Attitude Determines Health

According to Thomas J. Watson, Sr., who managed IBM Corporation on a philosophy of organizational spirit over material wealth, “The basic philosophy, spirit, and drive of an organization have far more to do with its relative achievements than technological or economic resources.”

Backing up that theory, a number of studies suggest that attitudes have a much more significant impact on job performance than most people suspect. Over 50 years ago, Harvard University pioneered one of the first studies on the influence of attitudes on job security. Researchers measured the careers of 4,375 people who had lost their jobs because they failed to perform their duties to their employers’ satisfaction. The study concluded that only one-third failed because of a lack of knowledge or skills, while a staggering two-thirds failed because of attitude problems alone.

Recent studies by Dr. Martin Seligman, a noted psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, indicate that attitudes influence both job turnover and income.

Dr. Seligman studied the entire sales force of the Pennsylvania region of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The study concluded that those people who had a more optimistic outlook sold 37% more insurance in their first year than did those with a pessimistic view. In addition, those with a positive explanatory style were twice as likely as those with a negative style to be among the agents still on the job.

The research appears to be another confirmation of the old saying, “It is our attitude and not our aptitude that determines our altitude.”

During the last few years, a flurry of new reports indicates that positive attitudes not only add to a healthier income, but also lead to healthier lives.


Dr. Christopher Peterson, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, found that a confirmed pessimist is twice as likely to experience minor illnesses–the flu or a sore throat, for instance–as an unabashed optimist. Dr. Peterson noted that pessimists tend to abuse their bodies more, they smoke more, drink more, and get less sleep than optimists.

Another researcher, Dr. Winston Parris of Vanderbilt University, studied women undergoing minor surgery. Women with positive attitudes were less likely to experience minor postoperative pain, nausea, vomiting and other complications requiring an overnight hospital stay.

Schering-Plough’s Research Institute of Molecular Biology in Palo Alto, CA reported that a team of scientists found a link between brain activity and the activity of lymphocytes (the white blood cells that defend against germ invasion), suggesting that a good mental attitude can help the body to fight off disease. In another study involving 69 women who had breast cancer, the women were asked how they viewed the nature and seriousness of the disease. A total of 75% of the women who had reacted to the disease with a fighting spirit were still alive and had no recurrence of the cancer. Only 35% of the women who had accepted the disease, with a feeling of helplessness, were still alive with no recurrence. The study appears to suggest that our attitudes decide whether we are part of the cure or part of the illness.

As you can see “your attitude can determine your health and future.”

We carry within ourselves the instrument of our own well being–Our positive thoughts!

You can do whatever you set your mind to do. You are the master of your own destiny!