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Aptitude and Attitude

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.~ Brian Tracy

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.~Thomas Jefferson

Adopting the right attitude can convert negative stress into a positive one.~ Hans Selye

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.~Winston Churchill


Aptitude refers to an individual's intrinsic capacity for learning and comprehension, whereas attitude is a person's disposition toward an object, person, or activity. The key distinction between the two conceptions is as follows:

Aptitude is the 'capacity to learn and attitude is the 'desire to learn,' i.e., aptitude describes an individual's potential ability to learn or acquire a skill, whereas attitude describes an individual's motivation to perform or learn. While attitude is linked to character or qualities; it is a reflection of one's personality, aptitude is linked to competence; it decides if a person can gain the necessary abilities to perform a task.

Attitude is a psychological construct that can be either positive or negative. Aptitude, on the other hand, might be mental (general mental capacity) or physical in nature (motor).

Which Is More Critical? Attitude or Aptitude

Our altitude is determined by our attitude, not our ability. Many people time and again have pointed out that it's an individual’s attitude that takes them forward not aptitude, the journey from potential to actual is largely determined by our attitude.

Attitude serves as a catalyst for the acquisition and usage of a certain ability. If an individual is totally qualified for a position but lacks genuine willingness, then the individual has failed to put to use the aptitude.

At times, when we face difficulties, things do not go as planned, regardless of how much thought and planning we do. Things can go awry, and someone with a positive attitude can maintain their composure in such instances and chart a course of action rather than getting cold feet. Spontaneity comes with composure.

As government servants deal with complicated issues on a daily basis, they require both critical and creative thinking to find a solution. How we view a problem dictates how we approach it and find a solution. Individuals with a good attitude exhibit an openness that enables them to see beyond the issue at hand and envision a larger horizon. It fosters clarity of thought, a necessary condition for brainstorming a solution. It enables an individual to maintain their composure in the face of hardship; it is our attitude that determines whether we underperform or outperform in times of crisis. The life of a government servant is not easy; it requires more than just time and energy.

"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration," Thomas Edison once stated. As a result, a positive attitude toward hard work and endurance is critical for success in life.

Another perspective is that not everyone is capable of mastering the abilities, particularly at a proficient level. A person who is diligent but lacks the natural ability, talent, and skill is unlikely to flourish in the field. For example, a person who possesses the desire and enthusiasm to launch a new company venture but lacks the necessary business acumen would succumb to the venture's pressures and obstacles. Thus, a person who has a positive attitude but lacks aptitude is useless.


Aptitude alone is blind; attitude alone is feeble. According to this concept, both the appropriate abilities (aptitude) and temperament (attitude) are required for success in a given sector. It is the optimal combination of inherited and acquired characteristics that determines the gains and losses in a person's life.

For example, a person who is diligent and honest in his work and committed to the organization's goals but lacks the ability to take initiative and the aptitude for leadership due to a lack of soft skills cannot be considered qualified for a higher-level position. Similarly, if someone possesses intelligent, persuasive, and team-building abilities but has a callous attitude about work, he cannot be trusted in a position of greater authority.


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