For success, attitude is where you start

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- There is no question that if you are successful in the important endeavors of your life, you will be happier. Whether it be a career, a life nurturing and raising a family or anything else you choose to do, it is more satisfying to be successful. In the military, success equals lives saved and missions completed. But success is an end result. Where do you start the process to become successful? I believe you begin the journey of success or failure with the first thing you can control - your attitude.

My favorite quote on success and attitude is from the famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. He said, "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable." In this quote he described an attitude of always doing your best focused on only what you can control. It's a powerful way to look at life.

Others have given good quotes on the importance of attitude: Lou Holtz said, "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." Earl Nightingale said, "Our attitude towards life determines life's attitude towards us."

Another man that commented on success and attitude was the 20th century psychologist Victor Frankl. Viktor Frankl wrote about those that navigated the horrific Nazi concentration camps of World War II with honor and dignity. He wrote, "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others and giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: to choose one's attitude, to choose one's own way."

So I offer you this: Choose to look at the positive, what's possible, what you're grateful for, and what you're capable of. In the end you might be much more successful in the long term, and certainly happier in the short term.

Here are three things to try in regards to attitude:

· For one month, don't complain. Not about the weather, other people, the military, politics, anything. Can you do it?

· Study attitude. Find quotes. Read a book on attitude or someone who lived life grateful. Compare and contrast the attitudes people have around you. How's it working for them?

· Decide you will own your reactions to the world around you and use your reactions to learn, grow and be grateful.

You might be surprised with the results. Good luck.