Here’s a wonderful story about Niccolo Paganini the legendary violinist. I heard it from my good friend and mentor Rob Gilbert on his wonderful Success Hotline (973.743.4690):
Paganini was performing one of his favorite pieces before an adoring audience when one of his violin strings broke. Unperturbed, he continued playing on three strings. Then a second string snapped. Unfazed, Paganini began improvising on two strings. And then, unbelievably, yet another string broke! The virtuoso calmly continued his concert, wresting miraculous sounds from the lone string left on his violin.
When he was finished, the audience jumped to its feet and applauded wildly. In response, Paganini proceeded to give a one-string encore! What a story! It speaks to not only his incredible talent, but his amazing attitude. Where another performer might have been totally agitated and thrown for a loop by what happened, Paganini turned what could have been a disaster into a stunning success.
Attitude made the difference. And it can make the difference for us, too, in our writing lives. Here’s why: a Harvard Business School study identified four factors critical to success: information, intelligence, skill, and attitude. When these four factors were ranked in relation to success, the study found that information, intelligence, and skill combined contributed only 7% to total effectiveness — that’s right, 7%! Attitude accounted for a whopping 93%.
It seems incredible, doesn’t it? What a concept: A great attitude is the single most important factor in achieving your writing goals, whatever they are. Think about how enormously liberating this is! Today, and every day, you can choose to be upbeat about your future and supportive of both yourself and others. And when you do, you’ll be stepping high and fast on the yellow brick road to success. Write on!