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    Altitude – Attitude – Aptitude

    It is rightly said by Mr. Zig Ziglar – “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”.Most of us would have laughed a little after hearing the name of this topic but the meaning and the actual implications of these three words are so vast and so much of a stranger to most of us. 

    The quote above does not only qualify for those who want an exemplarily outstanding career with ample amount of fame and money, but to every living being on this universe. Infact, we follow this (either in the right manner or in the wrong manner) in our everyday life without acknowledging the same.


    From the time we get up in the morning till the time we sleep, our attitude is constantly being exposed to people around us and most of us give the least attention and importance to it.


    Let’s see an example of how the same happens:


    Situation A:


    Mr. A, a businessman, gets up in the morning and moves to do his next task, i.e., getting ready for office, without uttering a single word to his wife and kid whom he crosses while on his way to the restroom.


    Situation B:


    Mr. A, a businessman, gets up in the morning and moves to do his next task, i.e., getting ready for office and wishes his wife and kid while encountering them on his way to the restroom.


    Situation C:


    Mr. A, a businessman, gets up in the morning and goes to his wife and kid (before or after freshening up) and wishes them a cheerful morning, plays and listens to his kid’s stories, pay’s attention to his wife, etc.


    In all the above three situations, the person is the same, the situation is the same and the period too is the same. However, the family in the third case has more chances to survive longer with more happiness and prosperity than the families in the first two cases. Why is this so? What was so different? How does it matter if Mr. A wishes his family members or not?


    The reason here is not wishing the members of the family early in the morning but the positive energy and the positive vibes that is being spread in the morning from the time one wakes up. The power of positive energy is so immense that it can make a person or at the same time the absence of it can destroy a person. If a single ‘Good morning’ can have this effect, think about the thousands of words spoken during a day. How impactful each day can be made if we exhibit the same energy to all around us, by cheerfully meeting everyone and gracefully welcoming every occasion and face of life.

    This is what we refer to as the attitude of a person. If our attitude is always positive, we are sure to achieve any feat in life. Knowledge, i.e., aptitude is also required to an equal extent but somewhere in the race between ‘Attitude’ and ‘Aptitude’, attitude surpasses aptitude and plays a major role in the life of every human being. A perfect combination of the two will definitely help any organization as well as any individual achieve any height, i.e., altitude.


    “Your success in life (altitude) is determined more by your desire to succeed (attitude) than by your natural talents (aptitude).”


    Abraham Lincoln once said“Most people are about as happy as they choose to be”


    Does this sound true? There is a certain book on depression entitled –‘Happiness Is a Choice’, which is pretty much what Lincoln said. Happiness is always a choice. The major reason for people to be unhappy is because they do not know how to stay content. The reason /excuse that people cite for their discontentment is that as they wish to achieve greater heights in life, they cannot be content and they cannot gain happiness until they fulfill their dreams. It is seen that upon achieving what they desire, they are still not content because they consciously keep pondering -“What next?”.


    A desire to achieve greater heights in life is absolutely the right thing people ought to do but in their road to success, people often forget the most important part – ‘To thank the Almighty for their achievements attained till date, to be happy that they still have the energy to pursue their zeal and to remain content’ because the journey is always as important as the end result.


    Being content and tirelessly pursuing our goals are not mutually exclusive events. But most people assume that they are. Minister and author, John Maxwell says, “The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up.”


    We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather by recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ‘Happiness’ is a very subjective term and the elements responsible for happiness varies from person to person and that in a way reflects a person’s attitude. The same can be reflected using a story:


    There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three strands of hair on her head.


    'Well', she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today?’


    So she did and she had a wonderful day.


    The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two strands of hair on her head.


    'H-M-M,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today?’


    So she did and she had a grand day.





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    Altitude – Attitude – Aptitude



    SBS Interns' Digest                                                                                                                     


    The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one strand of hair on her head.


    'Well,' she said, 'today I'm going to wear my hair in a ponytail.’


    So she did and she had a fun day.


    The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't even a single strand of hair on her head.


    'YEA!' she exclaimed, 'I don't have to fix my hair today!’


    Attitude is everything.


    Chuck Swindoll put it this way“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, gifted ability, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.”


    “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace from 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 that we can do is play on the one string that we have and this string is, attitude. I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in-charge of our attitudes.”


    William James said, “The most important discovery of our time is the discovery that man can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”


    Aptitude, that is knowledge, is a continuous process. Studies reveal that the body language of a person constitutes more than 50 percent of the impression to another person. Inpsite of having such a huge proportion people hardly pay attention to it.


    As students, learning is always at priority. Often we tend to emphasize more on such areas which we feel will enhance our knowledge base. But this is the stage where we ought to focus on the ways in which we can improve our attitude.


    When thinking about ways to improve our attitude a major question might arise in our minds about where can we learn about improving our attitude. The answer is simple yet difficult to start implementing


    • there are no schools or institutes which impart knowledge on this and the only source for learning the same is through regular observance. Regular observance of the way people behave, be it people with whom we live, we work, we commute, we find on our way, etc., will make us to realize whose attitude is right and whose is not, along with the reasons for the same. Going forward, we would also be extra cautions regarding our attitude when we find ourselves in the same situations which we had observed earlier.





    15 | P a g e

    Altitude – Attitude – Aptitude



    SBS Interns' Digest                                                                                                                     


    In life there are no shortcuts especially for success. As the saying goes, “Drop by drop makes an ocean” so is it for success which is formed from various variants – hard work, belief, trust, planning, knowledge and the most important one attitude.


    With a bad attitude the first four elements mentioned above are of no use because they too will fail. In short, attitude is like the foundation of a building termed as ‘success’ and in case of a wrong foundation, success is bound to change to failure. It is pertinent to mention here that success too has different meanings for different people. For some, it is just having a simple, happy and content life. For other, it’s about chasing one’s dreams, etc.


    A positive attitude is not about displaying a phony smile, a happy face and a perky disposition. It is simply a way of responding to life in a manner that allows us to accept the duality, the contradictions and the contrasts of our experiences. A positive attitude enables one to make a difference in the world around him / her because when one is able to see things in a positive light, it will help to influence and shape other people’s attitude as well.


    Let me explain the importance of attitude using another example:


    A daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and she didn’t know how she was going to continue with so many problems. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed like just as one problem solved, another problem cropped up.


    Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.


    Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes, eggs and ground coffee beans, one in each pot.


    He then let them boil without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.


    After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes and eggs out of the respective pots and placed them in two different bowls. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked “What do you see?”.


    “Potatoes, eggs and coffee” she hastily replied.


    “Look closer” he said “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.


    “Father, what does this mean?” she asked.


    He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans all faced the same adversity, the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato, which is strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.


    The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. The inside of the egg became hard due to the boiling water.


    16 | P a g e

    Altitude – Attitude – Aptitude



    SBS Interns' Digest                                                                                                                     


    However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.


    “Which are you?”, he asked his daughter.


    “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg or a coffee bean?”


    In the similar manner our attitude also matters a lot and the true test of one’s attitude is taken when one is faced in a situation of adversity. Those who stay calm throughout the hard times, are the ones who achieve success. Panic and fear can only complicate things further.


    There are various successful people in the world but when we deeply analyze the reason of their success it always points out towards their attitude.


    Therefore, to reach the altitude we desire, the right kind of attitude with apt amount of aptitude is a must.









    “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity”


    - Seneca