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Take control of your attitude

A good attitude is the key to success

What is a good attitude? It’s a way of thinking positively that says:

  • I can control my life and achieve my goals.
  • I am responsible for the choices I make.
  • My past does not matter; I can change my future.

Many other people have written about these issues far better than I can. Different people look at the subject from different points of view, but all of them come to the same conclusions.

How can I change my attitude?

For many of us, reading books (or listening to tapes, or watching videos) may be all we need to help change our habits from negative thinking to positive thinking.

Others may find counselling (individual or group) useful, whether or not you have deep-seated habits of negative thought. I have done both reading and counselling (individual and group) and find the combination most useful.

Major negative thought problems may need medical care. Sometimes the problem is actually chemical or nutritional (not “mental”) and can be cured by changing your diet or adding nutritional supplements. Drugs may be indicated in some cases, though you might want to investigate nutritional alternatives if you don’t like taking drugs. Always get a good medical diagnosis if you’re feeling really overcome by bad thoughts — why suffer if you don’t have to?

How can I get what I want?

Learn to be assertive, not aggressive. Be nice to everyone. That doesn’t mean letting other people take advantage of you, but it does mean looking for ways to get what you want (win) without forcing the other person to lose.

It is possible to find win-win solutions to almost any situation (yes, there are exceptions, but they’re rare), but most of us need to learn how. We were raised on the idea of competition, where in order for me to win, you have to lose. We learned ways to deal with this, but we mostly didn’t learn that you don’t have to play by win-lose rules — you can change the rules!

Relevant books

Here are some books you might find interesting and helpful, as I certainly have. (Click on the links to read reviews at or

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was (How to Discover What You Really Want And How To Get It), by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith, Dell, 1994. Amazon or

Awaken the Giant Within (How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny), by Anthony Robbins, Fireside, 1993. Amazon or UK edition from Pocket Books, 2001,

Rich Dad, Poor Dad (What the rich teach their kids about money, but the poor and middle class do not), by Robert T. Kiyosaki, Warner, 2000, Amazon or UK edition from Time Warner, 2002,

Get Out of Your Own Way (Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior), Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg, Perigee, 1996 . Amazon

The Success Journey (The Process of Living Your Dreams), by John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson, 1997. Amazon or

Related reading

See my page on Negotiating with writers, managers and others.

You can search here for any book you need.


Last updated 25 May 2003