Life-giving Attitude Part One: The Top FivePercent
By Alex Anderson, Senior Associate Pastor at Bayside Community Church
In my twenties, I was fortunate enough be in sales for a number of years. As in most sales careers, training on social interaction for the purpose of making the sale is imperative, especially for a greenhorn like I was at the time. My mentor had been a successful sales veteran for over twenty-five years. He taught me a phrase that has stuck with me and has been one of the most empowering ideas for my life. And here’s the phrase:
“Your attitude determines your altitude.”
In a word, your attitude determines the level of your success in life. I have found that it doesn’t matter if it is a company, church, university, or a well-run government agency. The top 5% in every organization I have worked for or had close association with in the past thirty years all seem to me to have life-giving attitudes.
Here’s what I mean by a life-giving attitude. This top 5% seem to genuinely care about those with whom they work. They have a spring in their step, a sense of joy about their work. They don’t seem to be easily rocked by bad news and are fairly peaceful folk. They believe that what they are doing is important—even a calling—and work patiently with great expectation. They are genuinely good and kind toward each other and therefore foster a sense of trust and fellowship. They seem to possess an incredible work ethic. Their ability to be consumed with laser focus on a single goal creates an incredible amount of emotional energy and self-control for them. And last but certainly not least, this life-giving attitude gives them genuine hope for their future and…
Those with hope always rise to the top.
Having a life-giving attitude is one of the most powerful things in the world to change your life. And one of the best secrets about it is it is totally under your control. The power to have a life-giving attitude is a unique ability that God has given to all of mankind.
Think of it this way. God has placed in your possession one of the most powerful keys to all of life’s success…the ability to have your own life-giving attitude. It’s the key not just to being a positive person to be around but even more so to be in the top 5% of your field of business, among the top 5% of husbands or wives, in the top 5% of dads or moms, and among the top 5% of money earners who in turn are the top 5% of contributors to those less fortunate—those in the bottom 5% of life.
Success hinges on being life-giving. You will operate out of the fruit of your spirit as opposed to living by the letter of the law. If you do that, you don’t need the law because you are not going to break it.
A life-giving attitude will take you places that your education can’t, your contacts can’t, your health can’t, your knowledge, your background, your pedigree—none of these. The opposite of a life-giving attitude can take you other places, can’t it? How many people do you know who have all the above, yet somewhere in a small but significant way their lives are unraveling and falling apart? And most of the time, the solution centers around attitude.
A life-giving attitude usually expresses itself in three different ways. Jesus was once asked which one of the Ten Commandments was most important.
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’[b] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Notice that Jesus responded with three commandments not one, and showed us that all three were about attitude.
Be life-giving towards God.
For years, I didn’t believe God was a good God. I saw Him as a taskmaster or someone waiting with a hammer, watching and waiting for me to make a mistake so He could derive some kind of demented pleasure from causing me pain. I really didn’t know if that was true…it only felt like it to me. So I decided to find out for myself the truth about God. I first started with the most life-giving people I could find. I wanted to know why they were so life-giving in the face of living with the overshadowing presence of a God such as I imagined.
I’ll share with you what I found in next month’s article (I’m out of space). But for now just think about your life and consider if a self-imposed attitude adjustment would help a small but significant part of your life be even a little better. What if you prayed and asked God to help you be more life-giving in that area? I bet He jumps right in and does that.
To your spiritual health,
Alex E. Anderson
Senior Associate Pastor at
Bayside Community Church
Author, Dangerous Prayers