Saturday, May 7, 2011

Attitude Makes the Difference

by Teresa Slack

Welcome back to Writers Rest and Part Two of my series on how to achieve your goals. I'm Teresa Slack and the last time here I posted about Ambition. Hopefully I got you thinking about what you want, why you want it, and if you’re willing to pay the price to get it.

Ambition is the key ingredient necessary in answering these questions. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, your chief ambition is to write a novel or polish that novel enough to get it published. Even thinking about writing a novel requires more ambition than 95% of the world possesses. But you have the desire, you’ve counted the cost, and you’re ready to do whatever it takes to attain your goals.

What matters now is ATTITUDE.
"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task, which more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome." William James

Our attitude is the only thing we have control over. Positive or Negative. Success or Failure.

We all face doubts—artists and those in the entertainment industry possibly more than any other group. Think of all those amazing, talented, tortured souls before us who committed suicide or drowned their doubts and demons in the bottle. This is a tough, tough industry. It is not for the faint of heart.

Our attitudes determine our actions. Are you pumped or pitiful? Pestering or empowering? Bothering people or blessing them?

The best way to check your attitude is to measure other people’s reaction to you. Do friends come to you for advice and encouragement? Do they avoid sitting next to you at parties? Are you a giver or a taker? If friends must continually prop you up and feed your ego to keep your engines firing, your probably need an attitude adjustment.

A good or bad attitude doesn’t only affect those around you. It affects how much effort and zeal you put toward reaching your goals. If you approach your goals with the attitude that you don’t have time or a supportive spouse or whatever else is holding you back, then you probably won’t accomplish much.

So how’s your attitude? Are you determined to give your dreams everything you’ve got? Or are you going to wait to see what the economy does or how your mother-in-law reacts to another of your silly pipe dreams?

If you suspect you have an attitude problem, you probably need to rekindle your passion. The best way to do that is to surround yourself with people you wish to emulate. If you haven’t already, join some writing groups, online and in your local area. Follow some encouraging blogs online (like this one, I hope). Nurture positive relationships that have nothing to do with what you want. The world is bigger than ourselves after all.

“You’ve got to give something to get something.” Billy Blanks—Taebo creator and fitness instructor

Next time we’ll talk about taking ACTION. All the best laid plans in the world won’t do any good if you don’t have a plan of action and the tenacity of a pit bull to stick with it.


Molly Noble Bull said...

As a child, I was a dreamer -- gazing out the window thinking about anything but what the teacher was teaching. Some of my teachers said I had a bad attitude. Did any of you have a problem like that?
Just curious.
Thanks for an interesting article, Teresa.

Teresa Slack said...

I did the same thing during class, Molly. I made up some pretty elaborate tales to entertain myself that grew more in depth as I moved thru the grades.

Got the email notification too, so you must have set it up correctly. Thanks so much.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Great blog post, Teresa and oh, so true! It's highly important to surround yourself with positive-thinking people - people who understand your drive and perhaps share your ambition. My experience shows that writers groups and blogs like this one are a must if you are seriously seeking the road to publication!