The math of “attitude”

Oh boy, did I ever cringe when I saw this little anecdote…or riddle, or quote or whatever it’s supposed to be. What am I rambling on about you ask? This stupid math kind of rule applied to the word attitude…and others.

In short, there is this stupid little riddle/anecdote/something that takes every letter from the English alphabet and gives it a value from 1 to 26. So you have A as 1, B as 2 etc. Then it takes some words such as talent, hard work and attitude and starts computing the value obtained by adding the correspnding numbers of each letter for each word (that’s right, it actually attributes a bloody number to a word). Talent results in a value of 96 I think, hard work equates to a value of 98 while “ATTITUDE” is the only word that equates to 100 *plays Dark Knight theme triumphantly*. Attitude is ALL! Attitude is LOVE…and LIFE…and EVERYTHING!!!

I am tired of this idea that attitude is everything. The only thing this anecdote succeeds in doing is creating a state of euphoria that lasts for about 5 minutes until reality sinks in. While I agree that you have to have a positive attitude when attempting different challenges, some people believe that just by saying you have the right attitude you’ll be able to skip through hard work or overcome the lack of talent. And this is NOT the case. You may say you have the right attitude, you may believe yourself to be able to overcome anything, but without putting in the hard work, all that equates to talking the talk…and nothing more. While hard work with a bad attitude towards your peers is off-putting and makes you look like a jerk, a good attitude with no hard-work will only help you so much. And I’d wish the latter group of people would stop getting passes from managers.

A bad attitude can be fixed if you think the work that person puts in is valuable. And it usually is. Hard workers usually have a bad attitude when they see their non hard-working but smiling peers get promoted and praised, while they get scolded. This seriously has to stop.

In the end, a good attitude actually means putting in the hard work and being an overall non-jerky person (meaning not being an arrogant, self-centered human being). If only managers would stop promoting people who say or act like they have a good attitude soft-skills wise but fail to see through their share of the work…


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