Of Attitude and Altitude
“True, we are born with a certain baggage and some characteristics but, as late President-philosopher of India Dr Sarvapelli Radhkrishnan wrote, we have the possibility of altering course. He compares destiny to being given a hand of cards: we have no control over the shuffling and what hand we end up having. But if we know how to play the game, then we can win. And so is it with the game of life. Whatever or however we start with, especially if these are limited, if we play the game well we will definitely make progress and achieve success and satisfaction. We may not touch the skies, but we will be happy with at least reaching the moon…”
Dr R Neerunjun Gopee A popular saying is that it is our attitude which determines our altitude, that is, how successful we are. Some people have actually gone to the trouble of working it out in a rather interesting way.
If the letters of the alphabet are given serial numbers, starting with A= 1, then we end up with each letter having a corresponding number, ending with Z=26. And next, by adding the numbers corresponding to each letter in a word, we find the number equivalent of some key factors that are commonly thought to account for success, and express it as a percentage as follows:
HARDWORK = 98%
KNOWLEDGE = 96%
LOVE = 54%
LUCK = 47%
None of these make up 100% — nor do money or leadership. What does is – ATTITUDE = 100% (do the addition and confirm for yourself!)
Thus, concludes whoever did this computation originally, ‘It is our ATTITUDE towards life and work which makes our life 100% successful.’
We may have qualms with this ‘methodology’ as being too simplistic; nevertheless the point is made – reminds me of a story being told to illustrate a moral issue, and in which the animals talk, much like the Panchatantra tales and the fables of Lafontaine. ‘Now don’t tell me that animals don’t talk! This is a story, the lesson we learn is more important!’ admonished the storyteller, and here also we’ll adopt the same… attitude and happily accept the conclusion that we can have 100% success in life if we have the right attitude. That success will also include managing and coping with any failure that we may come across, for life is not a bed of roses, and as we travel the road to our destination it is inevitable that we will face some obstacles.
Take the case of a student sitting for his final year HSC examination, and who is, say, held up by traffic when he is going to sit for a paper one day. He reaches late and is upset, and does not do as well as he would otherwise have done. When the results come out he gets a lesser grade than he expected, and naturally he is disappointed. What choices does he have? Either he keeps blaming himself for his bad luck or he takes matters in hand firmly, accepting that he could not possibly have any control over the delay caused by traffic hold-up, and decides to resit or proceed to face the future with whatever results he has in hand.
There are surely many students in similar situation, namely who for some reason or the other have obtained a result which is below their expectations, have accepted them with serenity with the support of their parents and teachers, and have moved ahead to lead successful lives. Courtesy the Internet, nowadays we keep being forwarded all kinds of information and one item doing the rounds from time to time is about famous names who were once school drop-outs.
One of the most famous ones recently passed away: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and inventor of the i-phone and other i-devices. These are the people who demonstrate that by sheer perseverance and dogged determination it is possible to overcome difficulties and achieve success. But we don’t have to go as far as them, although they are no doubt the best examples to inspire one and give hope. If we look around closer to us, we will surely find acquaintances who may not have become anywhere near as famous but who have nevertheless gone on to do well for themselves, pursuing career, raising family and contributing towards the common good.
One of my best friends in primary school was not able to join the Royal College Curepipe despite securing admission, because his father, a labourer, could not afford to pay the monthly fee of Rs 10 for Form I. I lost contact with him until I was in HSC, when one afternoon on the way back home I saw a new bicycle repair shop that had opened not far from where I stayed. Standing at its entrance I could recognize my earlier schoolmate, and promptly went to meet him.
We were very happy to meet after so many years and exchange notes. He told how he had helped his father in the fields until the latter decided to find him an apprenticeship, and that is how he became a bicycle mechanic. He had recently set up this new shop, which was very neat and well-equipped by the standards of those days. I must admit that I discerned in him a greater degree of maturity than I possessed. He seemed to be quite happy with his work, about which he gave me some insights. There was no trace of jealousy or bitterness in his conversation, although we both knew quite well that he had got better results than me.
I continued to drop by fairly regularly until one day he told me that he would be shifting to another locality, which was unfortunately not on my usual path. That was the last I saw of him, but he always remained for me a role model of humility and adaptation. I have no doubt that, with the kind of realism and level of maturity that he displayed, he must have done very well for himself. Bless him if he is still around!
There is no such thing as fixed destiny. True, we are born with a certain baggage and some characteristics but, as late President-philosopher of India Dr Sarvapelli Radhkrishnan wrote, we have the possibility of altering course. He compares destiny to being given a hand of cards: we have no control over the shuffling and what hand we end up having. But if we know how to play the game, then we can win.
And so is it with the game of life. Whatever or however we start with, especially if these are limited, if we play the game well we will definitely make progress and achieve success and satisfaction. We may not touch the skies, but we will be happy with at least reaching the moon. High enough, I would think…
* * *
Attitude Is Altitude – The Nick Vujicic Story
A Profile In Human and Business Courage and Excellence
Have you ever started feeling sorry for yourself? Felt that life is hard and there are so many barriers between you and the success you hope to achieve?
I, myself, am writing this article today from the Hematology/Immunolgy Dept. of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, I.V. in arm, where I spend the better part of 15 to 20 hours/month being treated for a genetic disorder which affects approximately 1 out of every 70,000 people. Today, feeling just a bit down, Nick’s story has given me ammunition and inspiration needed to look past my own issues and to admire what real challenges are. Challenges which would have made me quit and throw my hands up in surrender! His challenges…
Nick Vujicic, (pronounced voy–chitch), was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1982. At the moment of birth his parents knew something was wrong. He had no arms or legs. Nick was diagnosed with an incredibly rare condition known as Tetra–amelia Syndrome, a condition whereby the body’s limbs stop developing in the womb.
Because of his perceived disability, Nick was deprived of a normal education; despite his brilliance, he was prohibited from attending mainstream schools. Bullied relentlessly by his peers, he sank into deep depression, grew withdrawn and even contemplated suicide. Fortunately, the laws were changed during his later childhood; he was one of the first disabled people to be “main-streamed.” Soon after, Nick had an epiphany moment. He knew he wanted to live and he was determined to thrive!
Nick excelled in school, learning to type and write with his two toes. He learned to play drums and participated in sports and other activities.
At the age of eighteen, Nick began speaking publicly about overcoming challenges and adversity. He knew that he had a unique gift that had to be shared with the world. It was at this point that he started his non-profit organization ‘Life Without Limbs’.
Nick’s next challenge was the world of Academia. He enrolled in Brisbane, Australia’s Griffith University, eventually earning degrees in Accounting and Financial Planning.
These days Nick Vujicic travels around the world delivering his inspirational messages of hope, the achievement of goals and dreams and overcoming adversity to students and businesses alike. He has been featured on such programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC’s 20/20.
Nick’s first book, Life Without Limits (Broadway Books) hit the shelves last year, October 2010! I have read it and take my word for it, it is a FANTASTIC, MESMERIZING, UPLIFTING read! It is available on Amazon.