THE ATTITUDINALIST--The Way to a Successful & Happy Working and Living
Author: Rodolfo Martin Vitangcol

Chapter 2
Be an ATTITUDINALIST

The “FIVE TYPES OF PEOPLE”
As Far As the Kind of Attitudes They Use in Viewing Their Environment is Concerned.

First Type of People:
THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS

[My use of the word ‘environmentalist’ here does not in any way refer to people who work for the conservation of the environment.]

I used the word ‘ENVIRONMENT’ in naming this type of people as these are the people who seemed to be ‘products’ of their environment, or ‘puppets’ of their environment, or ‘victims’ of their environment.

These are the people when their environment is good, they are happy; but when not good, they are unhappy. For instance at work, if the salary is good, the boss is good, the coworkers are good, their jobs are good—they are happy. Inversely, if the salary is not good, the boss is not good, the coworkers are not good, their jobs are not good—they are unhappy.

The very thing that will dictate if the Environmentalists will be happy or not at work is their environment. Put them in a good environment, they are happy; put them in an environment that is not good, they are unhappy.

In the final analysis, it is the environment that is authoring the lives and happiness of these people, not themselves.

1. When the ENVIRONMENTALISTS don’t like their environment, what is their first reaction?—TO QUIT.

For instance, if they don’t like the salary, they will look around for a company that pays higher. The moment they have found one, they will resign.

However, in the second company, the salary indeed is good but the boss is not. And so they resign again and look for a company that does not only offer a good salary but also a boss they can like. And they have found one.

However, in the third company, the salary is good, the boss is good but the coworkers are not. And so they resign again.

They resign and resign and resign. Every time they see imperfections in their environment, they quit. Truly, they are looking for a PERFECT ENVIRONMENT! If you are this type of person, stop it! There is no perfect environment.

The perfection of the environment is in the outlook of your mind—more than in the looks of your environment.

2. Some ENVIRONMENTALISTS, however, don’t quit. They simply CRY AND MURMUR.

And what do they cry and murmur about? About the things they hate in their environment.

At work—it could be the low salary, the strict boss, the lazy coworkers, the ever-changing policies, the unfair performance evaluation rating, the lack of tools, the lack of promotion, the bureaucratic system, etc.
In life—it could be their neighbors, their in-laws, their children, their spouse, the economy, the government, the traffic, etc. Till their dying days, you will find them yet crying and murmuring.

And usually when they cry, they bark up the wrong tree. What do I mean by ‘barking up the wrong tree’? It is this. The boss asks in the meeting, “Is there any problem?” Everybody is quiet. The boss repeats the question, “Is there any problem?” Still nobody raises his or her hand to speak up. The boss says, “Okay, if there is no any problem, the meeting is adjourned.” But hardly had the boss left the room when they started murmuring at each other. Indeed, they ought to be barking at that boss there who holds the power, not at each other—who are all powerless to address their own problems.

Hence, when I was yet working with a company, if I have problems in the office, I don’t tell them to my wife. Why? She’s not the one who can solve them but my boss there in the office. I don’t want my problems to further yet affect my wife.

3. Being products of their environment, the ENVIRONMENTALISTS are MANIPULABLE.

You can make the Environmentalists happy or unhappy—or productive or unproductive—by simply manipulating their environment.

For instance, if Roger is working unhappily due to his low salary and you want to make him happy—it’s easy! Simply raise his salary and see how his face promptly turns from gloom into joy. Or perhaps, he is not working hard because he finds his work boring. Give him a challenging job then, and see how he suddenly starts working to the best of his ability without you even prodding him to.

By the same token, you can also make the environmentalists unhappy. In fact, you can make them leave the company without you ever having to resort to terminating them at all. All you need to do is to simply make their environment difficult.

For instance, Roger abhors the nightshift. You want him to leave on his own? Simple! Assign him to nightshift. Tomorrow, you will see Roger coming to your office and say, “Sir, I’ll just resign. Sorry, but I hate the nightshift.” And you’re even secretly smiling.

4. The ENVIRONMENTALISTS are like TOMATOES.

We have a local saying that says, “A good tomato, when placed in a basket filled with rotten tomatoes, will in time get to be rotten as well.”

Similarly, a hardworking Environmentalist, when mixed with the lazy ones, in time will become lazy too.

5. Lastly, the ENVIRONMENTALISTS work like DOLPHINS.

One time, I brought my family to a Dolphins’ Show. There were two dolphins in that show. They’ve got names: Ding-ding and Dang-dang.

In that show, the dolphins had a master that they looked up to for commands. Their master was the trainer. If the trainer told them to jump, they would jump. However, there’s something I had noted about the dolphins after they had obeyed a command. They would quickly head for the side of the pool and the trainer would throw fish to their mouths. A sort of a reward for a job well done, I figured.

In the middle of the show, the trainer took a big hula-hoop and hoisted it up high. The hoop was lit with fire. He gestured Ding-ding to jump up right through the raised burning hoop. Ding-ding did and made it through the hoop. People applauded. Now it’s Dang-dang’s turn to jump. Dang-dang jumped. Unfortunately, she missed the hoop.

At this juncture, I noticed when the two rushed to the side of the pool to get their rewards, the trainer gave some to Ding-ding, but none to Dang-dang. I know why. It’s because Dang-dang did not make it to the hoop.

And so, the trainer signaled Dang-dang to do it again. This second time around, Dang-dang made it. And that’s the only time the trainer gave Dang-dang her reward.

QUESTION: “Why does the trainer reward the dolphins every time they correctly obey his command?”

I guess, there are two basic reasons for rewarding the dolphins. First is recognition, and second is motivation. What is motivation? To encourage the dolphins to obey him again and again every time he gives them a command.

Dolphins are smart. If they have obeyed properly and you do not give them the reward due them, the next time you ask them to jump again, they will not. You know what is running in their minds?—“So, you are the only one benefitting from this show, ha?”

The ENVIRONMENTALISTS work like dolphins. Every time they feel they have done an excellent job, they expect appreciation or recognition. If the appreciation or recognition is not coming—they feel down.

QUESTION: “Are you this type of person—an ENVIRONMENTALIST”?

If you are this type of person, I have another question: “Are you always happy, or are you always unhappy?”

I know the answer: “You are always unhappy.” Why? Because there is no perfect environment—there is always something in the environment you can find to be unhappy about.

If you are this type of person, now you know why you are always unhappy, I guess.

Second Type of People:
THE DESTRUCTIVISTS

I used the word ‘DESTRUCTION’ to describe this type of people for that is exactly what they are—a destruction to their environment.

If the Environmentalists can see both the beautiful and the ugly in their environment, the Destructivists only see the bad and the ugly in their environment. The boss is ugly, the coworkers are ugly, the work is ugly, the pay is ugly, his wife is ugly, his children are ugly, his neighbors are ugly, and—he himself is ugly.

The Destructivists are typical of the man who stepped into an Art Gallery one Sunday afternoon. Looking at the artworks around him, the man said, “This one on my right is ugly. That one too is ugly. That one over there is uglier. And that one to my left is just horrible.” Until he got near an artwork that was life-sized. Standing right before it, he exclaimed, “Goodness me! This one is the ugliest portrait I have ever seen in my whole life!” The curator beside him said to him—“Sir, that’s a mirror!”

The Destructivists have
THREE CHARACTERS.

1ST CHARACTER: The DESTRUCTIVISTS have no ‘SENSE OF HAPPINESS.’

The management announces, “Effective tomorrow all employees will be given a 5% salary increase across the board.” The Environmentalists are jubilant, but not the Destructivists. The Destructivists say, “Why only 5%?”

If the announcement is, “We are pleased to announce that we are doubling your salary effective tomorrow.” The Environmentalists are all jumping for joy. Imagine, the salary gets doubled, wow! But not the Destructivists. The Destructivists say, “Why not triple?”

The management announces, “We will have a company outing next week. All expenses paid by the company.” The Environmentalists are excited and the ladies are already thinking of what swimsuits to wear. But not the Destructivists. What do they say?—“Wished they have just given us the cash.” Hence, in every company outing there will be absent. Not everyone gets pleased.

The management announces, “Each employee will now be given a monthly sack of rice.” The Environmentalists are all overjoyed and thankful, “This indeed is a big help.” But not the Destructivists. The Destructivists say, “Goodness me, the taxi fare is more expensive than this sack of rice. They could just have delivered it straight to our homes. Why does it have yet to be picked up from the office? Damn this sack of rice!”

The management announces, “All salesmen will be given a uniform.” The uniforms handed out were polo shirts. The Environmentalists say, “Hey, don’t we look handsome with this shirt uniform?” But the Destructivists say, “Neh! Just a shirt? Where are the pants?”

One time, when I got to the office of my new client, I came upon a beautiful building of theirs. The architectural design was just awesome. However, the employees of that company, every time they see the building, they feel sad and say, “This building is so beautiful, but our salary is not.” If that were my building, I would demolish it and replace it with a nipa hut. I bet the more these Destructivists will be depressed.

That is the first character of the Destructivists—‘NO SENSE OF HAPPINESS.’ You just don’t know how you can please them. They are like someone who stumbled down, and when you offered your hand to help—he roared at you.

QUESTION: “Is this you—a person with NO SENSE OF HAPPINESS?”

2nd CHARACTER: The DESTRUCTIVISTS have ‘CRAB MENTALITY.’

What is CRAB MENTALITY? If you put the crabs in a bucket, no need to tie their legs anymore. Not one can escape even with their legs untied. Why? This is because crabs have the nature of pulling down each other. For instance, if a crab tries to clamber up the bucket walls to escape, here comes another crab right from behind to bring it down. Try pulling one crab up from the bucket and you will see three or four other more crabs holding on to the crab you have just pulled out. Instead of helping one another in gaining their freedom, the crabs would opt to step on each other leading to their own destruction.

Why do crabs have the mentality like this? Perhaps it pleases the crabs that they are all together in their miseries in their captivity that if any crab tries to break away from them, they all resent it and will seek to bring that crab back to their hapless fold.

In life, these are the people who—when you get promoted or receive good performance rating—will do nasty things to pull you down, as if telling you that you ought not to succeed just like them.

If I were these people, I would do the opposite. If, say, Mario, my officemate, gets promoted when I believe, it ought to be I, I will approach Mario with a sincerest of heart, extend my hand and say, “Congratulations!”

There is one ‘SECRET OF HAPPINESS’ that I know.

What is this? Isn’t it that when we go to bed to sleep, we don’t fall asleep right at the very instant our head hits the pillow? I guess, with closed eyes, our mind wanders from one thought to another and reflects on all sorts of things until—after a while—we start falling asleep, am I right?

Now, if in my reflection as I lay in bed at night, I happened to recall of someone that I had somewhat slighted during that day, I couldn’t sleep. I wish it were already morning. Why? I wanted to say sorry to that person I had somewhat offended.

That’s the one SECRET OF HAPPINESS that I know. It’s one happiness that comes from knowing that you have not stabbed anyone in the back, that there’s no debt you have run away from, and that there’s no one you have cheated in your lifetime. You are so sincere and so clean to everyone that when you die, you can confidently face God eye to eye.

Talking of cheating, who will not be mad getting cheated? I, too, hate getting cheated. But when I think of it, I would rather choose to have been duped than it is I who did the cheating. Never could I ever sleep if I did that.
So if Mario gets promoted instead of me, no problem. If that’s how management sees it, so be it. Who knows, the next time around, it will now be my turn. Or, perhaps, will never be. No problem again. Why? I believe in karma.

As I have said awhile ago in the previous section, there are two types of karma. Good karma and bad karma. The wrong things we have done in our lives shall one day come back to us—also in the wrong way; just as the good things we’ve done in our lives shall one day, too, come back to us—also in the good way. It’s God’s Law of Nature that no one can ever dare violate without that person paying for it—either in this life or in the after, or both.

QUESTION: “Is this you—a person with a CRAB MENTALITY?”

3RD CHARACTER: The DESTRUCTIVISTS are ‘DEMONS.’

The Destructivists are excellent SEDUCERS—as Satan was to Eve. If they come to you and seduce you—in all likelihood you’ll be a demon, too.

Let me illustrate. Suppose I am a demon-employee and you are not. I come to you and ask, “Hey, John, how long have you been working in this company?” You answer, “Very new. Three days.” I say, “Ah, very new indeed.”

Now here comes my demonizing you, “I will tell you something, John. Can you see those people to your left? They are not working, aren’t they? There’s even one there in the back who is just sleeping. Now this is just between the two of us, please don’t tell this to anyone. Can you see that guy there in red shirt? That guy is barely two years in the company, whereas I’m already five years here, and yet he’ s now higher than me. You know why? Our boss favors people. If you are not within his circle of friends, no matter how hard you work, it will be very hard for you to be recognized here. So if I were you, I’d just take it easy. Don’t work hard. You’re crazy if you do. But it’s all up to you.”

Now, you are demon too.

The Destructivists have a secret in seducing people. You know what is their secret why they are good at attracting people to their destructive side? Their secret is—they are telling the TRUTH!

The world is divided into two: Black and White. The world will not turn around if there is no black and there is no white. For example, you will observe that if there is left—there is right. If there is soft—there is hard. If there is long—there is short. If there is low—there is high. If there is a girl—there is a boy. If there is a mother—there is a father. If there is a gay—there is a tomboy. If there is God—there is Satan. If there is heaven—there is hell.

You see? A thing or a property of a thing won’t exist without an opposite. We can say there is sadness because there is happiness. Sadness won’t exist if there is no happiness. The poor won’t happen if there are no rich.

Can you think of any description or a thing that has no opposite? One participant in my seminar raised his hand and said, “Rudy, I have thought of one that has no opposite.” I asked, “What is it?” He answered, “Neutral! Not to the right, not to the left, but neutral.” I said, “It has an opposite.” Surprised, he asked, “What is the opposite, Rudy?” I answered, “The opposite of neutral is—not neutral.” Everybody laughed.

Another participant raised his hand, “Rudy, I got one without an opposite.” I asked, “What is it?” He said, “Why is it, in every building, there is a Fire Exit, but there’s no Fire Entrance?” Everybody laughed. I jokingly said that perhaps the reason why they didn’t put a Fire Entrance sign is because many will die in case of fire. “Hey, there is the Fire Entrance, let’s get in there.”

Now, the Destructivists will tell you the black—not the white. It is like the proverbial case of the half-filled glass of water. I will get a glass half-filled with water and will ask you, “How much water do you see in the glass?” If you say, “I see a glass half-filled with water,” I will say, “You’re positive.” On the other hand, you could also have answered, “I see a half-empty glass of water.” Then I will say to you, “You’re negative.”

Why positive when you answered—half-filled? Because you are looking at the ‘fullness of the glass.’ And why are you negative when you answered—half-empty? Because you are looking at the ‘emptiness of the glass.’

And yet for all that, the negative people or the Destructivists are right. They are never wrong. The glass is really half-empty, isn’t it?

The Destructivists always look at ‘what is lacking’ in their environment, not at ‘what it has.’ For instance, when I was seducing you awhile ago, didn’t I tell you to look at the people to your left and that you’ll find them not working? And when you indeed looked, you see that I am right, yes?—they are just chit-chatting and not working at all. And there’s even one there in the back I told you who is just sleeping. And when you indeed looked, you will see that the guy is really just sleeping, right? On the other hand, I will not tell you that there are people to your right that are quietly working and are very hard working.

When I tell you not to work hard because the benefits are low, you will see that the benefits are indeed low, right? Yet, however low, the fact remains that there are still some benefits remaining to be enjoyed, isn’t it?

That’s the secret of the Destructivists—showing you ‘what is not there,’ but none of ‘what is there.’ But I realized there are two kinds of truth in our world—the ‘Black Truth’ and the ‘White Truth.’ The Destructivists will tell you the black truth, not the white truth. Definitely you will believe.

Hence, how happy I am every time there is a company that will avail of my Attitude Program. For in the seminar, I will not deny that there is black. But I will also tell the people that there is white. So that after the seminar, when demons start doing their seductive thing on them again, they can now tell the demons, “I think you’re right. But the other side is also right.” A balanced view now, isn’t it? The perfection of life lies in the balance—neither black nor white.

Along this line, I have a prediction for you if what you are seeing in your work environment is now all black. What is my prediction?—you will resign. I have a prediction as well if what you are seeing in your life is now all black—you will end your life. If this is turning to be you, I say, “Stop it! Behind each BLACK, you’ll find a WHITE.”

The DESTRUCTIVISTS are just like the OPPOSITE VERSION of our local saying about the TOMATO.

This is it: “A rotten tomato, when placed in a basket filled with good tomatoes, the good tomatoes will in no time get to be rotten as well.”

QUESTION: “Is this you—a DEMON?”

One very popular proverb says, “IN EVERY JUNGLE, THERE IS A SNAKE.” Similar to this is, “IN EVERY FAMILY, THERE IS A BLACK SHEEP.”

Now, in my years of working and training, I have also discovered something. I discovered, “In every company there is a demon.” Perhaps, your company is an exception. Perhaps, in your company—“All are demons!” Just joking! But did I hear you say that the people there in your company are indeed—all demons?

Let’s assume that your company is not an exception, meaning, there are also demons in the company you’re working with. Now, let’s see what type of demons you may have there in your company. For there are THREE TYPES OF DEMONS that I have discovered.

FIRST TYPE: The SILENT DEMONS.

I called them ‘silent’ because these people are good at making a show of diligence only when the boss is around. But the moment the boss steps out, these people are just playing or chit-chatting or sleeping on their jobs.

Be careful of your best friend. He or she might be a silent demon. In front of you, your best friend is saying sweet things, but at your back your best friend may be saying another thing.

During performance evaluation, it’s the silent demons that usually get the high ratings, not the true dedicated ones. If only the boss knew. But what can you do, these people are simply good at playing the game.

Lastly, the silent demons are honest and loyal to the company. Very honest and loyal. So they say. But little does everyone know that these people are doing ‘something’ that only they do know. And then one day, they get caught—and get terminated.

Just like the security guard at the subdivision where I once lived. This security guard is very helpful and accommodating. For instance, if he sees me coming down from my car with my hands full, he is fast at approaching me to offer a help. He is nice to talk with as he is always well-informed with the current events. He is ever courteous and polite and, most of all, he carries a kindly face that can induce a smile even when you’re in a bad mood.

One time, I noticed that I was not seeing this guard for about a week already. I asked the new guard, “Where is Jun now?” He said, “He’s been removed, sir.” Surprised, I said, “Removed? Has he done something wrong?” He said, “He was caught stealing cables from the vacant houses here in the subdivision, sir.” Shocked, I said, “I cannot not believe that he could do that. I know Jun. He is a nice person.” Jun is a silent demon—gotten caught and gotten terminated.

QUESTION: “Is this you—a SILENT DEMON?”
SECOND TYPE: The MILD DEMONS.

A month after the seminar, there were times that I would visit my clients to check on the result of the seminar. On these occasions, there were those presidents who would proudly tell me, “Rudy, in your one day seminar, there were those who changed. Before your seminar, these people were always absent and late and complaining and lazy. Now they are very happy and productive.”

Inside me, I was smiling. Why was I smiling? Because these people are what I called the ‘MILD DEMONS.’ I called them ‘mild’ because it takes only a day of seminar to change these people.

These people were not really bad. They had been raised well by their parents, except that they had been influenced by the demons around them. In the seminar, there was something I said that perhaps hit them, and so they’re back. Back to where? Back to what were they once—good people.

QUESTION: “Is this you—a MILD DEMON?”

However, some presidents would also add to say, “But, Rudy, in your one day seminar, there were also those who did not change.”

I would secretly smile again. Why was I smiling? Because those people some presidents were talking about were the third type of demons that I have discovered.

THIRD TYPE: The ‘ULIKBA’ DEMONS.

‘Ulikba’ is a Tagalog term for a fowl with dark meat. The ulikba, if you remove its feathers, what you will see is a dark skin. Cut it up and what you will see is a dark meat. Hack it up and what you will see is a dark bone. The ULIKBA DEMONS are dark to the bone!

If the mild demons take only a day of seminar to be reformed, the ulikba demons require one thousand seminars. And there is no guarantee that after one thousand seminars they will change.

If you have any ulikba in your company, I suggest you control them now before they get to destroy your company without your knowing it.

QUESTION: “Is this you—an ULIKBA?”

Third Type of People:
THE COCOONISTS

I used the word ‘COCOON’ to describe these people. What is a ‘cocoon’? Before a caterpillar gets to turn itself into a butterfly, it spins a protective silky covering around itself called cocoon, and does its own transformation there inside. In a few days or weeks, a beautiful butterfly emerges from the cocoon.

That’s the wonder of nature. Imagine, a butterfly is only once a—caterpillar. A frog is only once—a tadpole. And man is only once what?—A monkey.

According to Charles Darwin, we were once but monkeys. That after millions of years of evolution, monkeys became man. Do you believe in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?

One participant raised his hand and said, “I don’t believe, Rudy.” I asked why. He answered, “Because if man came from monkeys, how come there are people who look like horses.” Everybody burst into laughter.

When a caterpillar is inside its cocoon, it does not see the world outside. It only sees itself. It seemingly locks itself up from all the cares of the outside world. That is the Cocoonist. The Cocoonists don’t care about their environment.

The Cocoonists don’t care if the company is losing. They don’t care if the tools do get lost or the equipment does get destroyed through their careless handling. They don’t care if the system sucks. They don’t care if the surrounding stinks or is dirty. For all they care about the world.

But there is only one—a very only one thing—that they really care about. You guess what is this? You are right. They only care about themselves—most notably, their salary.

In the meeting, when the boss asks, “Do you have any suggestion on how we can better improve our operation?”—the Cocoonist will gently elbow his neighbor and say, “Go ahead. I’m not interested.” But if the topic is salary, he is the quickest one to raise his hand and the loudest to say, “Sir, why is our salary low?”

The Cocoonists are self-centered. Unfortunately, there is this one local saying of ours that says, “The garbage that you throw irresponsibly away, will come back to you.”

It literally means that if we keep on disposing our garbage irresponsibly anywhere—in the roads, in the parks, in the vacant lots, in the rivers, in the seas or anywhere—time will come that the whole public drainage system shall get clogged. A little rain and the whole city gets flooded and all the dirt we have thrown away for years do come back to us—with a vengeance.

And if the floods happen to kill people and destroy properties, we readily point our finger at God, saying it was an Act of God. Act of God? Or Acts of men! Acts of our most irresponsible attitude towards our environment!

Same with the company we are working with. We should also show care about how we can better improve its operation. Let us give suggestions. For if the company closes down, what will happen to us? We lose our jobs.

Unfortunately, the attitude of the Cocoonists is not like that. The hell they care if the company closes down. Their reasoning is—“So what? There are many other companies yet there outside waiting for us.” And those companies yet there outside are then those that they will seek to close down. Every time they join the company, the company closes down—due to their lack of concern for the company they work with.

The Cocoonists are DANGEROUS PEOPLE.

Unlike the Destructivists, they don’t mean to destroy. But they will not bat an eye resorting to destruction or even annihilation if only to get what they want.

In the professional world, if the Cocoonists ambitioned to go up the hierarchy, they would not hesitate to step on other people’s toes, if that was the only thing needed to get to the position they want.

In the business world, they would not care denuding the whole forest that could cause great floods, just so they could succeed in their profit aims; or killing all marine life in the river or sea, just so they could get rid of their chemical wastes.

Even in the SPIRITUAL REALM, there is yet GREED and SELF-CENTEREDNESS.

Christians had been told to enter a church to be saved, not to save. They believe Jesus came for them, not for the world. And oh, how they took great joy [instead of being ashamed] in saying that our Lord Jesus gave his life for them when it is we who ought to have given our lives for our Lord, as we are all but sinners and his servants.

I tell you, the saddest thing to see in our world is—

To behold a world full of believers
in the Grace of God with no doers in
the Works of Christ.

Christian nations are teeming with
‘believers thinking they are saved,’ with
‘very few doers thinking there are still more to be saved’—from poverty and oppression brought about by the unbridled and massive greed and corruption around us.

The kind of Christianity we have always been witnessing is simply as SELF-SEEKING as the kind of world we have always been having. Our Christianity is simply the spiritual counterpart of the material world. As the material world lays itself open for the self-seekers for material possession, Christianity opens her door for the self-seekers for spiritual salvation.

I tell you, the biggest contribution of Christianity to the perpetuation of the sins and sufferings in our world is—

The Christian churches have been so effective in making the believers in Christ put all their beliefs and hopes in their salvation at the coming of the Lord that they no longer care about the evils and sufferings that are mushrooming in our world.

QUESTION: “Is this you— a COCOONIST?”


Fourth Type of People:
THE ADJUSTIVISTS

I used the word ‘ADJUST’ to describe these people, for these people are literally good at that—adjusting to their environment.

I likened them to the chameleons. Chameleons are lizards with ability to change colors. One reason for their changing colors is camouflage. When, say, a snake is coming and the chameleon has got no more time to run away, it simply hides by turning itself into the exact color of its immediate surroundings, making itself highly indistinguishable from its surroundings. Some say chameleons also have that unique ability to change their skin texture, so much so that if they are resting on a tree, they can form their skin like that of the bark of a tree.

Like the chameleons, the Adjustivists are good at blending perfectly with their environment. If, say, you are laughing—they will laugh, too, even if there is really nothing to laugh about. If you are crying—they will cry, too, even if there is really nothing to cry about. If you convert to another religion—they will convert, too, even if they don’t really go along with the teachings of that religion you have converted to. If you resign—they will resign, too, if only to show you that they are one with you. However, if you kill yourself, I don’t know any more if they will yet follow you. But who knows?

If you were a boss, you would love the Adjustivists among your people. “Roger, effective tomorrow you are now in the nightshift.” But Roger is an Environmentalist. Tomorrow, Roger will come to you and say, “Sir, I’ll just resign. I just don’t like working in the nightshift.”

Not with Peter. “Peter, effective tomorrow you are now in the nightshift.” Even though Peter does not like the nightshift, he will say, “Yes, sir.” Next month, you tell Peter, “Peter, I’m moving you to another department.” Even if Peter does not like the nature of the work in the other department, he will say, “Yes, sir.” This is because Peter is an Adjustivist.

You see? You will have no problems with the Adjustivists. You will get to love them. They always say yes—hardly saying no to any of your biddings. They are pleasers. Hence, if, say, there is an election, you will not vote for the Destructivists, the Environmentalists or the Cocoonists. You will vote for the Adjustivists. The Adjustivists are well-liked by their environment, only because they make the effort to live as one with their environment.

For all that, I discovered that the ADJUSTIVISTS are an UNHAPPY KIND OF PEOPLE.

They are just smiling and laughing with you but if you can open their hearts, this is what you will see—“they hate their environment.” But for the sake of harmony, they blend. If the neighbor’s stereo is blaring out loud, you cannot hear anything from the Adjustivists. They would rather bear with the noise, than create enmities.

Despite the niceness of the ADJUSTIVISTS as a neighbor, coworker, or subordinate—there is yet in them THAT IS NOT GOOD.

What is this? This is it—“Sometimes the environment is already ugly, but they yet blend with it.”

For instance, there is some stealing going on in the company. The perpetrators will hush the Adjustivist, “Ssshhh, don’t tell anyone.” He will cooperate, and perhaps, even join in the stealing. If his coworkers are lazy, but he is not, he finds it awkward to be working differently from them. And so he, too, shall be lazy.

It seems the Adjustivists just cannot distinguish between “getting along with the bad” and “getting along with the good.” For them, it is “getting along all the way”—whether good or bad.

When you analyze it, ‘ADJUSTIVISM’ aggravates the evil in our world. Instead of fighting evil, the more we intensify it through consenting to it.

In the final analysis, there is growing poverty and oppression in our midst—not really because more and more people are getting to be evil in our world—but because more and more people [the so-called ‘clean and righteous’] are allowing them to happen through their total indifference and inaction.

QUESTION: “Is this you—an ADJUSTIVIST?”


Fifth Type of People:
THE ATTITUDINALISTS

I used the word ‘ATTITUDE’ in describing these people, because it is exactly their very own attitude—more than their environment—that keeps these people going on beautifully in life.

They are the exact opposite of the Environmentalists. If the Environmentalists are products, puppets or victims of their environment, the Attitudinalists are MASTERS of their own environment. Nothing could ever defeat the Attitudinalists other than also their own attitudes. If to make the Environmentalists ever motivated, you have to constantly beautify their environment, the Attitudinalists are ever motivated even in the midst of an unfavorable environment.

In the end, it is the Attitudinalists that win in life, hardly the Environmentalists. It is they—the Attitudinalists—who author their own lives, not their environment authoring their lives for them as in the case of the Environmentalists.

If you happen to read the life stories of the many highly successful people in the world, you will note that most of them started out in life with practically nothing. Did they succeed because their environment turned favorable? Hardly! They succeeded because it’s their attitudes that turned favorable—not their environment. The environment they had when they succeeded was just about the same as with those who failed—if not, even worse.

1. The ATTITUDINALISTS are DIAMONDS.

Diamonds are mined. If you see them in the mining site, you will note that diamonds are sitting on dirty earth or sand and yet they shine. Put them beside fake diamonds, they shine the shiniest. Diamonds get their shine, not from the environment, but from within.

My best example of an ATTITUDINALIST is —JOB.

Do you know Job in the bible? Here is the STORY OF JOB in the bible.

One day, God called a meeting in heaven. All the angels came. Curiously, Satan was there, too. Seeing Satan, God asked, “Satan, you’re here. Where have you been?” Satan answered, “Here and there to heaven and earth.” God said, “Ah, you’ve been to earth. You must have seen Job—a man who is so upright and who worships me without end?”

It is worthwhile to note here that it is God who is praising Job, not Job praising God before Satan. I guess, God does it to anyone—who’s worth it!

Satan said, “Who will not worship you? You blessed Job with everything he needs to live a most comfortable life—he owns thousands of sheep and camels, a magnificent house, a vast tract of land and has ten beautiful sons and daughters. I bet, if you take all these blessings away from him, he will curse you to your face.” God took up the challenge, and said to Satan, “Go ahead. Let’s see if Job will curse me.”

What did Satan do? He reduced Job’s house to ashes, burned all Job’s thousands of sheep, carried off all his thousands of camels, and killed all his ten children. Everything Satan destroyed, leaving only Job and his wife.

QUESTION: “Did Job curse God because of the most horrible thing that happened to him and his family?”

The answer was NO!

Now, that was very remarkable, indeed. Why? I guess, if in our own lives we lose even just one loved one, I bet that’s enough for some of us to turn their back on God.

It happened to me. One time my wife’s nose was bleeding. I told her, “That’s probably caused by today’s very hot weather, sweetheart.” The next day, her nose bled again. She consulted a doctor—it’s cancer. Cancer behind the nose. In about a year, she passed away.

Weeks before she died, I embraced her. She’s all skin and bone then from the treatment. We prayed together. And we prayed indeed most fervently, as it seemed to be the only hope remaining for us. With tears falling down our cheeks, we beg God to “please don’t, please don’t, please don’t.” But she yet died.

And when she died, my faith in God wobbled. I said to myself—there’s no God who is listening. All is foolishness, plus considering the fact that I see my wife as a very good person for God to take her so soon.

But Job was different. Despite all the devastations that came upon his life, he could still keep his faith in God. And I know why. Job ate ‘THREE TYPES OF FOOD’ that unfortunately most of us eat only one type.
What is this first type of food that he ate? ‘FOOD FOR THE STOMACH.’ Many of us eat only this one type of food, hence whenever problem comes—we curse.

The second type of food that Job ate is—‘FOOD FOR THE BRAIN.’ Do you want to progress in life? Eat a lot of this food and apply them. And where do we get this food? From reading, listening, watching, doing and talking to people.

I know of one food for the brain that I want to share with you. What is this? Suppose I have a problem and I ask you, “Can you help me with my problem?” When you offer me your solution, I find the solution simply brilliant. Joyfully I say, “Thank you very much.” You won’t charge me for it, yes? I call this food—“Free Seminar.”

If you don’t know the answer, or if you want to know more, or if you get lost in your way—simple: Just ask someone who may know. It’s free. No charge. It’s so valuable a food for the brain and yet very few avail of it. Why? Pride! They are afraid that if they ask, they will be viewed as stupid. Hence, years have passed and many of them are yet stupid.

Now, what is that third type of food that Job ate? ‘FOOD FOR THE SOUL.’” Where can we find this food for the soul? Almost everyone in the seminar room would answer—“In the bible!” I beg to disagree.

I know of a preacher who seems to possess an incredible mastery of the bible from cover to cover. Without reading any notes, he will say to his listeners, “Open your bible in verse 40, Chapter 6 in the Book of John. And read.” And the listeners look it up and read it aloud, “This is the will of the Father. . .”
What a fantastic display of bible mastery this preacher shows. But there is just one problem though. What is this?—“His life contradicts many of what the bible says.” More admirable is that illiterate who does not know how to read and write and yet genuinely believes in God.

For me, the food for the soul is—FAITH IN GOD.

You would observe, after Jesus had made the blind see or the lame walk, he would say to the person he had just healed, “Your faith saved you.” He never did say, “Your bible saved you”—as if the bible could save you. Nor did he say, “Your church saved you”—as if your church or any other church could save you. Nor, “Your religion saved you”—as if your religion or any other religion could save you. And what is more startling here is the fact that the person to whom Jesus said “Your faith saved you”—was a pagan whose god was different from the God of the Jews.

Now, Job had plenty of food for the soul. After he had lost everything, he said, “Naked I came into this world, naked shall I return.” Also, “All these things that I have are yours, feel free to take them all away.”

That is the Part One of the story. Now let’s go to Part Two.

God called a meeting, and in the meeting God saw Satan again. He said, “I thought Job will curse me to my face. You have lost, Satan.” Satan said, “Yes, I did lose. But I bet you, if this time it is he that I lay my hands on, he will curse you to your face.” God did take up the challenge once again but not without giving Satan a warning, “Spare his life.”

This time it was now Job himself that Satan attacked. What did Satan do to Job? Satan afflicted Job with boils from head to feet. Every day, Job was writhing in pain from the festering sores.

QUESTION: “Did Job now curse God?”

The answer was yet NO!

In the end, because of his exemplary faith in God, Job was rewarded. What was his reward? Double! God gave him double of all the fortunes he had lost. He also blessed Job with another new set of ten children where the beauty of the three daughters was beyond compare. Job died old and full of years.

Job is a perfect example of an ATTITUDINALIST.

Our environment has got nothing to do with our success and happiness in life.

What matters is the kind of attitudes that
we use in our lives.

2. The ATTITUDINALISTS are EAGLES—not chickens.

When people call you “Chicken!” what does it mean? It means you are a coward. Why did people associate ‘cowardliness’ to chickens? Because when chickens are in a huddle and you shoo them, all will run away. Not one will stand its ground. The louder the shooing, the faster they scamper away. You cannot blame the chickens—God made them that way.

Not with EAGLES. When a group of eagles are gathered together and you shoo them, watch out! They don’t run away . . . they attack!

When a chicken is walking and it encounters a strong wind against its direction, the chicken’s tendency is to turn around and flow with the direction of the wind. In contrast, when an eagle is flying and encounters a violent wind against its direction, the eagle’s tendency is to soar up high above the wind until it reaches its destination.

