Attitudes for a successful life

Attitude is part of a successful life. While we have limited control of external factors, our control over internal factors is much greater. The attitudes we bring towards a situation can affect the outcome. How we continue to shape and refine these factors may determine our success.

For example, Csikszentmihalyi and Hunter (2003) outlined that, “the impact of external events on happiness is mediated by the person’s system of values and cognitive interpretive structures”. In other words it’s not what happens to you, but the attitude you have about it that affects how happy you are. Similarly, Caprara et. al. (2006) concluded that adolescents’ beliefs about managing positive and negative emotions contributed to positive expectations about the future, and more positive emotions.

Others have found that attitude and more specifically unhelpful negative attitude has been linked to a negative view of yourself (Koichi et al. 2016), and as a factor that contributes to depression (Ebrahimi et al. 2012).

Similarly, Mohanty (2014) examined if income or attitude were determinates of happiness using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a longitudinal data set from the United States. He stated that “The study further demonstrates that the relationship of personal happiness with positive attitude is stronger than that with any other covariate of happiness known in the literature including income.” p99.


Caprara, G. V., Steca, P., Gerbino, M., Pacielloi, M., & Vecchio, G. M. (2006). Looking for adolescents' well-being: self-efficacy beliefs as determinants of positive thinking and happiness. Epidemiologia E Psichiatria Sociale, 15(1), 30-43.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Hunter, J. (2003). Happiness in everyday life: The uses of experience sampling. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4(2), 185-199. doi:

Ebrahimi, A., Afshar, H., Doost, H. N., Mousavi, S. G., & Moolavi, H. (2012). Attitude scale and general health questionnaire subscales predict depression?. Journal Of Research In Medical Sciences, 17(1), 40-44.

Koichi, O., Akihito, S., Yoshihiko, M., & Masanori, E. (2016). Link of dysfunctional attitudes with the negative self-model. Annals Of General Psychiatry, 151-5. doi:10.1186/s12991-016-0098-y

Mohanty, M. S. (2014). What Determines Happiness? Income or Attitude: Evidence from the U.S. Longitudinal Data. Journal Of Neuroscience, Psychology, And Economics, 7(2), 80-102.