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Attitude is everything

I’m just reading the book One Unknown by Gill Hicks – Survivor of the London Bombings and I feel humbled and at the same time incredibly inspired by Gill’s words and her story.

I’ve long believed that as an individual, my attitude has a massive impact on the way my life is lived yet there are times when my faith and beliefs are tested and staying positive is an enormous challenge. But through my own dips and wobbles I feel that I invariably come out in favour of what can be done, how I can do it and the positive flip side of the negative experiences that come my way.

Fortunately so far in my life I have never personally been tested to the terrifying extreme extent that Gill has but I have close family members and friends who have been similarly tested in other ways and what I have witnessed time and again is that their response to grave circumstances has demonstrated a strength and inner resolve that has seen them achieve extraordinary outcomes.

In reading Gill’s story I draw strength from her determination, her clarity of thought and her incredible impact on those around her. She reminds me that the most inspirational people to me are not those who achieve fantastic sporting success, or build incredible wealth through their business activities, or achieve world fame and renown for their academic, spiritual, artistic, musical, political or other achievements. I notice that I draw the greatest inspiration from those who might in every respect be deemed the ordinary people who do extraordinary things when faced with an incredible and previously unforeseen challenge.

Why? I think because they are the people who are the most ‘normal’ – those I find it easiest to relate to rather than superstars and celebrities.

In day to day life I carry the belief that while we can’t always control everything that happens in our life, I and therefore we, can choose our responses and those responses in turn influence what then happens for us and those around us.

In business and work when I treat people in a certain way they in turn frequently respond in a certain way. When I help them and I do a good turn, all too often those I help do something similar for me.

Gill’s story tells of a life changed in the blink of an eye. She has every reason to be angry and bitter and to lay blame. But even as I reach the quarter way mark in her story I feel that her response is the opposite. The message coming through to me is of hope, belief and survival and a new beginning. Of taking on the new opportunities and of what she can do now rather than what she used to do before the fateful day of the bombing that changed her life so dramatically.

Until we are tested we will never know our own response to grave circumstances but we can draw from Gill and the other extraordinary people like her that the nature of our response has a great impact on what happens next.

As we approach our daily life with enthusiasm and passion we draw the best from every situation and pass on a little good and positive energy to those around us. An energy that draws people to us like iron filings drawn to a magnet and which is spread through them to others we don’t yet know.

If we are to leave a mark on the world we should choose to leave a good one just as Gill and those like her do so frequently and so ‘quietly’.

March 7, 2011 | Category: Tony Altham — Tony Altham
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