Attitude Results in Performance

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One of the important gadgets an airplane has is called “attitude indicator.” What is it? It is a unit that indicates or tells the pilot the position of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. When the nose or the front of the airplane is pointed above the horizon, it has a “nose-high attitude” and the airplane is said to be climbing up. When the front of the aircraft is ointed down, the aircraft has a “nose-down attitude” and it is said to be diving or going down. Pilots are oncerned about the “attitude” of the airplane because it indicates the performance of the airplane: going up or going down. And so we can say of the airplane: attitude results in performance. The attitude of the airplane determines the performance. Since performance depends on attitude, it is necessary to change attitude in order to change performance.

A basketball team can lose the game because while the players’ abilities say “win,” their attitude say “lose.” A student’s aptitude tests may show that he is intellectually capable, but because he has a bad attitude, he fails the test. A person’s attitude, like that of an airplane, determines his performance. It could mean the difference between success or failure, win or lose, promotion or demotion. A positive attitude leads to positive performance; a negative attitude leads to negative performance.

The shepherd boy David knows how to play the harp (guitar!) and to sing joyful songs. His music comes from within his joyful spirit. When King Saul is in bad mood or under some evil spirit, David is called in to play the harp and sing happy songs. David’s music and presence, his dancing or body language refresh Saul’s feelings and the evil spirit departs from him (1 Sam. 16 14, 21-23). In this way David has found favor before King Saul. The happy attitude of David expressed by his body language and surely by the happy look on his face, is contagious. The inner feeling of David determines David’s performance before King Saul, and they in turn change the attitude of King Saul and his performance. Attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. It can be seen, it can be felt without a word being said. Attitude may be hidden, but body language shows it.

“God sees not as man sees, because man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16/7). The heart or the mind which God directly sees cannot hide from God man’s true intentions or plans. On the 0ther hand, man who looks at the outward appearance can sometimes be deceived or misled. While it is true that we should not all the time judge people by their appearance, yet oftentimes a man’s actions betray his real attitude. His actions become the “window of the soul” through which we see the inner feeling expressed by his behavior.

An attitude can sometimes be masked outwardly. A person an live a “masked life” putting on different masks to it the occasion, to hide his real self. People who see his outward appearance are deceived. But usually cover ups do not last long. The performance, the deceit, the lie or dishonesty will soon betray the attitude. And the real attitude, which has a way of struggling its way out,will explain the performance

“An attitude,” writes John C. Maxwell in his book “The Winning Attitude,” is “the advance-man of our true elves; it is our best friend or our worst enemies; … an outward look based on past experience … it draws people to us or repels them from us … an attitude is never content until it is expressed … an attitude is the librarian of the past, the speaker of the present, the
prophet of the future.”

John C. Maxwell also writes, “Do you feel the world is treating you well? If your attitude towards the world is excellent, you will receive excellent results. If you feel soso about the world, your response from the world will be average. Feel badly about your world and you will seem to have only negative feedback from life.”

We are each responsible for our view of life. Our attitude and action towards life help determine what happens to us. As St. Paul writes: “A man will reap only what he sows” (Gal. 6/7). Two salesmen of shoes were sent to an island to sell shoes. The first salesman was shocked to find that no one in the island wore shoes. So he called the home-office: “I will return home tomorrow. No one here wears shoes.” The second salesman however was excited by the same situation. And so he wired the home office: “Please send me 10,000 pairs of shoes. Everyone here needs shoes.” A person’s attitude, his view of the situation, determines his performance.

[Recommended reading: John C. Maxwell, The Winning Attitude. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1993]