George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying that we are defined by our patience when we have nothing and our attitude when we have everything. Watching Sunday football gives some practice in establishing a balanced attitude in dealing with both winning and losing.
Mostly, attitude is our basic stance in negotiating the changeableness of life.
There are those who see losing ground in any event as cause for a bad mood and jumping to the conclusion that we are on the way to a collapse. There is a tendency to assign blame. There is little room for patience. In winning, this attitude is likely to show itself as arrogance and entitlement. Overreaction is the hallmark of inability to keep a balanced attitude.
While living in the moment is a mantra for our day, an enlightened attitude requires perspective. Looking at any loss as a teacher and a stage of growth becomes the point. In wins, feeling the high of achievement and the satisfaction of doing one’s personal best becomes the point. Just keeping on, doing the job better, despite setbacks, is the point.
The good news is that we have he ability to choose our attitude and check ourselves when our attitude gets in the way. Getting a positive and balanced attitude can be helped by being with those who demonstrate balance while preserving confidence and the desire and goal to win. Attitude is not only an individual trait but is also a group trait.
My personal attitude seems to be helped weekly by observing a young quarterback in our midst who says, “ I am still able to run, scramble, throw. And we just haven’t executed at a high enough success rate as an offense.” No blame, no excuses, just strong determination, unshakeable confidence in himself and in his team, the poise that comes from a combination of realism and idealism, and love not only for the game but for his fellow human beings. A good attitude.