It’s All in Your Attitude

allinyourattitudeI once read a book that made a particularly big impact on my life. It was Man’s Search for Meaning, written by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. In his book, Frankl tells the story of his life as a concentration camp prisoner. This remarkable man survived four different camps, and somehow managed to remain positive throughout the entire experience. His story is moving; in fact, one quote in particular never fails to humble me:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
-Viktor Frankl

When I think about these words, I can’t even fully fathom the horrific experiences that these people lived through. They lost loved ones and they were starved, cold and abused. But still, they found it in their hearts to share what they had to give. I hope that if I were in a similar situation, I would find the strength to help people, too.

Some of you will remember that a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Eight Strengths that lead to success. Over the course of my career, I’ve discovered that these eight critical factors have to power to make or break a career, a marriage, or a family.

“Attitude” is the first of these strengths. It means staying positive when things get hard, trying again when you don’t succeed, and learning from your mistakes. Before you do anything in life, it’s extremely important to make sure that you have the right attitude in place. If you don’t, you won’t even get off the ground. And, as I learned from my time in the military, the right attitude begins with good thinking.

For years, leaders and visionaries have known that our thoughts determine our attitudes. The great Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” And he was right. The people Frankl was writing about kept an attitude of human kindness, despite the fact that everything else was taken from them.

I’ve seen a lot of people start working towards a goal with confidence, excitement and great ideas. But as the challenges begin to pile up (and they inevitably do), many people start to lose that energy and eventually, they give up. That’s why attitude isn’t just about starting strong. It’s about continuing to think positive thoughts all the time—no matter what you’re going through.

It’s as simple as this: we can choose our thoughts. Our thoughts determine our attitude. Our attitude affects our behavior, and our behavior determines the direction of our lives. So before you start your next project, make sure you’ve got the right attitude in place. You’ll need it if you want to succeed.

18 thoughts on “It’s All in Your Attitude

  1. Claude,

    From the day I met you you’ve always had a winning attitude. It is refreshing to be around someone who is always positive. You’ve taught me to “Keep my Helmet on” when times are tough and use a positive attitude to see the glass has always half full.
    Thanks pal,

  2. Thanks for the awesome insight Claude! It is a process to learn to curve your thinking to stay positive. I struggle with this all the time. I am now eager to get my hands on “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Do you have any suggestions on material for someone that is struggling with their grace with others?

  3. Wow! Thank you for writing this.
    My husband and I just came from the Winter Leadership Convention in Visalia, CA. We have set goals and made a game plan. Yet, in the past two days, Obstacles has come calling. I am so thankful for the leadership of LIFE who live by example, but right now I am thankful for the CDs and books that we have access to. I would have quit by now, otherwise.

    P.S. We got to see you and Lana via video. Loved the pictures! =)

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book Claude. It’s a powerful and movingbook. I have also read you book toughen up, I did especially enjoy the chapter you wrote in attitude.

  5. Attitude is so very important.
    Even more attitude is in everything and comes out in all Someone does in their life’s activities and responsibilities .
    What great advice Claude to consider your attitude within the next project that anyone pursues.
    What a great reminder because everyone is watching and that makes you think.
    About Changing Lives

  6. Wow! Good post Claude. That book is definently on my to read now list because staying positive when adversity comes is tough but true test to your “ATTITUDE”. Thanks alot Claude.

  7. Hi Claude

    I read that book many years ago. I had the same kind of revelation! I couldn’t imagine the hell these people went through. Success leaves clues and this is one of the bigger nuggets. Why is it so hard for people to acquire this power of attitude? They choose to live in the duldrums of life? I am a high school teacher and I see the negative side of Frankie’s principle day in and day out! Thanks for reminding me of the power of attitude!!

  8. Great article, Claude. That book is another on my must read list. Attitude really is everything, and it is one thing I work on every day. I started this amazing venture as a negative thinker, but through the information and association, have done a ‘180’. Anyone can change their attitude if they truly wish to, and with positive role models in their life, such as you, Lana, and the rest of our leaders, that journey will be so much easier. Thanks to all of you for leading is in this, and so many different areas of LIFE. God Bkess!

  9. Claude,

    You really do live the by the advise you gave in this blog! You are always an encouragement. Thanks for reminding us how to have a good attitude by example.

    God bless

  10. Hi Claude,

    This is awesome. I love reading and listening to your thoughts on subjects like these. I agree, I have tried to imagine many times what it would have been like to go through these ordeals like Victor Frankl. There is no way to fully comprehend what that was like.

    This also reminds me that there are many people in our everyday lives that are enduring their own traumas, none like Victor Frankl, but still all-consuming traumas.

    This is where our attitude can make all the difference in people’s lives. A kind word or a smile is sometimes a bright light in an otherwise dark day.

    Thanks to you and all the LIFE Founders for your commitment to excellence and renewing our commitment to excellence through your spoken and written word…….but more importantly, through you actions.

  11. Great piece… thanks, Claude! We can never be reminded enough how important it is to take responsibility for our thoughts and our self talk. As you so often say, saturating ourselves in good information daily that’s principle-based is the only way to keep up our defenses so we can move ahead. Information creates our thinking and our thinking creates our results. It stands to reason that better thinking creates better results. Thanks for reminding us of all that!

  12. Great blog Claude. One of my favorite quotes from you is ‘only the disciplined are free’ and it definitely applies here as it pertains to attitude. It would take great discipline and strength of will to maintain a positive outlook when faced with extreme conditions such as Frankl faced and I too could only hope that I would be able to choose to be positive and help others in such conditions.

    Thank you for the thought provoking blog. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon. Take care.


  13. Wow, amazing blog Claude and ironically(or not) at the perfect time too. You are absolutely right about keeping the right attitude throughout the entire course of a goal or project, my personal experiences have been the beneficiary to results both good and bad depending on my attitude. Thank you for being such an incredible leader and friend.

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