Aptitude versus Attitude- which is more important for success? This article seeks to find out.
Defining aptitude & attitude
Often confused with each other, the key difference between aptitude and attitude is that aptitude is the innate natural ability for one to do a certain kind of work, or otherwise known as “talent”. Whereas attitude is one’s way of thinking towards a certain person, place, thing or event. This argument on which one is more important for success draws certain parallels to the argument of whether leaders are born or bred.
Links to Success
Certainly, if you have the innate ability to learn the ropes of success fast, it plays a key difference in the speed of which you achieve your intended goals.
There is some great news for those who do not have the innate ability for success- your attitude is way more important than your aptitude.
It is extremely difficult to succeed if you only have the aptitude but not attitude towards your goals. In fact, it is your attitude that defines and limits your success. Your attitude determines how you interpret the events that occur on your way to success. Take obstacles for example. Anyone who is in pursuit of a goal definitely has come across obstacles along the way. If you do not have a good attitude, you’ll see the obstacles as threats and annoyances. Even if you do get over those obstacles, the frustration you feel towards it would make it difficult to get through the next one. If you have a great attitude towards your obstacles, you will see them as interesting or even fun. Even if you don’t get pass it, you will feel refreshed and ready for future obstacles.
Fortunately, you can change your attitude and your attitude is absolutely your choice. No one can change your attitude exchange yourself. If you are determined you conduct an attitude change, what attitude should you take on if you want to achieve success?
According to a 2012 article published in the Harvard Business Review, it mentioned that research showed that when a positive mindset is undertaken, performance on nearly every level- productivity, creativity and engagement- improves. Another research that proves attitude is the most important factor to success is that of Dr Martin Seligman. Making use of an insurance company, he found out that insurance agents who scored in the top half for optimism sold 37% more than their pessimistic counterparts in the bottom half. A more notable outcome is that the top 10% optimistic agents sold 88% more than the bottom 10% of pessimistic agents. These study show how one’s attitude can correlate with the level of success one achieves.
Ways to get a positive attitude
There are some ways that you can do to get a positive attitude. (Do note that these will only work if you are aware of your attitude now and its need for a change!)
The seemingly small action of smiling can give you an instantaneous attitude boost. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, also known as the feel good hormones. It will be much easier to obtain a positive attitude if the chemicals in your body are conducive to your well-being.
2. Upload Positivity
Read books with a positive message, listen to music which makes you feel good, watch movies where the protagonist’s optimism helped him to overcome adversity. You can change your attitude for the better by uploading positivity to your brain.
3. Limit your complaints
It is also important to remove negativity. You can do this by limiting your complaints. Whining about anything and everything is definitely not conducive to a positive attitude. When you complain, you say negative things about a person, place, thing or event. Instead of complaining, figure out solutions or accept what cannot be changed.
I shall leave you with a quote from Earl Nightingale, a respected American speaker and author: “A great attitude is not the result of success; Success is the result of great attitude.”