Catholic Commute S02E04: 4 Reasons why your attitude is critical – and how to improve it

You cannot win at life without a good attitude

I’m currently reading the book “Developing the leader within you” by John Maxwell.  The book is fantastic, and one point he really drives home is how important your attitude is to every aspect of your life. It’s not enough to sit back and wait for something good to happen.  Those who succeed at their dreams are the ones who chose to make the best of their lives – every day.

In this episode, I discuss 4 reasons why our attitudes are so critical.  It probably affects more of our day than we realize.  I also add in the 6 steps that Maxwell offers to change our attitude.  With proper motivation and the right steps, we can salvage any attitude and make the impact we want to our lives.

You can download the episode here!

Click “Continue Reading” to read the show notes!

S02E04: 4 Reasons why your attitude is critical – and how to improve it!


Patron Saint of the episode: ST. RITA OF CASCIA


O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee expecting, if not always relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee.

St. Rita of CasciaSt. Rita was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, Italy. She lived a very difficult life on earth, but she never let it destroy her faith.

Although she had a deep wish to enter religious life, her parents arranged her marriage at a young age to a cruel and unfaithful man. Because of Rita’s prayers, he finally experienced a conversion after almost 20 years of unhappy marriage, only to be murdered by an enemy soon after his conversion. Her two sons became ill and died following their father’s death, leaving Rita without family.

She hoped again to enter the religious life, but was denied entrance to the Augustinian convent many times before finally being accepted. Upon entry, Rita was asked to tend to a dead piece of vine as an act of obedience. She watered the stick obediently, and it inexplicably yielded grapes. The plant still grows at the convent, and its leaves are distributed to those seeking miraculous healing.St. Rita statue

For the rest of her life until her death in 1457, Rita experienced illness and an ugly, open wound on her forehead that repulsed those around her. Like the other calamities in her life, she accepted this situation with grace, viewing her wound as a physical participation in Jesus’ suffering from His crown of thorns.

Although her life was filled with seemingly impossible circumstances and causes for despair, St. Rita never lost her faith weakened in her resolve to love God.

Her feast day is May 22. Countless miracles have been attributed to her intercession.



4 Reasons why your attitude is critical – and how to improve it!

Based upon book Developing the Leader within you by John Maxwell


  1. It is the #1 factor to your success
    1. It’s not what happens to me that matters, but what happens in me. (Maxwell)
    2. Carnegie Institute analyzed records of 10,000 people and concluded that 15% of success is due to technical training, 85% due to personality.
    3. Story of double blind study: principal get 3 teachers and 90 students and tells they are best. Outperformed 30%.
    4. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
    5. Problems: Eagle flying through the air. Remove air to go faster.
    6. Boat going through water.
  2. It affects others around you
    1. 4 minute mile story: ancient greeks tried everything to get someone to run a mile in under 4 minutes – even unleashing lions after them to motivate them.  Tried everything with diet. Nothing worked – it was deemed impossible for a human being. For over a thousand years everyone believed it – there were many reasons.  Wind resistance, bone structure, lung power, etc. Then Roger Bannister broke the barrier. The next year 37 more people did. Then 300. Several years later, 13/13 racers did.  In a few decades ago the runner who finished dead last would have accomplished the impossible.
    2. Good corporate hiring focuses almost entirely on attitude.  Want to get a new job?
    3. We all know this intuitively.  We all dislike being around negative attitudes.  It’s not pleasant
    4. We see the same thing in children.  How much their experience changes with an attitude change!
  3. It determines your happiness
    1. Hugh Downs says that a happy person is not a person with a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes
    2. John Maxwell: Some people have what I call “destination disease”  They think that happiness can be found ina position or a place. Others have “someone sickness.”  They think happiness results from knowing or being with a particular person. Instead, Viktor Frankl statement “God chooses what we go through.  We choose how we go through it.”
    3. Stories of the saints who endured unspeakable agony and still were filled with joy
    4. Story of rainy day hikes
  4. It defines who you are perceived to be
    1. Story of designing Apollo spacecraft: engineer s vs scientists.
    2. Remember about hiring
    3. Within any human relationship (job, friendship, family, etc.) people understand what we are by how we act – and how we react.
    4. Words that show self control and a controlled reaction: “Gentleman”  “Lady” “officer”  “honored” “esteemed”
    5. Nobody votes for someone with a bad attitude – in politics or elsewhere.


6 stages of attitude change from John Maxwell

  1. Identify problem feelings
  2. Identify problem behavior
  3. Identify problem thinking
  4. Identify right thinking
  5. Make a public commitment to right thinking
  6. Develop a plan for right thinking


4 Reasons why your attitude is critical – and how to improve it!


  1. It is the #1 factor to your success
  2. It affects others around you
  3. It determines your happiness
  4. It defines who you are perceived to be


Arnold Palmer had poem this on his desk:


“If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”

― Walter D. Wintle

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