"No matter where you're headed, your journey begins right where you are standing."
Many people wake up one day and realize they've been sitting back and watching the world go by. They had assumed that certain people were supposed to jump into the fray and compete while others sat in the bleachers and cheered them on. Then they realize that spectators cannot influence the outcome, so they suit up and play the game of life. What did it take? A simple shift in attitude. And what happens? They move from being powerless spectators to being powerful participants.
Author Patricia Russell-McCloud's message of personal empowerment and professional accountability shows you how to have the courage to face all that life has to offer--the disappointments and the pleasures. Russell-McCloud shows you how to stop making the excuses that hinder you from venturing beyond where you are.
Using the alphabet as its touchstone, A Is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living offers you, chapter by chapter, a new commitment to assess your strengths and fulfill more of your potential. From A to Z, Russell-McCloud takes you on an inspiring tour of all the key principles necessary to make your life richer and more dynamic, and every day exhilarating and rewarding. Learn to live with Attitude and Courage, to tap your Genius and Brainpower, to fight for Justice and Truth, to take Risks and develop a brilliant Vision, and to use this Know-How to grab Life Now.
Based on one of Russell-McCloud's most popular speeches, A Is for Attitude brims with anecdotes, advice, and action steps, and provides a blueprint for a successful life that has meaning, substance, and contentment at its core.
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Patricia Russell-McCloud is a top-ranked motivational speaker who has spent more than fifteen years on the lecture circuit.She has inspired thousands of people in private and public organizations to surmount every obstacle that stands between them and a more fulfilling existence. She has received many honors including being named one of the top five business motivators in the country in 1998 by Black Enterprise magazine. For the last four years, Ebony magazine has named her one of the most influential people in the United States. A graduate of Kentucky State University and Howard University School of Law, she is a resident of Atlanta.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
a Is for Attitude
Attitude Determines Your Altitude,
How High You Will Fly in This Life
Your attitude is one of your greatest assets. It is your attitude and your thoughts that will determine whether you master all that is available to you from life's rich platter. Personally, I found that as long as I was afraid that a new challenge would be too much for me to handle, I was outmatched. For so long as I figured that my boss would find my suggestions wrong-headed, I was rejected. When I thought that I knew more than my companions, I didn't learn. And, finally, as long as I thought that I couldn't make a difference, I didn't make a difference. Once I made the decision that not much would change unless I first changed my mind, I was able to move forward. Only when I stood up, spoke up, opened up, and reached out was I able to move forward and take my place in the world. It was then that I discovered this powerful secret: Winners have a winning attitude.
Your thoughts direct what is and what will be, where you'll go and what you'll accomplish in your life. You alone determine how far you can go in life, and the possibilities are endless. No family members, friends, foes, teachers, counselors, mentors, preachers, or employers, no one else can determine your plight or progress. YOU can exceed your potential. YOU can exceed every test, every evaluation, every expectation, every study, every database, every demographic compilation of statistical information on like individuals who, by all reports, based on scientific analysis, should not go beyond where they are. You can do it! If you believe! In sum, your attitude determines your stretch!
Attitude can truly make you a winner. You can have an attitude that is optimistic, not eternally, but one that typically expects a brighter outcome. You always strive to work things out and you believe that nothing is beyond repair. Your heightened sense of personal power over and involvement with life events, coupled with a never-say-never posture, will serve you well in relationships and situations. This is especially true if you acknowledge the inevitability of hardships--rather than deny them--and allow people to help you face them. Keep the thought ever before you that rain has to fall before the rainbow appears.
In advocating a spirit of healthy self-confidence, I am not suggesting that you adopt a cocky attitude. Actually, if you choose arrogance--if you move from the premise that you know it all--then you close yourself off from the opportunity to learn from other people. Ironi-cally, the more you think you know, the less you will know. Another limiting attitude is that of the eternal critic. If you decide to have a critical attitude, then every person or situation has to enter a narrow glass house for which you are the sole architect and builder and which you alone hold the floor plan. Such a judgmental nature shuts out a lot of people and blessings that don't meet your immediate specifications but that might enrich your life in the long run.
And let's not forget the eternal procrastinator. This attitude convinces you that life will be good and ready when you are good and ready. In reality, though, life is not a dress rehearsal; there are precious few do-overs or replays. Second chances are given to those who will really take the chances. Meanwhile, the procrastinator, the anytime-will-do person, never does get it done. Life does not wait for anyone.
Life does reward those who fully accept it on its own terms. With this attitude, you don't waste time grumbling about the hand you've been dealt; rather, you look at the cards and make the best possible play. It's a make-lemonade-with-lemons acceptance of life and it's guaranteed to propel you to the realization of your highest potential. Your refusal to throw a pity party for yourself in response to a reversal in fortune, your strong and silent strength of character, will attract many admirers to your side. You can cultivate this attitude by mediating on the wisdom of this adage: "I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."
Just consider the experience of Pat McCormick, the first and only woman in Olympic history to win four gold medals in diving. The first time she tried out for the Olympic diving team in 1948, she just missed qualifying. Well, rather than give up and move on, Pat decided that she was not going to suffer that disappointment again. She trained even harder for the next Olympic tryouts, doing a hundred dives a day, six days a week. The next time, she not only qualified for the U.S. team, she also went on to sweep both diving golds in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics; the latter a remarkable eight months after the birth of her first child! Pat's attitude is one that we can all use to win gold: "The most important thing I know--when you have a dream and you really believe, YOU WILL FIND A WAY."
How can you get started in the right direction? Your first assignment is to stop whining. Stop the excuses and explanations and the rehearsal of the litany of self-imposed inhibitors that keep you forever in the attitude that you cannot go beyond where you are. Remember: "There are no victims, only volunteers." Every time you decide that the forces are working against you, your assets are being placed in a box with a lid and a lock. You alone hold the key. YOU have to be the one to discover your own treasures.
Your next assignment is to pay attention to everything that comes out of your mouth. Think carefully about what you say, how you say it, and to whom you say it. Above all, carry conversations forward in a positive, constructive, and meaningful way.
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