I believe that heredity (the genes that you inherit) have some part in forming attitudes. However, most important in shaping them, is family environment, especially in your early childhood: impressionable years up to age of seven. Also critical are your lifetime experiences and events (whether happy or traumatic) in later years. What is happening in your life today, yesterday and all those past years. There are three areas of life in which your attitudes are formed.
1. A sense of BELONGING which is picked up before birth. The "vibes" in womb of mother (hard to be a father in this process) will determine whether we are really want- ed by mother, and this can determine our degree of security (or insecurity) in later life.
2. Your sense of WORTH will be determined by your im- mediate family in your early childhood. They instil in you an inner sense of well-being and of being loved. The role of mothers and fathers is critical in socialization process for development of your attitudes. Their expectations of you play a big part in your life script.
3. Your sense of COMPETENCE will also originate in family environment. That is why it is very important to praise and encourage children. If they are continually repr- imanded, children will feel that they can't ever do things right. This then develops into child thinking, "I am a person of no worth who is no good at anything." This atti- tude grows over time and can be re-inforced in working environment. Even extremely competent business execu- tives can feel insecure on a personal level and have difficulty in personal relationships.
DEVELOPING SUCCESS ATTITUDES
Golda Meier, an earlier Prime Minister of Israel, was once asked what made Israel such a success against might of united Arab armies. Israel, as you most probably know, is a small country set in middle of a desert, with virtually no natural resources and no wealth. Meier replied, "All that my country has is spirit of it's people. If people lost their spirit, not even might of United States of America could save us." A right attitude through- out country overcame all odds and insurmountable difficulties throughout it's turbulent history.
The top salesman for Bell telephones in America is a quadri- plegic. Although he can only blink his eyes and open his mouth, his attitude and perseverance have made him num- ber one. (Stanford University after doing extensive research, said that all success is 87.5% as a result of your attitudes. Your skills, abilities and knowledge make up other 12.5%).
HOW DO I GET THE RIGHT ATTITUDE?
1. Enlist co-operation of a positive close friend that you can confide in. Share your personal goals and dreams. Ig- nore "knockers" who will try to put you down out of jeal- ousy (the "tall poppy syndrome" so prevalent here in New Zealand, but especially Australia). 2. Seek out right people (successful and enthusiastic ones who have right attitude). DON'T NEGLECT YOUR OLD FRIENDS TO GET IDEAS , but remember, your poten- tial has nothing to do with your ultimate performance.
3. Select a model to emulate or follow...who you would like to be like? (Only if you are not happy with way you are.)
4. Learn from your mistakes. Daley Thompson, former great British athlete in decathlon said..."I will learn more than any other experience from my failures than my successes." In his goal setting, Thompson was content to grow slowly, be- cause slow growth is more solid, and he did it in small steps.
Look beyond your mistakes and savour successful experiences. Don't feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about your achieve- ments. Make daily affirmations to yourself that you are doing well and are on right track. Reward yourself for minor achievements, or steps on road to your bigger goals. Give yourself credit, no matter how small your achievements, because mental rewards will boost your motivation. All rewards must come from within. This conditioning will cult- ivate a positive attitude in you. (Just like Pavlov's dogs were con- ditioned to salivate through association of ideas.) I remem- ber that from my studies in psychology many many moons ago.
Look forward to positive outcomes and rehearse them in your mind, rather than anticipating failure. Don't repeat bad experiences-our attitude ties us down and limits us, so that mediocrity becomes our destiny.
5. Make most of any situation you find yourself in. Try not to be anxious. Things will work out in end.
6. Avoid self-pity. Resilient people don't feel sorry for them- selves too long. The person who wallows in self-pity or bitter ness spends too much time on introspection and not enough time plotting a comeback.