Attitude Is The Difference Between Winning And Losing

The little thing called “attitude” makes the big difference called “winning.”

Hold up your thumb and forefinger about 2-1/2 inches apart. That is what 1/100th of a second translates into in a 100-meter race run by Olympians.

For example, in the women’s 100-meter dash at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games, a runner from Jamaica finished 6/100th of a second behind the winner. For that she came in fifth place. An American runner was 4/100th of a second back, and for all that she got bronze. Another Jamaican was 1/100th of a second back to get the silver. The gold was won by an American who crossed the line by only 2-1/2 inches – or one thumb and forefinger — in front of her closest opponent, and all this after 1200 meters of electrifying speed.

And yet that little bit of difference, that split second, those 2-1/2 inches made all the difference in the world. The same goes for attitude. When you come right down to the bottom line, when you compare age, gender, upbringing, education, IQ, and just about any other factor you can think of, research says that attitude is the little bit of difference that makes all the difference in success. In fact, the research makes it very clear that attitude is more important than any other element when it comes to ensuring success. I talk about that in chapters 1 and 2 of my new book, “PIVOT: How One Turn In Attitude Can Lead To Success.”

Of course, you may not be convinced about the absolute power and necessity of attitude. So let me outline 3 “POWERS” that will be given to you if you know how to get and keep a positive attitude.

=> 1. The Power of Direction

Negative people are afflicted by one of the greatest myths of all time. They think and say things like, “I can’t help the way I feel … That’s just the way I am … There’s nothing I can do about it … That’s how I was raised.” They are pitiful, ignorant, and deceived souls.

By contrast, people with a positive attitude have the “Power of Direction.” They may not choose the circumstances in which they find themselves, and they may not choose the problems that come into their lives, but they know they’re not stuck there. They have the power to choose a new direction. People with a positive attitude subscribe to the sentiments found in the poem entitled, “You Are The Master Of Your Fate.” It says, in part…

“It is your philosophical set of the sails,
That determines the course of your life.
To change your current direction,
You have to change your philosophy, not your circumstances.
Instead of saying, ‘I sure hope things will change,’
Learn that the only way things are going to change is when you change.”

You should study the “7-Day Mental Diet Plan” found in my “PIVOT” book. I give you one key thing to do each day. Simply follow the diet for a week, or a few weeks, and you will actually see and feel “The Power Of Direction” come alive in your life. In fact, it will change your life, your career, and your relationships in new and wonderful ways.

=> 2. The Power of Excellence.

The sluggards in life, the negative folks, feel relieved if they can get by with doing as little as possible. They might even brag about how they pulled one over on the boss when he or she was away.

But do not mistake their “relief” as anything close to joy, self-esteem, or self-respect. You can never — let me repeat myself — you can NEVER feel good about yourself by doing anything less than your best or settling for anything less than excellent.

Now I’ll grant you the fact that some people may “THINK” they can’t do any better. But that’s not their real problem. It’s merely a symptom of the real problem — which is their negative attitude.

When you learn how to get and keep an enduring, unstoppable, unsinkable positive attitude, you will be given “The Power of Excellence.” One of my heroes, the legendary football coach Lou Holtz put it this way. He said, “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. But attitude determines how well you do it.”

Johann Friedrich Schiller said about the same thing. He wrote, “Enthusiasm (or a positive attitude) is that kindling spark which marks the difference between the leaders in every activity and the laggards who put in just enough to get by.”

Quite simply, when you get the right attitude, you won’t be willing to settle for “good enough.” You will want excellence; you will pursue excellence, and you will achieve excellence.

In my simple way of saying things, I display a Power Point slide in my “Taking Charge: Motivating Yourself To Achieve More Than Ever” presentation. It says:

“Emotion will win over logic.
Heart will dominate the head.
Enthusiasm will defeat talent.
Attitude will determine success.
The tortoise will whip the hare.”

The undisputed hero to almost everyone, Abraham Lincoln, said it best. He talked about “The Power of Excellence” when he said, “Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”

=> 3. The Power of Easier

I am by no means Pollyannish. I know that life is filled with problems, setbacks, hurts, and traumas. And merely having a positive attitude will not magically erase or prevent those difficulties from happening in your life. It won’t even make your difficulties easy. But the right kind of attitude will give you the “The Power of Easier.”

The author Ellen Glasgow pointed that out. She wrote, “No life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.” I agree.

That’s why I’m renaming my Peak Performance Boot Camp. I’m going to call it “The Journey to the Extraordinary.” During the two-day program, I literally give you a roadmap to results — and a part of that is showing you how to get and keep a positive attitude that will make results “easier” for you to get.

But let me give you one example as to how you will get “The Power of Easier” when you read my “PIVOT” book or attend my “Journey” program. Here’s what Louis Rusiski from Bell Atlantic had to say.


“Exactly one year today I was diagnosed with diabetes. My doctor hospitalized me immediately. It was during this time, when I was feeling sorry for myself, that I recalled your words at our seminar.

“I weighed the pluses and minuses of the situation and came to the realization that I was quite likely the luckiest person on earth. When I expressed this idea to my doctor he gave me a puzzled look.

“I explained I was lucky to have a good friend, a fraternity brother, as my doctor. I knew he would use all his skills to see that I got the best care. I was lucky to be married to a wonderful woman for 27 years, a registered nurse who would use all of her skills to see that his orders were carried out. In essence, I had 24 hour, 7-day care.

“Moreover, I was lucky that the insulin I lacked was readily available, and I was lucky that I was forced to lead a healthy lifestyle. I would have to eat correctly and get regular exercise. I was lucky that I would have regular doctor visits, which meant I would get to see my friend more often, and he would detect any problems early on.

“I began to practice what you taught me, how to be an actor rather than a reactor. I refused to be defeated. I could live with diabetes. A lot of the others had it much worse than I did. As my youngest son said, ‘At least you had 50 years without it.’

“After being released from the hospital, I resumed my daily activities with renewed enthusiasm. I would talk to my body, telling it to heal itself. I affirmed that I could do it! I was thankful for every new day. I was thankful for having a positive mental attitude. I was thankful we met and had a chance to talk.

“Although it is too late to make a long story short, I am extremely pleased to say my diabetes is in remission. I am totally off medication. I control my glucose levels with diet and exercise. My doctor said he had never seen anything quite like it.

“I don’t know if a person can will himself to be healed, and I don’t know if others can do what I did. I like to believe they can, with a positive mental attitude.

“Thank you for contributing to my recovery!”


Louis W. Rusiski. P.E.

Action:  What’s your strong suit? The Power of Direction? The Power of Excellence? The Power of Easier? Celebrate that. Give thanks for that.

Then select the “POWER” that is the least powerful in your life. Ask yourself, “What am I doing about it NOW? And what will I do about it in the FUTURE?” If you’re not sure, I just listed several resources that I have available.