November 2003 - Attitude is Everything
Attitude is Everything
How we see the world affects how we feel, our health, our relationships and every aspect of our day-to-day existence.
If we see the world as a friendly place, it will be. If we see the world as threatening, it will be.
Inherent in our personality are attitude traits that we can choose to use in a positive way or we can choose to operate from the negative side of our personality. People under stress or operating from fear, will tend to go to the negative aspects of their personality unconsciously. Learning about yourself and others provides information to make more informed choices about how we operate and our daily attitude.
In this article, we will share some of the basic personality traits from our Personality Game as well as tips for making a choice to operate from the positive of your attitude.
Each person has a basic personality trait in our Personality Game called their "Attitude." There are seven of these: Skeptic, Idealist, Stoic, Visionary, Cynic, Realist and Pragmatist.
A person with a Skeptic attitude does not believe things they are told or as others might believe. Before they go along with something, they must check it out for themselves.
In the positive use of this attitude, the person investigates thoroughly. In the negative use of this attitude, they are suspicious of everything.
Skeptics seek the truth and try to draw out the truth. Skeptics are skeptical about everything in the world and even doubt their own thoughts. Skeptics make good lawyers, detectives and investigative reporters. Once they check it out for themselves, they become convinced.
Skeptic can be a hard attitude and Skeptics can be frustrating to deal with at times. Others can become frustrated with the Skeptic when they constantly refuse to go along with things that others may take for granted. A typical Skeptic will not trust what they are told and will ask again and again to be sure.
The Skeptic might say something like, "I wonít believe it until you prove it to me." Or, "If it is important, I check and double-check, and then check again."
Some famous people with a Skeptic attitude include Kim Basinger, Roseanne Barr, William Buckley, Edgar Casey, Arthur C. Clarke, Sean Connery, Katie Couric, Michael Crichton, Walter Cronkite, Billy Crystal, Leonardo Da Vinci, Phyllis Diller, Faye Dunnaway, Bob Dylan, Roger Ebert, Thomas Edison, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Bryant Gumbel, Peter Jennings, Courtney Love, Bette Midler, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Plato, Jerry Seinfeld, Socrates, Meryl Streep, Mark Twain, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters.
Think about the story about Thomas Edison, who supposedly found 10,000 ways NOT to develop a light bulb. Notice how that might demonstrate the positive side of a Skepticís need to check and re-check. Thomas Edison also had a Mode trait of Perseverance, which helps people stick to a task until complete. Both demonstrate a worthwhile combination of traits for what he eventually accomplished.
Skeptics represent about 5% of the world and U.S. population.
A person with an Idealist attitude sees the "ideal" situation, person or event.
The positive side of the Idealist inspires people to seek a higher ideal. When that comes together, they coalesce people in search of that ideal goal. In the negative side, the Idealist becomes very disappointed in themselves or others. They may be harshly critical of themselves and those who do not live up to their ideal. They do not see what is real, therefore, they can be quite naÔve.
They are the people who buy from door-to-door salespeople because they naively expect others to be what they should be. They can be very naÔve about the real world, believing that the "ideal" is possible. The Idealist can be very romantic, thinking every relationship is IT!
The Idealist might say things like, "I see a better way. It ought to be done right. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country. I have a dream . . ."
Famous Idealists include Maya Angelou, Marie Antoinette ("Let them eat cake"), Johan Sebastian Bach, Carlos Castaneda, Fidel Castro, President Bill Clinton, Frances Ford Coppola, Walt Disney ("All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them"), Jane Fonda, Galileo Galilei, Steven Hawking, Franz Josef Haydn, Ernest Hemingway, Adolph Hitler, Bob Hope, Thomas Jefferson, Steven Jobs, Janis Joplin, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy Jr., Senator Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Timothy Leary, Martin Luther, Imelda Marcos, Paul McCartney, Michelangelo, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ralph Nader, Oliver North, Yoko Ono, Evita Peron, Steven Spielberg, Benjamin Spock, Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Tchaikovsky, Mao Tse Tung, Vincent Van Gogh, Lech Walensa, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Think about how Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Michelangelo, Tchaikovsky, Van Gogh, Steven Spielberg and Walt Disney changed the world through their ability to see a better way. Notice how President John Kennedy set a challenge that put a man on the moon ("Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country") and how Martin Luther King Jr. forced a nation to look at itself ("I have a dream . . ."). Notice how some of the other famous people tried to achieve their ideal or naively found themselves in trouble.
Idealists make up about 10% of the world population and about 30% of the U.S. population.
