Attitude Defines Altitude – 1

If you google the word “Attitude” you will get about 38,30,00,000 results in 0.77 seconds, right from the English meaning of the word to thousands of articles on the subject. Dictionary.com defines attitude as

attitude
[at-i-tood, -tyood] noun
1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person orthing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind:
a negative attitude; group attitudes.
2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of anaction, emotion, etc.:
a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.

The keyword is “tendency or orientation, especially of mind”, that makes it an attribute worthy of being owner of. So,
Where should one orient one’s mind, to have the “right” attitude? And what is the right attitude.

Attitude is a combination of many attributes; in fact the attitude is the outcome of, combination of many attributes. So, what attributes should you have on your shopping list, or where would you find those attributes to make your shopping list. You don’t have to go far or dig deep into thick books in your library to find about that list. Just see the achievers around you, the persons who may be ordinary yet extraordinary. People admire them, respect them, and want to be like them.

Read successful persons’ autobiographies or biographies, almost all of them will tell you that they were ordinary people with extraordinary attributes which helped them have the right attitude which made it possible for them. For now, I would pick just one attribute which you would find common to all the achievers, celebrities, and sportspersons. What is that attribute?

Have you seen any of the award functions, on TV; Oscar, Nobel, Miss World, Miss Universe or our own Filmfair? The compère announces the nominations, and then there is a panning shot of audience, with close ups of the nominees, then some guest on the stage opens the envelope and reads out the name of the winner. Clapping, applause and the person moves on to the stage, mic is handed over to him and then he searches in his pocket, brings out a crumpled piece of paper and begins by “I would like to thank….” This is one of first phrase which each one of them speaks.

“Thank” is an expression of gratitude. Being grateful and having an attitude of gratitude always keeps you rooted because whenever you say these words, you remember your roots, your beginning, and makes you realize that you were just an ordinary person till some people in your life, those unsung heroes who did something, or everything to help you support you, guide you, encourage you and brought you at this level.

Attitude of gratitude keeps humility in you alive. Attitude of gratitude ensures that your power supply of support, encouragement is always on, and as you grow higher on the ladder of success, the need for such support is even more. You have seen the light man fixing streetlights, when he is up there on the top rung of the ladder, he needs someone at the ground to hold onto his ladder.

So, now you have one item in your shopping list, “Attitude of Gratitude” How you go about have that attribute in your personality? I will suggest you a simple thing, you will have to work initially for it, till it becomes part of your habit. Start with having a nice notebook, the best you can buy from the market, it should look precious, I didn’t say expensive. There is a difference, I hope you understand it. So have your precious little notebook, now give it a name – “My Book of Gratitude” . You may choose to write your name instead of “My”. Sit at your favorite spot in your house, hostel or college and think you are on that big bright stage receiving the award, and you have to thank people in your life. Write those people’s name in your notebook and few lines about them what makes you feel that way. I know first name would certainly come of your mother. Write it, you just can’t express your gratitude towards your mothers in few lines, but still give it a try. Then other people, your family, friend, teachers or anyone else who did something for you. Visit your book at least once in a day, preferably before going to sleep, and see if you can add some more names to it.

This game would help you in finding other items in your shopping list of attribute, how? The qualities that you appreciate in these people, you are grateful to, are the attributes that are worth having. I will also supplement your list in this series in due course.

You must know that as Indians – “Attitude of Gratitude” is in our culture. Namaskara signifies it, if you google meaning of Namaskara you will find – “It is used both for salutation and valediction. Namaste is usually spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana. In Hinduism it means “I bow to the divine in you”

Indian civilization always taught us this humility and attitude of gratitude, some of us might remember Pratah Smaran (प्रातः स्मरण)
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी, करमध्ये सरस्वती, करमूले तु गोविन्दः प्रभाते कर दर्शनम् we looked at our palms and said these lines where we paid our reverence to these gods and after this, we said lines in the honor of matri bhumi and begged our pardon for putting our foot on it.

समुन्द्रवसने देवि! पर्वतस्तनमण्डले।
विष्णुपत्नि!नमस्तुभ्यंपादस्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे

These shlolkas were designed to ingrain the attitude of gratitude towards the land which gives us everything, towards nature. This was our insurance to survival, because with gratefulness comes respect and you will never harm someone you respect. The basic idea behind worshiping land, water, air, fire, trees and other elements of nature which are making human life possible is to have the sense of gratitude, which will never let your harm them and thereby destroy humanity. I don’t need to tell you, the disrespect and ungratefulness towards nature is bringing disaster for our world.

Contributed by

Mr. K. K. Bajpai
Associate Professor
SMS, Varanasi

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