The word ‘attitude’ is talked almost by everyone and people often talk about positive attitude and negative attitude. However, most people have only a vague idea about it and would not be able to explain its meaning and implications in life. Moreover, most of the time’s people are neither trying to learn nor do anything to improve upon their attitude. Surprisingly, most of the academic study courses do not include this topic in the curriculum.
Dictionary definitions of ‘attitude’ are:
- A frame of mind affecting one’s thoughts or behaviour: outlook, position, posture, stance.
- A general cast of mind with regard to something: feeling, sentiment
- A position of the body indicating mood or emotion
- A pre-disposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation.
- Attitude influencesan individual’s choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards (together called stimuli).
A person’s attitude is the most important aspect of personality. Without good attitude any amount of intelligence, knowledge, information, skills would be futile. It is interesting to note that graduates of various diverse streams like engineering, sciences, history, geography, sociology, economics, chartered accountants etc; mostly go for a common post graduate course viz; MBA. Obviously they have specialized knowledge in their respective streams and during MBA study, they would like to gain in areas which are commonly useful to all streams. Needless to say that dealing effectively with human beings is a thread which cuts across all streams and learning to refine one’s attitude is the simple most important aspect of dealing with human beings. This must be the most important agenda in every student’s list who enrol for MBA programme.
Unfortunately the attitude refining does not happen in one day and it requires a prolonged conscious thought and effort in this direction. There cannot be better time to embark upon this journey than the first day of MBA course.
A person’s achievements, joy, happiness, satisfaction in life all depend entirely on attitude one chooses in life. MBA programme is the most opportune time for the students to explore this area and navigate themselves to grow in refining and developing their attitude. There are hundreds of books on the subject and thousands of articles in print and there is ocean of thoughts and ideas on the internet in this area.
In most of our MBA programmes the focus is primarily upon;
- To learn the subjects as per syllabus, pass examinations and get good marks.
- To complete all group projects, assignments and other co-curricular activities leading to personality development.
- To get campus placement in a good company with high salary package.
It is absolutely necessary to shift our focus from tangible to intangible, from information and theories to feelings & beliefs, to harness our potential as human beings. It is also necessary to count your blessings daily, get proper rest and exercise, set aside personal time with family and close friends, help someone less fortunate, create an upbeat positive greeting, develop a “Whatever-It-Takes” attitude.
We can actually say that attitude is a state of mind, it is your mind-set; it is the way you look at things mentally. It reflects how we feel about something. Feelings may be favorable or unfavorable to person, objects or event.
Attitude comprises of three main components
- Cognitions (Thoughts) – My job is interesting
- Affections (Feelings) – I love my job
- Behaviour ( Actions and reactions) – I am going to get to work early with a smile on my face- my intention to act
To begin changing your attitude we may do the following:
- Learn and practice meditation
- Read inspiring books, autobiographies and see related videos
- Remain optimistic and accept change is inevitable
- Learn to live in the present moment with mindfulness
- Learn to smile and be cheerful always
- Listen intently and learn to appreciate others view point.
- Read some good books on attitude and assimilate the thoughts and ideas. A few books I would strongly recommend are:
- Success through positive mental attitude by Napoleon Hill
- Success is everything by Jeff Keller
- Seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
- You can win by Shiv Khera
- Best salesman in the world by Og Mandino
- As a man thinketh by James Allen
Charles Swindoll has very rightly said that the remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. It is said that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.
My parting words for you;
Life is not a ladder of success; it is a slippery pole where every slip has to be paid for. So, when you embark on your journey of attitude building, you will encounter successes and failures; persevere and always remember these few common quotes,
With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. … Sir Thomas Buxton
Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out. Eliminate the negative attitude and believe you can do anything. Replace ‘if I can, I hope, may be’ with ‘I can, I will, I must.” … Mary Kay Ash
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. … Winston Churchill
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. … William James
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. …. Charles Dickens
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. …. Dr. Charles Swindoll
Contributed by Sumit Gulati (Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD)