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By Michael Angier

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We Named Her "Attitude"

The boat we have now is the third boat I’ve owned. But it’s the first one I’ve ever given a name.

It was an interesting process. The list was long and there were many good ones, but we soon realized that both my wife and I had veto power, coming up with one we agreed upon wasn’t going to be easy.

I wanted a name that really meant something to me and about my work—something distinctive. Some of the names we thought of were a bit too cute—like “Member Ship” and “A Mission”. (I figured if I was sailing, someone could say I was on “A Mission”.) Some others were just too common—like “Odyssey” or “Carpe Diem”.

In the end we decided that “Attitude” was one we all liked.

Of all the principles and ideologies I teach—some profound, some just plain practical—attitude is a big one.

I give a great deal of credit to my successes and overcomings to having a good attitude. When I lost everything in a business failure over twenty years ago, I told people I left with only two things—my rhododendron plant and my attitude. I don’t know where the plant went but I’ve maintained my attitude pretty well over the years—even through some very dark times.

I don’t have much patience for people with poor attitudes. You know the kind I mean; they’re the ones who brighten up a room by LEAVING. They have “mental B.O.”. I recognize that everybody has bad days, but you can tell a lot about somebody by how they act when things aren’t going well.

When I work with a company, I can get a pretty quick read about the organization by witnessing the attitude of the management and staff. Part of a company’s culture is its attitude. When it’s good, things work. When it’s not; things don’t. Be assured that the morale and attitude of a company are the RESULT of things going well—not the cause.

Being around people with good attitudes is a joy. It lifts the spirits of everyone present. There’s no doubt that a good attitude gets things going better sooner. And since your attitude is contagious, it’s important to make sure yours is worth catching.

Attitude is one of those little things that makes a big difference. Zig Ziglar says, “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that determines your altitude.”

So now I sail on “Attitude” and the more I do, the better my attitude is. I get great ideas while I’m out on the water and it’s just plain fun.

I’m proud of our little yacht and I like her name. She’s got attitude.

To see a few pictures of Attitude, go to


"People with winning attitudes . . . win."
—source unknown 


"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes."
—Charles Swindoll


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Last Updated 01/30/2004