Mental Attitude Can Be Negative or Positive

by Napoleon Hill

Only a positive mental attitude pays off in the affairs of our everyday living, so let us see what it is, and how we may get it and apply it in the struggle for the things and circumstances we desire in life.

A positive mental attitude has many facets and innumerable combinations for its application in connection with every circumstance which affects our lives.

First of all, a positive mental attitude is the fixed purpose to make every experience, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, yield some form of benefit which will help us to balance our lives with all the things which lead to peace of mind.

It is the habit of searching for the "seed of an equivalent benefit" which comes with every failure, defeat, or adversity we experience, and causing that seed to germinate into something beneficial. Only a positive mental attitude can recognize and benefit by the lessons or the seed of an equivalent benefit which comes with all unpleasant things that one experiences.

A positive mental attitude is the habit of keeping the mind busily engaged in connection with the circumstances and things one desires in life, and off the things one does not desire. The majority of people go all the way through life with their mental attitudes dominated by fears and anxieties and worries over circumstances which somehow have a way of making their appearance sooner or later. And the strange part of this truth is that these people often blame other people for the misfortunes they have thus brought upon themselves by their negative mental attitudes.


"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou Holtz

I felt this was a great piece by Napoleon Hill to share on this blog as, healthy attitudes can shape the way we handle dangerous situations and can help keep us safe and make us more effective. Attitude we control and advocate our moods and actions, which both play a role in how we respond and how people we deal with reflect back to us. There is a cause and effect to our attitude. Any fact facing us in not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure, is how Norman Vincent Peale, described attitude. We see this effect daily in our work as we accord with people we serve who are often times possessing a negative attitude and it is up to us to shape and reshape the situation as we attempt to deescalate dynamic encounters. Our success depends greatly on our attitudes be it communicating or when necessary using reasonable force.

William James said; “Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude in mind.” We get back what we expect from ourselves and from others. It can be bright and full of hope and satisfaction or it can be dark and gloomy. We in law enforcement have seen both sides of this equation. If you’re polite and professional then I will be polite and cooperate, works well in most cases, if we show some patience and understanding as we accord with people in crisis. You act first, it has to start somewhere let it begin with us law enforcement professionals. Yes we have to be weary of those who may wish to do us harm but a positive attitude can help us maintain safety as we are both tactful in our response while maintaining our awareness and a tactical mindset. Yes it’s a tall order for sure and yes it takes hard work to stay positive and keep a winning mindset as people lash out with emotion and we attempt to deal with the unknowns and unpredictability of people. How we approach situations tactically considering the moral, mental and physical dimensions of conflict is crucial to our safety and an all around successful outcome.

Success is the natural order of things if we have the right attitude. Take the time to develop good attitude with practice. Say yes to life and the profession you have chosen and make a difference the world as you carry out your duties to protect and serve. Earl Nightingale said; “Successful people come in all shapes and sizes ages and colors and widely varying degrees of intelligence and education. One thing in common they expect more good out of life than bad they expect to succeed more often then they fail and, they do.”

Stay Oriented!