Harvey Mackay Academy's Blog

“I am seldom considered, though I do more to influence everything about you than virtually any one thing in your life.  I often control the time you get up in the morning, the time you go to sleep, what you eat and drink and the very thought that runs through your head.  I can make you either happy or sad, loving or hateful, cheerful or remorseful, congenial or spiteful and in doing so, control the very capacity that you have for success. 

“No, you don’t often think of me; instead you BLAME the problem I create on the shortcoming of others, or the state of the economy, or your family or a million other reasons. 

“When my impact on your life is fully considered in your every thought and action, when you are mindful of my awesome power, when you nurture and groom me for positive use in your life, I can become more contagious than the most prolific disease ever witnessed by man.  My influence will spread to every person you come in contact with.

“Groomed and nurtured in a positive manner there will be no person or obstacle that can stand in the way of my success or fail to be impacted for the better.


This wisdom from an unknown author is perfect as we recognize Positive Attitude Month in October.  A positive attitude is one of the best traits you can carry with you, because it makes any difficult or frustrating situation a lot easier to deal with.  

Researchers believe people who embrace a positive outlook have less stress, an increased sense of well-being, better coping skills, greater success and longer life spans.  Do whatever you must, but always look on the bright side.

Harvard psychologist William James, who taught more than a century ago, said:  “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.”

Author Glenn Van Ekeren lists six attitude axioms:

1. Attitude affects quality of life.  A positive attitude won’t let you do anything, but it will help you do everything better than a negative attitude.  Our attitude is the way we see events, people and circumstances in life.

2. Attitude is a choice.  Circumstances are uncontrollable.  Life’s events happen.  Our responsibility is to choose our responses – our attitude.  Situations may color your view of life, but you have been given the power to choose what the color will be.

3. Attitudes alter abilities.  People who believe they can’t do something are usually right, and so are those who believe they can.  Our attitude toward a task will trigger the body’s ability to respond to it.  My good friend, college football Hall-of-Fame coach Lou Holtz frequently speaks on the correlation between ability and attitude.  Lou says:  “Ability is what you are capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.”

4. People with a positive attitude anticipate adversity.  Optimistic people do not have their heads in the clouds believing nothing will go wrong because they have a positive attitude.  Positive people know challenging events, adversity and tough situations are inevitable.

5. Attitude affirms success and failure.  Positive people keep success and failure in perspective.  These people tend to remove the word failure from their vocabulary and use words like experience, results, challenge, temporary setback and unsuccessful attempt.

6. Actions alter attitudes.  Making the magnitude of attitude work for you begins with acting in a manner consistent with the mental state you desire.  You are who and what you are today because of the attitudes you choose.

Our attitude toward the world around us depends upon what we are ourselves.  If we are selfish, we will be suspicious of others.  If we are of a generous nature, we will be likely to be more trustful.  If we are quite honest with ourselves, we won’t always be anticipating deceit in others.  If we are inclined to be fair, we won’t feel that we are being cheated.  Of course, it’s important to be on the lookout for scammers.

In a sense, looking at the people around you is like looking in a mirror.  You see a reflection of yourself.  Pay attention to that reflection.  If the image is less than sparkling, it’s time for a change.  You don’t need a new mirror.  You need an attitude adjustment to help you see the brighter side of life.

Mackay’s Moral:  There are no negatives to a positive attitude.

About the Author

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.