To the eagles, problems are vitamins. They see problems as “reasons why they should succeed.” The bigger the problems, the stronger they get. Inversely, to the chickens, problems are downers. They see problems as “excuses why they don’t succeed.” The bigger the problems, the weaker they get.

In my years of training, I discovered that about 90% of the employees are chickens. Only about 10% are eagles.

The CHICKENS behave this way. When they see that their boss is favoring someone, they will slow down. When they get reprimanded for doing a lousy work, they will slow down. When they see their coworkers taking it easy on their jobs, they will slow down. When their salary is low, they will slow down. AS IF BY SLOWING DOWN THEY WILL SUCCEED!

Not with the EAGLES. When they see that their boss is favoring someone, the harder will they work so that, if ever, they become the favored ones. When they get reprimanded for doing an unsatisfactory work, the harder will they work so that they won’t get reprimanded again. When they see that their coworkers are lazy, the harder will they work to pass them over for promotion. When they see that their salary is low, the harder will they work to see their salary ascend.

It is said that—“It is not our fault that we are born poor. But it is our fault that we die poor.” And I believe, the very thing that will decide if we are going to die poor or not, rests primarily in—If we are an eagle? Or if we are a chicken?

3. The ATTITUDINALISTS are the LIGHT OF THE WORLD and the SALT OF THE EARTH.

Jesus said:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16

One day while driving home, I was caught by a heavy downpour. In just a few minutes, roads got flooded. Nearing my house, I passed by a road that was already waist-deep in floodwater. I stopped and weighed if I would dare plow through it or not. I surmised I would not be able to make it to the other end, as there were cars up ahead that already got stalled, and the very end of the flooded portion was really some quite a distance from where I was.

As I was weighing it, I realized I really had no choice anymore but to brave the floodwaters since the cars at my back had already piled up and were signaling me up to move.

Happen what might, I moved. With great care, I drove fast to get to the end right away. But just about ten meters to the end of the flood, my car gave up. But no problem, there were many boys around to help you. In fact, those boys were more than happy to see your car get stalled. Why? Business. They would charge you.

Five boys came to push me out of the flood. In about a mere ten seconds [at the speed of one second per meter] my car was pushed out of the flood. Now, it’s paying time. All the five boys extended their hands to me, meaning, I had to pay. I took out my wallet. In my wallet I saw a one-hundred-peso bill and a one twenty-peso bill. I thought, for a mere ten-second labor, twenty pesos was more than enough; one hundred pesos was just too big. And so I handed them the twenty-peso bill.

The boys reacted, “Sir, that’s too small.” I said, “But that’s all the money I got in my wallet.” They objected, “But we’re five in all. Your twenty pesos is just too small.” I further insisted, “But honestly, that’s all the money I got in my wallet.”

You know what did the boys do? In unison, they said, “Okay, push the car back to the flood!” And they did! In the end, I gave them all the one hundred and twenty pesos in my wallet.

When I was just a little boy, when a stranger helped my parents out with the things they were carrying, I would hear my parents murmuring to each other after the help. Do you know what they’re murmuring about? They’re trying to figure out if they will give money to the stranger, or will they not. Why such a hard decision to make? Because during my childhood days, helping people out is being offered sincerely—without any expectation of a reward. You will only insult the person who helped you if you offer payment—which is equivalent to slapping the person’s face.

Today it is different. You are more figuring out how much money to pay, than whether you will give money or not, as paying is oftentimes already a given when someone extended you help.

Why am I saying these things? Times are changing. Ever a-changing. But it seems to me, they continually change for the worse, hardly for the good.

As we grow in number, comes the attendant growing as well of problems. Long-cherished values—that had long kept the world a most beautiful and safe place to live—begin to take a backseat to give way to the more pressing need—to survive. Where once it’s just a petty selfishness that we see, now it is a massive greed and crippling corruption that we behold. Where once it is just a trivial offense that we witness, now it is a most gruesome display of blood-shedding and annihilation that we set our eyes on. If this continues, you can already imagine the kind of world we shall have in the years to come.

The world is badly in need of people who would stand steadfast against the ravages of corruption and self-centeredness that are causing all the poverty and oppression in our world. We need more ‘LIGHT’ and more ‘SALT’ in our world. We need more ATTITUDINALITS whose productive attitudes must reign over the destructive materialism and selfism in our world.

4. The ATTITUDINALISTS are like the GOOD TOMATOES—with a difference.

We have likened the ENVIRONMENTALISTS to that local saying that says: “A GOOD TOMATO, when placed in a basket filled with rotten tomatoes, will in time get to be rotten as well.”

But for the ATTITUDINALISTS, it’s different: “A GOOD TOMATO, when placed in a basket filled with rotten tomatoes, it’s the rotten tomatoes that will in time become good—not the good tomato getting to be rotten as well.”

Hence, when an Attitudinalist joins the drug addicts, in time it is the rotten drug addicts that will straighten up—not the Attitudinalist turning to be a drug addict too.

QUESTION: “Is this you—an ATTITUDINALIST?”

If you’re not an ATTITUDINALIST, it is the aim of this book—TO MAKE YOU ONE. How?

Learn and apply “The Twelve Attitudes of Success and Happiness of the Attitudinalists.”

 

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