Saturday, March 1, 2008

About Attitude and Automatic Quotes

I bet you all know people who have an automatic quote at the end of their email messages. You may agree or not with the quote, but it stays with you for those few seconds. Or longer. Here are the quotes I came across today:

"The first principle of a warrior is not being afraid of who you are." - Anonymous

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break an organization... a school... a home. The remarkable thing is 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. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...." -Charles Swindoll

I must confess I had no clue who Charles Swindoll was, but the quote made me curious as I still can't accept that attitude is everything and knowledge, education, and other human gifts don't matter on the road to success. What about shy people? Are they doomed to failure because they can't bring themselves to have the right attitude? What about pessimistic people? When did shyness and pessimism become diseases we have to fight against?
So I googled Mr Swindoll to find out more about him and guess what I found: he's an Evangelical Christian, a preacher, a minister, a man speaking the "word of God"! And what does he teach people - that nothing else matters except for a positive attitude. The attitude towards and the obsession with success and money seem to have become our new "religion". Where is that God who was talking about humbleness, generosity and love for other people? Is the "positive attitude" a new path to faith? Hmmm... I go deeper with my google reasearch and I find a commercial website of Mr Swindoll where his "insights for living" are sold. And here I come across another "insight" in bold letters:
"Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity. Successful men/women act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results." ~ Dupree Jordan
Again - attitude beats capacity. What can I say? That's how you get people not to respect anymore someone else's knowledge and skills, they know they can beat them with the right attitude. That's how you get students to be more interested in showing attitude rather than learning something. That's how you get to create and nurture a crowd of empty souls concerned with the best way of displaying power and success rather than looking inside them for true values and principles.


cristina said...

Hi, Savi! your blog is cool, I like the sound of your e-thoughts. I can't wait to read smth on theater. cristina (

Saviana said...

Thanks Cristina!

I wrote something on theatre - see the Off-Broadway Unspecified Country entry in Feb.

Your blog is very professional and good, I love your comments and insights on theatre.

I kinda tend to use mine for random thoughts and comments on daily life and society, a sorta diary, an intellectual immigrant diary maybe? I have to add the word "intellectual" because people usually associate "immigrant" with hardships, work-work-work and sacrifice for the next generation. So I'm trying not to write about practical matters but express questions and explorations of the life here in New York, in the hope I can come up with some answers.

k. said...

glad to discover your blog, that's what i'm doing too here.

also: so true about the 'attitude' thing. sad but true, kind of. indeed it works miracles. sometimes i even think that the difference between the homeless addicts in the streets and the successful ceo's lies 99% in their attitude.

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