All men may be created equal in regards to their unalienable rights (cf. the Declaration of Independence). But in virtually every other sense they are definitely not created equal. Some men are created with an arm span three inches longer than his height (Michael Phelps) which has enabled him to go on to achieve great success in swimming. Some men had the good fortune to be born in the United States as opposed to a warring country in Africa. The fact of the matter is that the position in which we individually find ourselves today was largely determined before we were born or, at least, at our birth.
Mitt Romney isn’t a self-made billionaire, few men are. Note, there’s nothing wrong with being born into priviledge. Mitt had no more control over his parents than I did. But the circumstances surrounding our births greatly explain why he earns my annual salary in less than 15 hours. Understand, however, that this article isn’t about class warfare because frankly I think it’s a largely political construct. I’m here to talk about attitude.
Here, attitude refers to the related emotion in only a passing similarity. Think instead about piloting an aircraft. A plane’s attitude refers to its pitch, roll and yaw in relation to the horizon. In simpleton’s terms, it’s attitude is all about where it’s going; it’s all about where I’m going.
I told my dad this past month that my goal is never and will never be to become a millionaire. My goal in life is simply to be a little better off this year than I was last year. I strive to apply this attitude to other areas of my life as well, not just finances. For instance, my goal isn’t to be the head programming engineer at Google or Microsoft. My goal is to be a little better this year than I was last.
When I get down about my current place in life — which interestingly only happens when I compare myself to others — I try to remind myself of this simple yet powerful truth: I have no control over where I started, but I do have a great deal of control over my attitude.