On June 28th, 1939, Joe Louis defended his heavyweight boxing title against Tony “Two-Ton” Galento in Yankee Stadium. Galento could take a punch and was known as a big hitter. In the second round, Louis knocked Galento down and seemed to be controlling the fight. But in the third round, Galento took over and knocked Louis down to the canvas.
Louis dazed and reeling took a partial count then jumped back to his feet and went after his opponent. When Louis went to his corner at the end of the round, his trainer chastised him: “You know you’re supposed to take the full count when you go down. Why didn’t you stay down for nine?”
“What!” answered Louis, “and give him a chance to rest?”
Louis out-boxed Galento so badly in the fourth round that the referee stopped the fight.
There is little that tips a level playing field in your favor more than a good attitude. While it’s certainly possible for a person to experience success without a good attitude, with a positive attitude the chances of achievement skyrocket as does the amount the success is enjoyed. All things being equal, attitude wins. All things not being equal, attitude sometimes still wins.
Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth-century poet and critic, stated, “He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.”
John Maxwell goes on to say, “The thoughts in your mind will always be more important than the things in your life.” Well, I had a chance to see how well I could live this quote a couple of weeks ago when on a kayak paddle on the Mousam River with our friend Gwynne. We experienced a stunningly beautiful morning up the river and when finished I placed my camera equipment on the bank and pulled my kayak out of the water. I turned back to retrieve the camera bag and the gear that it held and …. it was not where I had left it. It had slid down the bank and sat at the bottom of the river. I quickly realized that a waterproof bag isn’t too effective when it isn’t zipped up. I reached down to the river bottom and pulled the gear out and observed my camera and lenses having been transformed into an aquarium.
Gwynne looked at me, I looked at her and well, what can you do at that point? As Tyler Winget suggest, “When you mess up … big deal. Just admit it, fix it, and move on. Other than that life’s just a party.”
Larry Winget states, If you have made a mistake, do not waste time beating yourself up over it. Taking responsibility is not about saying how stupid you are ….” Really? When it’s many thousands of dollars of equipment the stupidity factor does start to resonate. But I did move on and we enjoyed the rest of the day.
Og Mandino shares, “When you have finished your day be done with it. Never save any of your load to carry on the morrow.” Well, likely good advice but I’m glad I didn’t take it literally since the end of the day left me hopeless that the equipment could be fixed. A couple of subsequent calls to the local camera shop and Canon both revealed the equipment was dead. So I wrote it off to stupidity, moved on, and enjoyed the rest of vacation. But, being a little stubborn, when vacation was over I did a little research on the web and found Advance Camera Repair in Oregon who had just recently completed the same restoration so I called them and explained my situation. Though they gave me little hope due to the lapse of time having been seven days since the dunking I sent it to them and received the call yesterday – the camera is fixed! It is a great company and with staff who provide exceptional service should you ever need camera repairs.
But, in the end Tyler Winget is right, admit it, fix it, move on, and enjoy the party. All of that is a whole lot easier when we do the diligent work necessary to maintain a good attitude. The challenge with any discipline including attitude is it will not take care of itself. We need to attend to it regularly. It’s not easy to control your attitude and make yourself happy when you’re not.
It really comes down to our philosophy and what is important to remember in these times is how much we have to be grateful for. If we can master our attitude we will most often find that Legendary NCAA basketball coach John Wooden’s quote holds true, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Excerpts have been taken from Today Matters by John Maxwell.