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The Two Most Important Things You Can Control

attitude and effort

What can we really control in life?

Individually, we can’t control the economy, the weather, the performance of our favorite sports team, or the actions of other people. They happen whether we like it or not.

Everything that we can control comes from within. There are two major factors we can control that will lead to greater success and achievement. We decide how to utilize these factors every single day.

#1. Attitude

Our attitude is purely our own choice. No matter what people say or do to us, we have the decision of how we will react. Some people choose to just have a bad attitude about almost everything. You buy them a cake and they complain about the frosting. They get a raise and promotion and they complain about the increase in responsibility. They could find ways to complain about winning the lottery.

Life events are going to happen whether we complain about them or not. Our attitude determines how those events will effect us, positively or negatively.

Do you always look for the silver-lining or do you seem to always find the negative?

#2. Effort

The greatest factor determining our success may be our effort. And our effort is often determined by our attitude. There is a short poem from Longfellow that I memorized as a teenager saying, “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

How much effort are we willing to give in order to succeed? How much will we focus on work when other distractions come up or we feel too tired to do any more? Those are the defining moments. What are we willing to sacrifice in the short term for success in the long-term.

Your extra effort will set you apart from the average person who does only what is necessary.

The Formula

The formula to describe this interaction is simple:

Attitude + Effort = Achievement

 The better your attitude, the more you achieve. The more effort you give, the more you achieve.

A positive attitude paired with a strong effort leads to great achievement.


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