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)

15 Responses to The Roles of Attitude and Aptitude in Success

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  2. Very interesting article Dominique.

    I absolutely agree with you. In the end attitude is what makes the biggest difference. It’s the attitude we bring into our daily tasks and projects that pushes us forward or holds us back. I think the following quote says it all:

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

    Although it focuses on persistence, I think that it’s still very relevant to your post.

  3. Matt Joseph says:

    This is a good point. I love how you say that your attitude determines your aptitude. In reality, we are all given the aptitude we need to succeed. If we have the right attitude, we will be able to utilize this aptitude to get what we want. With the wrong attitude, we will never realize our true aptitude.

  4. Ret says:

    I do agree that attitude is deeper than aptitude, but they both should work together to achieve one’s success. Good attitude develops aptitude, while bad attitude destroy aptitude. Also, we should also learn how our principles contribute to our success. Principles begot attitudes.

  5. Martin says:

    So very true. It reminds me of my pet peeve: People always say that artists have it good, they can create and express and yada yada. Truth is, no serious artist is going to refute:

    Succes=90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Hard hard work, many many hours.

  6. Adamn,

    Thank you for you kind words. I agree with you on the quoted you provided, you have to have the right attitude to keep pressing on :-)

  7. The Vizier says:

    Great article Dominique.

    Our minds and attitude shapes how things turn out in our lives.

    Success, unleashing our full potential, overcoming adversity; all these things are dependent on our attitudes.

    But I really loved how you tied everything in with humility and balance. Anything taken to extremes usually causes problems. Moderation also plays a role in success.

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  9. Jdglass33 says:

    I lost myself in overachieving.  I was chasing my own tail in pursuit of something I wasn’t even aware of.  I spent about a month lost and out of balance.  I wasn’t me, and it wasn’t peaceful.  My life was full of turmoil.  I thought I was in hell.  It took a vacation and time and faith to return to the person I was.  I hope that never happens again.  True success is measured by a lack of want.  Why be greedy?

  10. Deeslink says:

    Great information. I train my people that attitude will get you even with the top level of competition in your field.  Aptitude is the tiebreaker.

  11. Aadyabansal says:

    good  thought!

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  14. you tiger you says:

    man you are so weird and stupid who even gives a crap about this dont you know this is just some mumbo jumbo to say where success is we know so stop relying on other people to show you what success is because thats just plain lazy not get off your butts and make your own motivation

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