• Richard Portugal

Attitude is Everything


Attitude is everything. It is who we are, who we want to be, who we can be! Attitude is just not pertinent to humans—we observe it in all species. It is like the air we breathe; it is all around us.


Observe a hawk floating in a lazy arc high in the air. Folding its wings, it drops like a missile on unsuspecting prey and then gracefully floats upward on a warm updraft. A lion’s roar alone defines the jungle king, its mane dancing in the warm African breeze, its teeth a carnivore’s allure. To its rear, a cheetah sprints at sixty miles per hour, its mere speed a dazzling display of charisma and charm. In the far off distance, a mountain gorilla thumps its chest in a pantomime that has always asserted bold intent. Notice two tame leashed dogs on a city street. Size does not dictate dominance; it is stance and a long forgotten but still present wolfish arrogance.


It is these various attitudes that define those animals we behold. Stature is the essence of attitude; it is in the eyes, the body language, the walk. The speed of hummingbird’s wings, holding its head steady as it dips for a flower’s honey, revealing the mastery of form and function. It is what gives meaning to an entity’s existence.


And attitude is everything to a human being: our body position and language, the gleam in our eyes, the bounce in our step and how we express our path, our balance and coordination. It is attitude that defines who we are. It is a basic charisma that emanates from our inner soul to radiate outwards; it is an announcement of our presence in this world. Stephen Hawkins does not require physical speed and agility to substantiate his worth; his attitude flows from the beauty of his mind. Nelson Mandela’s twenty-seven years in prison did not define him; it was his attitude upon release. Eleanor Roosevelt’s sense of self was diminished through her difficult formative years, yet it was her attitude that gave impact and remembrance to her life.


Many people show remarkable dexterity in confronting their life’s demons, and dig deep to turn misfortune into courageous action. Most seniors fall into this category, for when turning a certain older age, society regards you as a liability rather than an advantage; an inconvenience and obligation instead of a milestone.


A senior’s contributions may seem limited, but are actually just beginning. Our time on this green planet may be seem truncated, the years winding down rather than seemingly limitless, but their impact is magnified due to this shortened duration. It all depends on attitude.


A participant in one of my senior exercise classes demonstrates an attitude that is wonderfully motivational. She does not intend to inspire, but her positive energy

is infectious. She has fun with the exercises, grows with them and expresses a joy that inflates each day as she lives it. Seniors can bemoan the shortening of their

remaining time or embrace the relevancy of each day left. We can lament being placed on society’s injured reserve list or instead make relevant our time, energies and endeavors. It is all in the attitude!


For Baby Boomers who spent a lifetime in the spotlight building a society after World War II and the Cold War, it comes as a communal shock to be expected to be spectators and not participants on history’s grand path forward. As seniors well know, youth is a wonderful commodity, bringing energy, innovation and novelty to timeless issues. Youth deserves and will earn its responsibilities. But seniors have much to contribute. Sitting on the sidelines is a choice. Attitude makes that choice obvious!


Copyright © 2018 Richard J. Portugal All rights reserved.

Submitted by Richard Portugal, Fitness Senior Style, LLC, 201-937-4722.

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