The Roles of Attitude and Aptitude in Success

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Success is something that every individual strives to achieve.

Every single person in the world has their own goals and dreams. Young or old, male or female, black or white, rich or poor, all have the same drive and desire to live life in the best way they see possible. Trying to succeed is an integral human behavior that pays no heed to superficial and emotional factors. We are built to want something more, to improve ourselves, and to be a better person than who we were yesterday. How does one succeed in life? This is a common question that one asks countless times. The answer depends on how you view yourself. You know yourself more than anybody else. This means that you can have the most precise answer from within you; and no one else can come as close to the correct answer than you can. However, there is always something you can do to ensure that you do find the answer.

Attitudes can be likened to a simple engine that can either slow you down, or help you move forward.

As simple as it is, it is the only sure method you have for being successful in life and in the end, it all comes down to how well you manage it. Always bear in mind that in the path to success, your attitude determines what and how much you can do. It is the one responsible for guiding your aptitudes, but when infected by pride; it can become as useless as an abandoned car left to rust and waste through time. Whether you make it or not depends mainly on which attitudes you possess. For instance, Determination; which you learned as a toddler when you got up after each stumble. Fortitude, which you discovered as you learned to wipe your tears and continue after each hurt. Courage; which you acquired as you learned to cope with the hazards of your environment, and Sociability; which you begin to acquire as soon as you talk and communicate with others. Such attitudes ensure that as you strive to make your dreams come true and as you push to make your goals ever nearer, you do so without losing your sense of worth. The seed of success lies within and what we call maturing is the ever growing ability to look inside and find our answers within our self. Self knowledge is the fuel that feeds positive attitudes.

Aptitudes come hand in hand with your attitudes. Everyone is born with a basketful of aptitudes we usually call talents.

Aptitudes are our potential to learn skills which we develop and hone through time. We call it growing up. When you learn and begin to utilize your talents to take control of your environment, you begin weaving a particular set of aptitudes. What works, you continue using. What does not, you strive to change. However, aptitudes alone cannot take you all the way through the path to success. It is fully dependent on the very nature of the attitudes you have. This is mainly why your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.

Run your attitude with humility and you can achieve your highest goals and dreams, use pride and don’t hope to even see a glimpse of them.

It is so very easy to weave a net of attitudes that lead to failure. This is so because for every positive, there is a negative. Fortitude carried to excess leads to a conviction that one exists only in suffering. Courage can lead to foolhardiness, and self knowledge can be infected by hubris, and to rigidity that kills creativity. Also, while the pursuit of wealth is a given in our world- a necessity and an adjunct to survival, it is not the ultimate aim. Life should be more than that. In the tendency to forget everything else for the sake of gathering wealth, failure comes easily. To avoid these unfavorable changes, it is imperative that you keep your aptitudes in check and never get carried away to the point that you don’t even realize your attitude is changing for the worse.

Achieving success is never an easy feat; rather, it demands hard work.

You have an advantage if you know that your success or failure depends on your attitudes. Start taking a closer look within and see if you have been too focused on what you want to achieve that it didn’t even cross your mind to check if you are still truly YOU. If you have, determine what led you astray and work hard at finding the correct set of aptitudes and attitudes and if you have not, then don’t lose track and continue keeping a close eye on yourself. Only you can make your own way to success. Have you reflected on your attitudes and aptitudes today?

Dominique Brown writes at If you enjoyed this article, you may wish to visit his website and subscribe to his RSS feed and follow him on twitter at Motivatingw0rds (yes that’s a zero after the w)