An Upbeat Attitude is Essential

A person might possess broad based business knowledge. They may have gone to university and received a degree in business administration. They might have a lot of experience. They might come from a long line of merchants. However, if their attitude and outlook on life is negative they are imperiling their ability to succeed.

In the world of commerce, the role of attitude is vastly underestimated. For example, I have never heard of a course on attitude being given in business school. During relatively stable economic times, so much is taken for granted that a good attitude ends up near the bottom of the list of ingredients needed in order to succeed.

With today’s global economic climate, many people are not feeling optimistic about the future. The drumbeat of negative economic news, be it from the United States, Europe or Japan, comes out, if not day by day, then certainly every few weeks. Much of this negative news is preordained. Many mature economies have been on wild spending binges for decades and the postman has now delivered the bill. Ouch! The good news is that developing economies are in much better shape.

Individuals are questioning their ability to cope. People talk to each other about how tough things are. Optimism seems in short supply.

It is one thing to be cognizant of negative economic data. It is quite another to allow that information to shake a fundamental belief in ourselves and our future. We need to remember that bad times, like good times, do not last forever. The economy, like a biological organism, seeks homeostasis.

Some people come by good attitudes naturally. They seem upbeat all the time. Other folks walk around in a perpetual fog of gloom and doom. One solution to a perpetual pessimism is to spend some time reading history, philosophy and psychology.

History teaches us that tough times are followed by better times. Psychology teaches us that what we think affects what we do and achieve. Philosophy teaches us that how we contextualize the human experience carries great weight.

Once we accept that success – in large measure – is predicated upon a good attitude, we can go forward and work on developing it. No investment is as great as the one we make in order to foster a positive attitude. A can-do outlook is essential in order to achieve our goals.

Image courtesy of [renjith krishnan] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Like today’s column? Check back frequently.