ATTITUDE TO ALTITUDE I

Hubby: If you like, you can squeeze your face into the shape of the Nigeria map, we ain’t going! Case closed.

Me: (Silence)

I was a single for a while. I was used to taking my decisions, going out when I want, where I want and when I want.  But here I am checking the ‘weather forecast’ before taking the plunge.

Over the years, I have realised that making a fuss does not change the ‘weather forecast’. However a calm response to a situation like this usually means that 30 minutes after that outburst, we might be on our way to that place he said “we ain’t going”.

There is indeed a popular saying which goes that ‘ your attitude determines your altitude’.

I am looking at my community and into the years past and leaving out the obvious (in church or leadership) I can report my experience on the following:

Academics:
During my undergraduate studies about 2 decades ago (Jeez! Am I old?). I was at Dr. Abisogun’s Leigh’s class – just before the final year examination, my mates and I sat through a 2 hour long lecture and we were so ready to go for lunch break. We were never bored of his lecture because he has a gift with words. However, lunch was a-calling.

Just a few minutes past the 2hour slot, we were getting ready for his ‘best of luck’ speech which was his norm before every examination; he announced that he has a few notes to dictate and before he could finished his sentence, ALL of us gasped, moan, yelled and upset our dearest ‘Abi Lincoln’! Little did we know that he was just about to give us ‘tips’ to study for his set exams but our attitude threw him off!!! Shocked, Dr. Leigh looked at us, shook his head and walked off.

In my 4 years of knowing him at the Uni, I have never ever seen him upset. Some of us had some sense afterwards and went to his office to apologise. It however took another few days of apologies from the whole class of about 80, another 2 hour long lecture and sitting straight without a murmur that we eventually got into his good books again. At the end of the lecture not only did he wish us well and gave us the ‘tips’ but he gave everyone of us a parting rare gift  – The ‘IF’ by Rudyard Kipling.

That gift is and remains my life long reflection about ‘ATTITUDE’.

I reflect on ‘IF’ again and again. When I: am waiting for an opportunity, thirst for knowledge, accomplished a goal, feel discouraged; help others out on a project, or simply being a mom (when I desperately need some cuddles myself) . I reflect on ‘IF’. If you have never heard of ‘IF’ here is a copy:

Another lecturer at the Uni with a very positive and supportive attitude was Professor Adisa. No matter what he was doing or reading. If you knock on his office door and he is there? He drops EVERYTHING, ask you to sit down and give you his 100%+1 attention. AND he ALWAYS has a solution for whatever ails you academically. I remembered vividly that he sorted out one issue I had with another female lecturer in my faculty who represented ‘nightmare’ in the mind of every student in my faculty (story for another day).

Hurrah!! To all the educational teachers, lecturers and mentors with positive attitudes out there!

Family: 

My Mom (bless her soul) taught my siblings and I: to have respect, great family values and a loving and giving attitude. However, she is one of the Nigerian Moms that never spared the rod – so if you give her a bad attitude a hot leftie will land on your back! 🙂 And My Mom gave the best of back-hands lefties that never misses – the ones that makes you jump out of your nasty attitude pronto!!!

Sometimes I wish I can just land some hot back-hands on some people when I get bad vibes from them but….I try and reflect on the folks with positive attitudes that I have consciously kept in my network  to keep me going.

One person that easily comes to mind is my Hubby. It does not matter how bad that disagreement was. He never ever wakes up the next day thinking about it. Next to GOD, my hubby has has taught me how to let go and stop being an ‘archeologist’ – digging into the past to examine the hurts people have hurl at me. And I have gotten a good dose of hurts.

I will be biased if I stay on the family path because I know everyone love their families (I hope!).

Business:

On the business side of things, a precious friend and brother is DJ Abass! In my opinion, he defines the word ‘attitude’ and lives a thorough ‘customer service’ lifestyle. It does not matter how rich, poor, old or young you are, give him a call and you can bet he will return your call within the hour (and within reason).

