Attitude—it really is everything

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? Maybe you've noticed some people handle stress or overcome challenges easier than the rest of us?

While there may be many reasons, one key ingredient you will find in almost all successful people is a positive attitude. I've read successful people view failure as learning opportunities and setbacks as challenges.

I believe this is true.

Being positive has benefits far beyond just being a success on the job. Having a positive attitude is critical when things get tough in our personal lives. It is easy to keep a good attitude when things are going your way, but it is much more difficult when faced with adversity.

I recently visited the Center for the Intrepid at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and witnessed the power of positive attitude first hand.

Some of our most severely wounded warriors go through rehabilitation therapy at the CFI. I met patients who had sustained life-changing injuries including amputations and severe burns. The majority of these warriors were horribly injured and I cannot begin to understand the physical and psychological challenges they face.

What I can say is during the five weeks I was there almost every new patient arrived with a relentless will to recover. I saw them fight through pain during grueling physical therapy, heard them talk of lost comrades while referring to themselves as the lucky ones, and quite often I'd see them laugh or smile in spite of their hardships. Each patient was dealing with loss most of us cannot imagine, but they were succeeding in their recovery, largely because of their attitudes. They are truly heroes to me and I learned a valuable lesson from them.

The lesson is your attitude is critical to overcoming challenges. So the next time you face a challenge in your professional or personal life, think about your attitude and make adjustments when necessary. It will help keep things in perspective and may be the difference between success and failure.