The Stoic holds in their expression with a "grin and bear it" attitude. In the positive side, they are at peace with what is going on. In the negative side, they are resigned to having to put up with something that may not be what they want.
Stoics make good police officers because they donít reveal what they are thinking in their facial expression. There are many Stoic athletes ó they can sustain intense practice. Stoics are not trying to hide their feelings; itís just the way they are built. Other people may ask if they are okay or wonder why they donít express more feeling in their facial expression.
Famous people with the Stoic attitude include: Joan Baez, Cher, Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, Julia Child, Winston Churchill, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Robert Dole, Queen Elizabeth II, Ulysses S. Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Calamity Jane, Genghis Kahn, Pope John Paul II, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mitchum, Jim Morrison, Benito Mussolini, Martina Navratilova, Willie Nelson, Pat Nixon, Edward James Olmos, Christopher Reeve, Gautama Siddhartha, O.J. Simpson, Mr. Spock, Ringo Starr, Denzel Washington, George Washington, John Wayne, Orson Wells.
Notice how the Stoic attitude shows in someoneís demeanor. Or, how their lack of facial expression demonstrates their ability to endure and seemingly remain calm. Alfred Hitchcockís deadpan expression as he introduced his weekly television show and Marlon Brandoís stoicism contributed to their success and to their mystique. The news media described O.J. Simpson this way: "As the verdict was read, Simpson remained stoic, staring straight ahead."
Stoics make up about 5% of the world and U.S. population.
Visionary (formerly called Spiritualist)
The Visionary attitude sees what "could" be. They see more possibilities and inspire people to see them. Someone with a Visionary attitude might say, "There are 16 different ways to approach this one. Most people donít realize a fraction of their potential. I know I make the world better."
Because Visionaries are focused on the future, they may have trouble with present time. They constantly look past everyday things. They love philosophy and religion. Many feel they could step in and be CEO of their company because they see the big picture.
The Visionary in the positive side can be quite inspiring. In the negative side, they can be quite attached to their own beliefs.
Famous Visionaries include Aristotle, Tammy Fae Bakker, Ludwig Beethoven, Pat Boone, John Bradshaw, Pearl Buck, Barbara Bush, Jimmy Carter, Judy Collins, Ram Dass, Judy Garland, Billy Graham, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Saint Joan of Arc, Carl Jung, Liberace, Shirley Maclaine, Marilyn Monroe, Ralph Nader, Florence Nightingale, Gwenyth Paltrow, Elvis Presley, Priscilla Presley, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Winona Ryder, Carl Sagan, Jimmy Swaggart, Mother Teresa, Terry Cole Whitaker, Stevie Wonder, Kristy Yamaguchi.
Saint Joan of Arc saw possibilities that no one else could see and inspired an army to follow her lead. Similarly, Mother Teresa saw great possibilities where others saw only poverty and devastation. Elvis Presley inspired the world with his music, initially only wanting to sing the gospel music he loved. In his private life, he studied philosophy and world religions. Some of the most ardent "preachers" (whether ministers or not) are Visionaries.
Visionaries comprise about 10% of the world population and about 5% of the U.S. population.
The Cynic sees the harsh realities of life and helps us avoid disaster. The Cynic might say, "If things can go wrong, they will. Murphyís Law is alive and well."
In the positive side, they help us see the other side of things, arguing as the Devilís Advocate. In the negative side, they denigrate everything.
Cynics are willing to look at the dark side of life and see the opposite of everyone elseís views. They often use dark humor.
Cynics can be very hard to be around because they are always at odds with the majority, yet they play a very valuable role for society by helping us see the downsides.
Famous people include Woody Allen, John Belushi, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, George Carlin, Marie Curie, Bette Davis, James Dean, Marianne Faithfull, Whoopie Goldberg, Mick Jagger, Ayatollah Khomeini, Larry King, Stephen King, Charles Manson, River Phoenix, Edgar Allen Poe, Joan Rivers, Oliver Stone, Tennessee Williams.
Notice how Woody Allen and George Carlin use their Cynic attitude to create humor while helping us see the dark side. Edgar Allen Poe showed us how to look at our hidden fears in a compelling way. River Phoenix exemplified the Cynic attitude in this quote, "The biggest problem was I was terrible for commercials - I couldnít smile on cue. Commercials were too phony for me. It was selling a product, and who owns the product? Are they supporting apartheid? I just didnít like the whole thing, even though it helped us pay the rent. How could I tell anybody to drink cranberry juice? I didnít drink it. I didnít believe what I was saying."
Cynics comprise about 5% of the world and U.S. population.