I was really pleased he was on board at my wedding.
Being a creative, I have dealt with a lot of contractors. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly side of attitudes! For example – I wanted to book a service sometime ago for the first time. Guess the attitude I got? ‘Erm – that one is very expensive o’. It took every positive cell in my brain to carry on with the transaction. So what if it is expensive? Was I going to pay with money or blood?

Career:

Working in a global team over the last 10 years means working with different types of people and attitude from around the world. This professionally means you as an individual have to be politically, socially and mentally correct at all times.

I have been blessed so far and not have to deal with someone with an attitude that I am unable to cope with. Of course there are some folks you just thank God you do not share a roof with! 🙂

If you have read this post and the examples I have given, you will notice they were all men. OK – I hope to post an article soon on the women. So do not fret.

I want to keep this article short. However I will say this – whatever you do as an individual – PLEASE have a good attitude! It works!

So let’s hear it – anyone with a good or nasty attitude been your way lately? Lets share!

Trillion Love Always!

Timi

3 Responses
  1. Oh my God!!!. Why it took decades to understand the import and the deeper meaning of that poem titled, If by Rudyard Kipling beats my imagination. I remembered vividly that referenced copy, the lettering and the borders embossed in golden colour, perhaps, to underscore the importance of those indelible words of the poet. Then another question. Why did 80% of the 80-member class missed out the opportunity to get the meaning and, perhaps, listen to the personal experience(s) of Dr. Abisogun Leigh? Was it age with its associated youthful exuberance? Attitude? Ignorance ? Or a combination of these factors that a life time opportunity to get to know the importance of attitude through that poem eluded a generation of bright and up coming Nigerians two decades ago? Well, Attitude have been well highlighted in your article. God bless you.

    Before you chronicle your experience with the female folks let me share my experience at the same university.

    At the University Medical Centre, there were two doctors-one a male and the other a female. I cant remember their names now. Over two decades now. Waoooo. Just like yesterday. A friend once told me you know how old you are when kids you carried from the cradle and nurtured are getting married. Sorry for the digression.
    When I had any reason to go the University Clinic, you are usually welcomed and attended to courteously by the beautiful nurses (no insinuation(s) please).

    First for the male doctor. Anytime you are ushered into the consulting room, the male doctor, without raising his head, without taking your clinical presentations, without asking questions except, perhaps, noticing that you are shivering (poor student again) will start scribbling some notes which only the initiated can read or understand. Then pronto he hands over the note to you and then you hear, "next patient please", leaving you empty and wondering whether he is practicing voodooism or orthodox medicine or a combination of both as he would always prescribe some antimalarial medication.

    On the contrary, the female doctor ( God bless her soul wherever she is now) pleasantly welcomes you and even asks you about academics. She stops whatever she was doing. She does her routine medical examination. And what I still remember about her is that after the usual questioning, physical examinations, she would ask, "How much of your monthly stipend (poor student again) is still with you". And thereafter she prescribes her medication an attitude which, to a large extent, was therapeutic and relieving even before you start taking her prescriptions.

    So whenever I have reason(s) to be at the University medical centre and having studied the attitude of these two doctors,I will carry out my intelligence work as to who of the two doctors was on duty.
    You can guess that I will do a Carl Lewis or Ben Johnson or a Usain Bolt or a combination of the three and go some where else despite my medical condition.

    What is the moral of this story and lessons learnt over the years? That our attitude can be therapeutic in our relationship(s). Apart from taking us to our altitude, which is personal, it can make or mar relationships, marriages, career. Talking about emotional intelligence rather than intelligence quotient. Meaning that your intelligence quotient (IQ) will take you to your desired career but your emotional Intelligence (EQ), i.e understanding yourself and how your attitude impact others will keep you there.
    Raymond Okosun
    Lagos, Nigeria

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