Good and Bad Attitudes

A bad attitude or unsettled mind will destroy focus, guaranteeing failure regardless of training and preparation. You must want (or need) to be where you are. Doing one thing with the body and another with the mind is self-defeating. A mind not giving 100 percent is a liability. If you can't pay attention to the climbing or if you don't want to be on the mountain, don't go,

A bad attitude for a climber bears little resemblance to the usual meaning of the term. Many climbers complete hard routes out of rage or despair—some make a lifestyle out of it. These are attitudes that some people might call '"bad." I define a bad attitude as a mental state that prevents you from realizing your desires.

A good attitude consists of a psychological state that allows and spurs you to reach a goal. Both equanimity and rage could qualify. Personal torment has inspired great climbs and great creations. Outsiders may view torment as a negative state of mind or bad attitude. But confusion, questioning, and doubt often act as fountains of creativity, producing grand works of art and action. They meet my definition of good attitudes.

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