06/17/2013 03:36 pm ET Updated Aug 17, 2013

Attitude Is Everything

Every one of us has the exact same power within to transform our lives at any moment. Each of us has available every single day the exact same magic formula. That magic is the overwhelming power of attitude, and it works regardless of our dreams, regardless of our goals, regardless of our past, our wealth or education.

Roger Crawford was born with only one leg and two totally deformed hands. By all rights he should have grown up angry, depressed, helpless and victimized by the circumstances of his birth. Instead, his parents gave him one of the greatest gifts that any parent can bestow upon a child -- the magic power of a positive attitude. "My parents taught me that I was only as handicapped as I wanted to be," Roger said. And so he decided that his physical situation was just that, his physical situation -- but would not become the determiner of his destiny.

By age twelve he had earned a place on his school's football team. He went on to teach himself tennis so well that he not only played on his college team, but became the first physically challenged tennis player to be certified as a teaching professional by the United States Professional Tennis Association. Now that's the power of attitude to transform failure into success.

Then there was Glen Cunningham. When as a child he received major burns over the lower half of his body in a tragic accident, he was told he was doomed to be a cripple for life with no use at all of his lower limbs. Instead, he took his fate in his own hands, and with the magic of attitude, and an iron-clad resolve, he went on to stand, then walk, then run, then set the record for the world's fastest mile in Madison Square Garden.

And who wasn't moved to tears and literally awe-struck by the inner strength and sheer heroism when Christopher Reeves rode out in his wheel chair to make a special presentation at the Academy Awards only months after the tragic fall from a horse that left him a quadriplegic? It wasn't a medical miracle that allowed him to transform his personal tragedy into a source of inspiration for tens of millions of others -- it was his mental attitude that gave him the ability to transcend the physical prison of his paralysis

Fortunately most of us are not called upon to face such dramatic physical challenges. Most of us are blessed with more ordinary challenges -- the challenge of raising children to be moral and ethical, to do the right thing when facing the inevitable moral dilemmas of life; the challenge of creating loving, nurturing relationships with our life partners, and friends; and the challenge of bringing a sense of meaning and purpose to our lives.

The real challenge for each of us is to reflect the gentle wisdom of the wonderful French writer Antoine de Saint Exupery, who wrote, "The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude toward them." This can be your secret weapon as well, as you travel the road to personal success in the year ahead.

The power of attitude is responsible for more people transforming seeming failures into successes than any other single idea on earth. It has brought dynasties to their knees, turned paupers into princes, inspired millions to fight for causes beyond number, and it can be your secret weapon as you travel the road to your own personal success this year and every year.