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Attitude and aptitude

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In the world of work, the companies that are leaders in their field often quote the mantra ‘Recruit for attitude, train for skills.’  But what has this got to do with your child?


One day they will graduate from school or university and enter the world of work.  Their attitude will go a long way towards getting them the plum jobs they really want.


Attitude is not something you’re born with, it’s learned from your upbringing, family and friends.  If you look at Dr Shad Helmstetter’s model, it shows that you get out what you put in – a bit like a juice machine, you don’t put apples in and expect to get orange juice!


Helmstetter’s model shows:


  1. Programming creates beliefs.
  2. Beliefs create attitudes.
  3. Attitudes create feelings.
  4. Feelings determine actions.
  5. Actions create results.


That first one is important – that’s something you do as parents, as you teach your children what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s OK and what’s not.  Kids copy what’s around them, that’s how they learn language – and if they’re influenced by their surroundings, they’ll copy your approach to life too.


So this is where the million-dollar question comes in – how positive is your attitude?


Do you focus on what’s going well or are you always frustrated by setbacks or problems?


It might surprise you to discover that most people are more negative than positive.  Behavioural researchers report that as much as 77% of our thoughts are negative, even though this may be actually hindering us in doing what we want.


Imagine the effect of that on your children? 


The good news is that a positive attitude can be learned, even by an adult.  The secret is to be conscious of what is going on in your mind and actively change negative thoughts into positive ones.


It takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth it, as life gets a whole lot better when you see it from a positive perspective. 


Your children will benefit by finding life full of good things, instead of being focused on what’s not working.


Attitude isn’t aptitude.  Some people have aptitudes for various skills from those who pick up languages quickly to those who play an instrument at a high level.  We all have aptitudes for all kinds of things – and usually they’re things we like to do.


Combine a positive attitude with a natural aptitude and the sky’s the limit.  Who wouldn’t want that for their child?