The Realist sees things as they are ó they see what is real, as opposed to the Idealist who sees "what should be" or the Visionary who sees "what could be."
The positive aspect of the Realist is their ability to be Objective. In the negative side, they can be subjective, seeing only their own biased version of reality.
The realist might say something like, "This is probably what will happen. I can see all sides to a situation."
Realists can be impartial and non-judgmental by seeing all sides of an issue or argument. They make excellent negotiators, judges and planners, although they are slower to come to a decision because they must evaluate all sides rather than jumping to a conclusion as other attitudes might do.
Famous people include Bella Abzug, Princess Anne, Corazon Aquino, Senator Barbara Boxer, Christie Brinkley, Tom Brokow, Albert Brooks, Jane Bryant Quinn, Hans Blix, Cleopatra, Joan Collins, Russell Crowe, Princess Diana of England, Elizabeth Dole, Clint Eastwood, Albert Einstein, Senator Diane Feinstein, Michael J. Fox, Lorne Greene, George Frederic Handel, Katherine Hepburn, Rock Hudson, Immanuel Kant, Spike Lee, Madonna, Mary Tyler Moore, Sandra Day OíConnor, Colin Powell, Beverly Sills, Gene Siskel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Abigail Van Buren, Mae West, Winnie the Pooh.
Notice how the Realist attitude helps U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day OíConnor consider court cases that affect the lives of many people. How it is useful for Abigail Van Buren, who writes the "Dear Abby" column. And, how important being a Realist is for Hans Blix, who heads the United Nations team searching for evidence of nuclear materials in Iraq.
Realists comprise about 10% of the world population and about 30% of the U.S. population.
The Pragmatist sees what is practical or economical. In the positive side, they are great at improving productivity, cutting to the heart of a matter and eliminating waste. In the negative side, they may jump quickly to an efficient solution without seeing all aspects of an issue. They can also be dogmatic and boring, seeing what they think is most efficient, not what others might think is most effective.
The Pragmatist might say, "Do it my way, because itís most efficient." Most Pragmatists are Intellectually centered. Pragmatists who are Emotionally center have a very hard time (itís just not practical to be emotional). Pragmatists are the most able to shift to other attitudes when needed.
Pragmatists are least less likely to run off and be impulsive. They tend to organize their life. Often, they need to learn to loosen up and be spontaneous. They can get stuck in too much planning and miss the fun.
Pragmatists are drawn to our Personality Game if it makes sense to them because it organizes personalities.
Famous Pragmatists include Prince Andrew of England, Mary Kay Ash, Fred Astaire, Jim Bakker, Lucille Ball, Lloyd Bentsen, Charles Bronson, President George Bush (Sr.), George Washington Carver, Senator Hilary Clinton, Michael Dell, Werner Erhard, Mikhail Gorbachev, Dustin Hoffman, Lee Iacocca, Jesse Jackson, Angela Lansbury, Lee Iacocca, Paul Newman, President Richard Nixon, William Shakespeare, Cybill Shepherd, Carly Simon, Martha Stewart, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Lily Tomlin, Donald Trump.
Notice how the Pragmatist attitude is helpful to Senator Hilary Clinton as she makes decisions affecting her constituents. How it could have helped Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of England. And, how useful it might be for Michael Dell, president of Dell Computers or Donald Trump as head of an international empire. Lady Godiva demonstrated pragmatism in her choice to use her hair as protective covering for her famous ride through town. Angela Lansbury demonstrated the Pragmatist attitude in her television role as writer, Jessica Fletcher who solves many mysteries.
Pragmatists comprise about 20% of the population.
From these descriptions, you should be able to determine what your attitude is according to our system.
We have witnessed seemingly miraculous changes in people who decided to look at themselves and operate from a positive attitude every day.
A great example is the Pike Place Fish Market (www.pikeplacefish.com), which has created a series of training videos to explain how they decided to have fun at work. They now sell their techniques in videos, consulting services and training workshops.
There are four steps to the FISH! Philosophy:
As the Pike Place market employees say, Choose Your Attitude and Have Fun every day! The benefits will be well worth the effort.
As we enter the holiday season, may you remember to be grateful for all the wonderful blessings you have and may your positive daily attitude bring you even more blessings.
These links provide some different views of the names of the Attitudes:
Question: How many Mensans does it take to change a light bulb?
Words to Ponder:
Each of the following books contain a section on the Attitudes. These are all out of print. See the next section below for tips on finding them.
How to Locate or Order Books
About our resource links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
Page updated: April 06, 2017
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