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Attitude Series #4

September 02, 2018
By Dr. Jason Song

Please take a look at the chart below. You see, there are four types of people in the world: able and willing, unable but willing, able but unwilling, and unable and unwilling.

The first type--able and willing--are the kind of people everyone wants to work with. The last type--unable and unwilling--are, well, the kind of people everyone avoids.

The reality is that most people fall into the middle two categories: unable but willing, or able but unwilling. Let me describe these two in greater detail.

First, unable but willing. People in this category are willing to try, learn, and grow. But, they have not mastered or acquired needed skills. Nonetheless, because they are willing, with good coaching, guidance, and room to make mistakes, they can become able people.

Second, able but unwilling. Folks in this category are quite difficult to work with because although they are capable, they are unwilling to grow or develop more skills. So, often these folks do not reach their full potential. Their skills may be "good enough" for now, but they do not make improvements due to their unwillingness to learn, listen, follow, and make efforts. Folks in this category can be often arrogant and smug, much to their detriment.

The point is that a right attitude can invite guidance and help from others (for those who are unable but willing), but a poor attitude can actually force those who can provide help to, well, walk away. School is a perfect place to illustrate this point.

Even though a student may not be a high performer, as long as he/she is willing to learn (proper attitude towards learning), teachers will go out of their way to help. However, even if a student is very smart or earns top marks, if that student has poor attitude (arrogance, laziness, unwilling to follow direction), he/she will exasperate teachers. Simply put, teachers will get tired of working with unwilling students.

So, ask the following questions: which category do I belong to? Am I becoming an able and willing person? Or, am I unwilling to learn and, therefore, exasperating those who can help me?

Develop and possess the right attitude, and you can become a willing and able person who will be sought out by others.