"A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it."
(Unknown, yet obviously brilliant)
Your attitude is your choice 100% of the time.
If you tell yourself anything other than that, you are lying to yourself.
Of course, there are days, times, situations and people that make it easier or more difficult to choose your attitude in that moment, but it's always your choice.
The word 'attitude' is derived from the Latin and Italian words for posture and disposition. In other words, it stems from the way you carry yourself. It's how you 'show-up.'
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." (Winston Churchill)
If you observe other people, or even yourself, you'll notice that people sometimes 'show-up' in ways that make you think they failed, even thought they actually did a good job.
In any Olympic feat (literally and figuratively), there are multiple winners standing on the podium. If you stand (anywhere) on that podium and relish in the fact that you did something pretty amazing, you will exude an attitude of pride, joy, and accomplishment. However, if you stand on that podium and focus on the fact that you only got the bronze medal instead of a gold or silver one, your attitude will reflect disdain at best and jealousy or failure at worst.
"Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations." (Edward de Bono)
It's not that you can't be disappointed. In fact, disappointment is sometimes what motivates you to continue improving. Attitude is about showing-up, doing your best, and owning your outcome - because you worked hard to get there and did accomplish something.
"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." (Zig Ziglar)
The fact that you can win, succeed, move forward or learn something and still be depressed, miserable, or disappointed is a choice. You've simply chosen an attitude that sucks. More than that, you've chosen an attitude that will not get you any further than you are right now.
There are plenty of people who are much less talented than you who are doing a lot more than you are and accomplishing more. That is often attributed to their choice of attitude - keep it positive and learn from what happens; no matter what happens, keep going.
"Attitude is one of the main drivers of success. Attitude is what creates action or inaction." (Robin Sacks)
Along with getting clarity and taking action, attitude is probably the biggest driver of success. When you choose a positive attitude, and take ownership of wherever you land, it doesn't matter if you trip, fall, or go the distance that day. No matter what happens, you have chosen to find the thing within that experience that moves you forward.
"Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold." (Maurice Setter)
So the next time you're standing on the proverbial podium with the first and second place winners, and you're the one holding the third place trophy, make sure that you are smiling and screaming at the top of your lungs, "Yeah I did it!"
Be that person and you will rarely find yourself drifting backwards or feeling unhappy again.