I suddenly stumbled upon a quote by Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” The essence of this phrase is quite intriguing. In fact I was wondering, why and how ‘attitude’, which may be positive or negative can impact our lives and our surroundings.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary-
Meaning – the way you think and feel about someone or something
-a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior
David Myers, in his book, ‘Social Psychology’; defines Attitude as- a favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in one’s beliefs, feelings, or intended behavior It is a social orientation – an underlying inclination to respond to something either favorably or unfavorably.
Taking a cue from the above definition of ‘Attitude’, by Myers, it does have a lot of importance in our life and on humanity too.
Daniel Katz (July 19, 1903 – February 28, 1998; American Psychologist) had outlined four functional areas of Attitude. They are as follows-
- Knowledge- This function refers to our need for the world which is consistent; based on which we can predict the likely course of future events. It can also help us organize and configure our experience. Also, if we are aware of a person’s attitude we can predict their behavior to a certain extent.
- Self / Ego-expressive- Through our attitudes we express-
- Who we are
- Our Identity
- Our beliefs and values
- Adaptive- An individual who holds or expresses attitudes which conform to societal norms, people and society will reward them with approval. Expressing attitude can be verbal/non-verbal. Individuals always look out for people with similar attitude and with whom they can form a social group.
- Ego-defensive- This type of attitude helps to protect our self-esteem and may also sometimes justify actions which make us feel guilty. An individual, who has faced defeat, will adopt a defensive attitude.
Now let me discuss the importance of positive attitude.
Why do we need to keep a positive attitude or behavior?
Since the time we begin to comprehend our surrounding as kids and can decipher our parents, one particular thing is taught and reinforced- to behave politely with anyone we meet. Long before we started going to schools, our home-schooling played a major role in shaping our personality. Our interaction with peers, friends, and acquaintances depends a lot on what behavior we portray.
Time and again we have seen that with positive behavior we can win over the trust and friendship of people around us. Every aspect of our life- relationship with parents, friendship, professional relationship, romantic relationship and marriage, the outcome depends on our attitude.
Throughout the centuries, every society have faced the problem with delinquents, rebels, destructive minds and many other sections of people who were prone to show negative attitude. Even the modern society of today is faced with challenges to reform such people or keep them away from the precincts of the society; as they may harm people. We cannot expect every individual to possess the same kind of attitude. But, all said, the society tilts towards people who display behavior or attitude conducive to maintain harmony in society.
The attitude of an individual can be gauged even before they start expressing with words. Body language plays a major role in giving away a person’s attitude. We are what our thoughts are. Thoughts shape our personality and are reflected in our body language. Even our interpretation of situations and how we perceive a given situation is shaped by our thoughts. Thoughts run parallel in our conscious and sub-conscious minds.
The overall well-being of an individual depends on the thoughts they harbor in their minds and the kind of attitude they portray. We are a student all our lives and as we journey through life, we have to choose the right lessons. Only if we are determined, we can keep a positive attitude towards life and the important people around us.
Only you have the power to choose the right attitude and empower yourself. Spread your wings to fly higher and also help others to join you in this journey to get a unique perspective of this beautiful life on this gorgeous planet.