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Success for teens: Attitude is everything

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 1:11 pm

Editor’s note: This is the second of a monthly series of eight columns focused on teens. We will discuss ways teens can become successful in school as well as outside of school. The importance of defining goals, and practicing small efforts that will yield success.

You have probably heard that, “your attitude determines your altitude.” This is true for adults, but even more important for teens. Your attitude is what determines all of your actions, no matter how simple or complicated. Your body language shows everyone what your attitude is. If you are always looking down and avoiding eye contact, then your attitude shows that you may lack confidence. Confidence in yourself will help you deal with the tough times and situations. You may wonder what controls your attitude or how can you be sure you have the right attitude.

Your philosophy

Your philosophy is just another way of saying how you see yourself and how you see the world. Your philosophy is knowing that with hard work, you can achieve anything. Your philosophy is seeing the positive in almost any situation no matter how bad it could be.

Think about it — what is your philosophy about your life and the world around you?

How you view yourself creates your life

Your philosophy determines your life. It starts with your philosophy determining your attitude. Your attitude determines your actions. Your actions determine your life. Having a positive philosophy on the importance of school will lead to success in school. If you have a positive philosophy on sports and understanding the hard work necessary to be better will lead to success in sports. How students view themselves can explain how two students in the same class can overcome and succeed and the others will fail. The school work is the same, but one student’s view of overcoming adversity can be different than the other student. The way you view experiences determines how you react to them.

Think about it — how do you face adversity in your life? Is your philosophy to conquer adversity and succeed?

Change yourself by changing your philosophy

If you do not like what is happening in your life you can start by changing your philosophy. This is the first step to becoming the person you want to be. This can be a big task, but taking small steps will get you started in the right direction. Stop thinking about the past and start looking to the future. Don’t totally forget about the past or tough circumstances, but accept them and use it to your advantage to improve your situation. Changing your philosophy can and will change your life. Talk to people who are successful about their philosophy and how they view themselves and the world.

Think about it — what can you do now to create the future you want?

Your thoughts matter

What you do matters, but what you think matters even more. Your mind is extremely powerful and the way you think determines the course of your life. What you think determines who you are, your actions, and how others respond to you. There is no more powerful voice than the silent one in your mind. We are always talking or thinking to ourselves and what we are saying affects us. So when you are telling yourself how tough a class is or that going to college is impossible, you are telling yourself to do things that will not allow you to succeed. What you think, multiplied over time, will result in what you want. Look at anything challenging you have done in the past. What were you thinking about that situation? What were you telling yourself? How did it result, in a success or a defeat? When you don’t do well on a test in school, what do you tell yourself? Do you say, “It’s the teacher’s fault” and have a negative thought? Or do you have a positive thought and say, “I am going to study harder and do better next time.”

Think about it — are your thoughts to yourself mostly positive or negative? Should you change them?

Your attitude determines your altitude

Your philosophy is the beginning of creating the life you want. Your philosophy determines your attitude. Your attitude determines your actions. Your actions determine your life. Your thoughts are much louder and more powerful than you think. There is nothing more powerful than the messages you tell yourself. A very inspirational and very profound quote from Sir Edmund Hillary says it all: “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Your mind will tell you to quit long before your body actually quits. Your mind will tell you that you can’t do something long before you even think about trying and will even prevent you from trying to succeed. This month believe that you are unstoppable, and then tell yourself that you are unstoppable. You will be surprised that you will be unstoppable.

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michael Bond is the owner of Ahwatukee-based 1st Place Tutoring. His company assists students in grades K-12 with math, reading and science, and has SAT/ACT test preparation classes for high school students. Reach him at (602) 751-3594, or

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