The Summit of Attitude

Written By: Karlie Haining

January 29, 2017

Before climbing Mount Everest, the trekkers often have a point they wish to reach; this may be the first summit or the top. Climbing a mountain is often associated with challenges or the ultimate achievement. The task of climbing a mountain may be perceived as impossible to many but those who intend to make the trek can literally relate to Dr. Parker’s quote saying, “Your attitude in life determines your altitude”. Though I do not intend to climb Mount Everest, I agree with the figurative implication of this quote that one’s approach to life influences a person’s achievement. I can relate to this quote when I reflect on my general attitude towards other people, my attitude when facing challenges, and looking at the ‘altitude’ I wish to achieve.
When meeting a new person or environment, I intend to approach the scenario with an open mind to avoid preemptive assumptions. A few weeks ago I spent an evening with a Syrian refugee family who had been sponsored by my church. To them English was still new and to me their customs were different but to both of us it was important to learn more about one another and be greeted. I invited the mother to play Dominoes and though there was a language barrier, we could both enjoy our interaction and as the saying goes by George Carlin, ‘everyone smiles in the same language’. On another occasion I was at a youth conference whose theme was ‘Indigenous Voices’. At the conference I learned about the true history of the Indigenous Peoples and was engaged in thought-provoking conversations that reflected on our dark history and how we can begin to heal our relationship as a country. I believe that in these experiences my attitude gave me the opportunity to improve my quality of life by diversifying my experiences which would not have been possible with a closed mind.
Challenges are bound to appear when reaching a goal but the attitude used to approach the trial can determine the outcome. The recipe for success of a goal is these three attitudes: determination, perseverance and flexibility. First of all, creating a goal means it is important to me so I must start with determination to reach the ‘altitude’ because it is worth the sweat. As I have already acknowledged, every aspiration is bound to have its speed bumps thus perseverance is key since I know I can reach my goal and I will not get there by giving up. Even though I may make a plan in stone it does not always mean that it is the best way; I need to leave room for adjustments as being flexible may determine whether reaching my goal is a legitimate possibility. A challenge may even improve a dream so they should be embraced.
In order for Dr. Parker’s quote to be applicable in my life I must have an ‘altitude’ that I wish to reach. As I enter University my focus will be on my future career aspirations. My dream is to become a researcher that is an asset to the agriculture industry. To achieve this I must be hard working and willing to learn. Over the next several years on this journey I also wish to become a well-rounded person aware of the culture, spirituality and needs around me. I intend to approach these goals with a healthy attitude that will determine my success.
All in all, Dr. Parker’s quote is a valuable insight and I believe that my attitude towards others and challenges will determine my altitude.