In Jules Verne’s novel, The Mysterious Island, he tells of five men who escape a civil war prison by hijacking a hot air balloon. As they rise into the air, they realise the wind is taking them over the ocean, and they wonder how much longer they have in the air. As time passes, the men decide they must cast some weight overboard to stay in the air. Shoes, overcoats, weapons and other items are discarded. In time, the balloon descends toward the water and the men throw their food overboard. Better high and hungry than to drown with a full belly. Yet, they continue to drift slowly downward. Finally, one man has an idea: they could tie the ropes that hold the passenger seats and let go of the basket. This saved their life. Not a minute too soon—they spot land. The five men jump from the ropes and swim to shore. They live because they got rid of excess weight. They discerned the difference between what is necessary and what is not. They were forced to recognise their priorities.
This blog is about the importance of having “the right attitude” in life and the fact that the right attitude matters much more than having the right skills or knowledge.
This is the realisation I arrived at after embarking on an intensive process of professional and personal development over the last six months: The skills I develop and the knowledge I gain don’t matter unless I have the right attitude.