and failure.

The accurate thinker recognize that most "opinions" expressed by others are worthless, even dangerous if accepted as accurate, because they are based upon bias, prejudice, intolerance, egotism, fear and guesswork.

An accurate thinker turns a deaf ear to the person who begins a conversation with that hackneyed expression, "they say," because he knows what he is about to hear will be nothing but loose talk.

The accurate thinker knows that no one else has a right to express an opinion on any subject unless it is based on dependable facts. This rule would eliminate as worthless much of the so-called thinking of a vast majority of the people.

The accurate thinker recognizes that free "advice"--volunteered by friends and others--usually is not worthy of consideration. If he wants advice he seeks a dependable source and pays for it in one way of another. he knows that nothing of value is obtained without a consideration.

The accurate thinker knows that his emotions are not always reliable. He protects himself against their possible wrong influence by carefully examining and weighing them through his power of reason and the rules of logic. ...

Elbert Hubbard has defined an executive as, "A man who makes a lot of decisions and some of them are right."

Obviously, accurate thinking calls for the highest order of self-discipline. Prompt and accurate decisions are the two most important fundamental stones of success in all walks of life. They are not attainable without courageous and honest discipline of one's self.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, May 3, 1956.

"How's your P-M-A?"

That's a question I often use in starting a lecture on this subject. Usually, the audience is mystified--at first. But at the end of my talk, when I ask the question again, the answer is roared back in unison: "Terrific!"

So let me ask you the question. How is your P-M-A?

Can you give me the answer you should?

If not, it's time for you to start developing a positive mental attitude. For without it, you can never achieve success in life.

Your mind, thoughts it generates, is the only thing over which the Creator has given you absolute control.

Other things--circumstances, surroundings, acquaintances--will change frequently, often to your disadvantage, without regard to your likes or dislikes. But you are the only one who can direct your mind to the thoughts you desire.

However, the mind--like everything else in nature--must be used constantly and creatively. Otherwise, like an arm tied to your side in a single position for too long, it will atrophy and wither to uselessness.

In a sense, you might think of the mind as a machine with a gear transmission that has no "neutral" position. It operates in only two directions--forward, to success and happiness; or in reverse, toward defeat, misery and poverty.

The choice is up to you. But you must make a decision. It is impossible to simply drift to success.

Development of a positive mental attitude consists largely of habit.

Instead of letting life shove you back and forth at its mercy, you must learn to meet life head on, regarding each new situation affirmatively and with faith that every circumstance can be turned to good account.

Above all, you must first answer this question for yourself: "Where do I want to go in life--and how do I plan to get there?"

When you have set a clear-cut goal for yourself and mapped out the course you intend to follow, you will be starting to think in positive terms.

Practice creative thinking. Instead of trying to solve problems the easiest way possible, search out means of turning each obstacle into a stepping stone toward success.

To do that, you must learn to make decisions promptly and clearly. If you merely sit back and hope the need for the decision will go away, you will be guilty of negative thinking--and you'll be penalized accordingly.

Use your mind in a spirit of audacity. Clear it of blind prejudices. Don't be afraid of new ideas and concepts.

Remember that with faith and courage, nothing is impossible. For "what the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve."

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Sept. 20, 1956.

Cyrus H.K. Curtis, founder of the Saturday Evening Post, defined success as "the ability to get everything one desires or needs without violating the rights of others."

Through such standards of positive thinking and performance, you can achieve material success honestly, forthrightly and proudly. ...

You will find your own decisions easier to make if you have established certain standards of moral performance to which you adhere rigidly under all conditions.

In a sense, you are making decisions in advance--before you actually need to make them. For you are rejecting certain courses of action as repugnant or unworthy.

Thus you will find frequently, when a decision must be made, that it is one you made years ago when you resolved to live up to certain standards of behavior.

Remember that you can compromise with others--but not with yourself.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Sept. 21, 1956.

Is a negative mental attitude barring your way to success? If so, it's time to change.

The negative-minded person is one who accepts any problem or obstacle as insurmountable. The positive person not only finds ways to overcome obstacles, but actually turns them into stepping stones. ...

A positive mind attracts favorable opportunities for success. Negative-mindedness repels opportunities--and doesn't even take advantage of them when they chance alone. ...

A negative mental attitude carries with it many related traits--such as fear, indecision, doubt, procrastination, irritability and anger--which tend to repel many people and drive away favorable opportunities.

A positive mental attitude brings with it faith, enthusiasm, personal initiative, self-discipline, imagination and definiteness of purpose which attract people and beneficial opportunities.

How does one maintain a positive mental attitude?

By thinking and acting of the "can do" portion of every plan or purpose, and refusing to accept as insurmountable the "no can do" portion which is to be found in almost every undertaking.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Sept. 24, 1956.

The term "auto-suggestion" is badly misunderstood. The average person thinks of it as meaning "self-hypnosis." But that's a poor definition.

Auto-suggestion is a tool by which you can gain complete believe in yourself and your abilities. Through it, you can achieve boundless faith and most important, apply that faith as a positive force to achieve your desires.

But it can also have the opposite effect if you misdirect it.

Auto-suggestion operates through what I call the law of harmonious attraction--a law that performs "miracles" by shaping your life to fit the exact pattern of your thought-habits.

Every idea, every thought you pick up in relations with other people, and accept as agreeable to your way of thinking, becomes a fixed part of your character.

Thus, success in every calling, every business and every profession, is the result of definiteness of purpose, definite planning and definite action based upon personal initiative applied with enthusiasm founded upon faith. These traits put the power of auto-suggestion to work for you, instead of against you.

Through auto-suggestion--mental hygiene which emphasizes positive thinking--you accept certain ideas and act upon them.

Therefore, when you complain constantly of poverty, you automatically suggest to yourself certain negative thoughts which merely attract more poverty. But if you concentrate on your present blessings and how to increase them through positive action you condition your mind to attract success.

Similarly, thoughts of hatred, revenge and criticism of others can develop a negative personality that repels other people and the opportunities they can offer you.

Suggestion is a powerful stimulant to the mind. A child told constantly that he is bad, will do his best to live up to that reputation. But told that he is clever, intelligent and agreeable, he will try to merit that praise.

Thomas A. Edison's early teachers sent him home, advising his parents that he was incapable of education. The verdict could have ruined him, but he refused to accept it. He vowed to prove the teacher wrong--did, become the greatest inventor of all times.

The small seed planted by Abraham Lincoln's stepmother in his character bloomed into a part of his character through auto-suggestion so that he achieved a compassion for humanity which carried him to greatness.

If you would be a success in your work, associate with people who think and talk in terms of success--people who are friendly toward you and who inspire you with faith in your own ability.

By concentrating your mind-power on positive and constructive thoughts you can take advantage of this privilege to achieve any goal you set for yourself in life.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Oct. 11, 1956.

Your only limitations, within reason, are those you set up in your own mind, or permit others to set up for you.

Rid yourself of these imaginary curbs, and you can achieve any heights you desire. You can do anything if you believe you can. There is no handicap that can stop you, unless you want it to do so.

Thomas A. Edison became the greatest inventor of all times although he had little formal schooling. He knew what he wanted and believed thoroughly that he could get it. He permitted no limitation to enter his mind.

He learned to overcome his handicap, using his active imagination to conceive new devices and then letting others with technical training perfect the inventions.

Not too long ago, "everyone" knew that Orville and Wilbur were wasting their time trying to make a flying machine. Hadn't others tried and failed?

The Wrights, however, refused to recognize any limitations others tried to establish. They went right on working--and won.

There is no greater proof of the statement that "whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."

But success comes only to those who try.

It never comes to those who let themselves be hogtied by limitations they believe insurmountable. There is no such thing as a limitation which cannot be circumvented, removed or surmounted by some plan or purpose that turns the obstacles into a stepping stone.

No matter what your handicap may be, there is some way in which you can remove it, counterbalance it, or adjust to it so you can live a useful and pleasant life.

The place to start is in your own mind by maintaining a positive mental attitude, by knowing exactly what you want and keeping your mind so busily engaged in achieving it that there is no time left for discouragement.

The only limitations that can hold you back are those you willingly accept as unbeatable.

You'll never know the miracles your mind can perform until you acquire the habit of casting off these imaginary shackles. Only you can do it. Others might encourage and urge and advise. But the final blow for freedom of the mind is yours alone to strike.

This is an attitude that is inherent in the tradition and spirit of America. It is such refusal to recognize anything as "impossible" that helped our country gain freedom in the face of tremendous odds, that aided the westward expansion in spite of the wilderness, that has made us the most powerful and wealthiest nation in the history of mankind.

It is this same spirit of defiant independence that can carry you to any heights of achievements you desire.

Remember that those things that have never been done before offer the greatest challenge and opportunity. The pioneer who first accomplishes them is the one who reaps the reward.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Oct. 18, 1956.

A positive mental attitude is absolutely essential to success. Nothing great has ever been accomplished without it.

Such mental positiveness begins with a definite purpose. A burning desire to attain crystallizes into applied faith that it will be achieved. And faith makes anything possible.

A "wish," however, is not a burning desire. Only through singlemindedness and determination do we motivate ourselves to reach our goals.

"Idle curiosity" often inspires one to momentary action. But it is a fuel that quickly burns out before we reach our destination.

"Hope" is helpful. But most people live out their lives on hopes which never materialize because hope in itself is insufficient to motivate them to more than passing achievement.

Once we have decided upon a definite major goal in life, we can nurture it into a burning desire to achieve that end. Such a burning desire is more than mere hopeful feeling. It is an action-impelling state of mind.

Applied faith is a condensation of all of one's wishes, hopes and desires so intensified that they inspire him to begin the pursuit of his aims and purposes in the full believe that they will be fulfilled.

Applied faith also permits you to look into the future and justify your belief in the attainment of your desires even before you begin to acquire them. When your purpose is founded upon this positive mental attitude, your desire becomes a prayer of thanksgiving for its fulfillment--even before your wish is granted.

Dr. Alexander Graham Bell believed that sound could be carried by means of wires and electric batteries. He intensified this believe until it became applied faith. Coupled with intensive action, this faith led to invention of the telephone.

Marconi believed sound could be conveyed by means of the ether, without the aid of wires. He intensified that belief, backed it with action, and gave the world the wireless method of communication.

Still other men believed that pictures could be cast through the ether. Their faith, coupled with action, gave us television.

Desire and belief, when combined and converted into action, give man access to a power which he can direct to any desired end that his imagination can conceive.

Desire--belief--applied faith--imagination--have helped him to uncover and recognize more of nature's miracles during the first half of this century than had been discovered during the entire previous history of humanity.

It was faith, supported by action, that brought success to Edison, to the Wright Brothers, to Fermi.

And we have barely made a start in progress toward man's ultimate goal of complete civilization. For some of the most mysterious secrets are still to be discovered, such as those involved in human relations. This may be the arena in which you can win fame and fortune.

This world needs many things you can help supply, among them the wisdom by which people may be inspired to relate themselves to each other by the Golden Rule. Find the motivating force that will cause men to become their brother's keeper and you will be helping mankind--and yourself--toward success in life.

Time spent in silent thought may yield fabulous riches through the creation of new ideas designed to help people "get more" by "giving more."

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 16, 1956.

NOTE: More quotations on Attitude can be found in these Hubs: Quotations for Motivation #2 and Quotations for Motivation #32


Submit a Comment

  • Reynold Jay profile image

    Reynold Jay 

    7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

    And Edison ended up being home taught by his mother. It is interesting that no educator ever wondered exactly in what manner she taught him. The greatest mind of our time was home schooled. It makes one wonder if her system, had it been incorporated into the school system, what the result might have been.


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