Someone once said, “We can’t live a successful life with a negative mind”. If long term success is desired, we must work to have a positive attitude and a forward focus about ourselves all the time. This positive mind-set doesn't mean we ignore the bad things. It means that we choose to not be defined by the bad things. We look for ways to make the bad things a learning experience to better ourselves. If success is what we seek, we must beware of the killers that want to destroy our lives.
1 – Un-thankfulness – Not showing or give appreciation for little things is a sure killer down the road. Sometimes we think its wimpy to say "thank you" and be polite but many people have moved up to new and better levels by showing gratitude for small things. One writer put it this way, “It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.” To have a thankful mindset means that we are continuously showing appreciation to other people. A thankful disposition is fundamental to achieving long term success.
Create a list of things you're appreciative of and read it daily. This activity can cultivate a positive attitude and keep the proper perspectives in view. New levels of success are reached when you are able to find some type of gratitude in all your circumstances.
2. Negativity – Life is full of negative situations. However, that does not mean our attitude has to be negative with it. Analyzing our situations for learning experiences can help us change our negative mindsets to positive ones . Our character is built by making it through tough times and challenges. Most of us are encouraged and motivated from success stories. Stories of how someone made it through a devastating time. Each day our lives should be a success story because we are overcoming the negativity in our minds.
You and I are constantly faced with dilemmas that can turn us negative, regretful, bitter, angry, etc. In spite of all that, allow yourselves to reach beyond the problems and see the strength that comes from persevering through. "Pain is temporary. It may last for a while but eventually it will be replaced by something else." (Lance Armstrong) Keep a positive attitude through the pain, it will help you make better decisions and build personal value for success.
3. Complaining – If we are looking for issues that are not quite right, there will always be many. To achieve the next level of success in our lives we must work on what our mouths say about the issues we encounter. Our words should reflect "building up" of what's right before uttering the wrongs.
Work to keep your complaints low, no matter what the problem. With a good attitude you can look for ways to connect before correcting. Connecting means that you look for something good in others, find out what's going on and encouraging them to make it through their challenges. Once you have found the facts then you will have clarity for your critiques.
Closing: To overcome the success killers (-un-thankfulness, negativity and complaining) you must set your mind to succeed everyday. "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, a love of what you are doing." (Pele) Work to overcome your killers by loving to be positive.
I was talking to my friend the other day about some of his past relationships. He was ticked off about the way something had happen between them. I listen to his side and could understand why he was angry. (But, we also know that anger can cause our thinking to be unstable.) I asked him if he had considered the other person's feelings and their side on everything. He responded with a hard, "I don’t want to think about them. They are wrong and that is it." Wow! His attitude was blocking him from trying to get to the truth; and without truth as the guiding factor we tend to go wrong.
Our attitudes produce one of two things - stability or chaos. It is said that our “attitudes determines our altitude”. I like to say our attitudes (the way we view life and handle life) determines where we go and how successful we can be in life.
1. Learn – Our attitude, be it positive or negative, is a learned behavior or view that we have picked up from our parents, friends, teachers, etc. We've possibly heard the statement from relatives, “You act just like your momma/daddy”. When this is said we are probably reflecting the behavior of our parents. The good news is, although we might have learned a negative attitude we can change our attitudes to be positive. Maya Angelou said it this way, "If you don't like something change it, if you can't change it change your attitude."
Break your unwanted habits by learning a new habits. Start to look at people that are effective and successful around you. These are not the ones that try to get all the laughs and/or seem to only want to follow the latest trends, but they are the ones that have positive attitudes, are solid thinkers and are goal oriented most of the time. Learn how to have an attitude for success.
2. Clarify – It is said that, "One’s perception is one’s reality and their reality dictates their attitude". This is true but not the end of the story. One’s perception must have a foundational point that is universal for all. In other words, this universal perception for everyone is rooted in something that does not change from person to person or situation to situation. Whatever this is, it brings clarity to all. What is this? It is Truth. When we all have an objective attitude for what’s true, then we can clarify and work towards the truth in the mist of sensitive feelings and emotions.
Keep in mind that you emotions and feelings can give you information but it should not be your instructions of how to act. When you clarify your attitude to resemble what is true you are able to have an attitude of long term success.
3. Forward – In John Maxwell's book called “Falling Forward” he mentions working to keep a positive attitude in the mist of tough mess ups and challenges. If we make a mistake or fail, we shouldn’t allow our failures to become our last destiny.
You have control of what you do with failure. It's not the end, if you're still here. Take on a positive attitude that can take the worst situation and learn from it. Jessie Jackson made popular the phrase, “Keep hope alive”. Strive daily to work on implementing the attitude of hope – "I’m moving forward and I'm getting better". Go forward from your mistakes. A forward thinking attitude will give you stability in your life.
Summary - Stabilize your life by learning how to have a positive attitude, seeking clarity based on the truth and staying forward focused. Your attitude today will determine your outcome tomorrow.
I was keeping a surprise birthday party under wraps when I was approached by the honoree. They began to inquire about what was going on. I tried to divert the conversation to another subject but they ended up asking me, “Are you hiding something?” I responded with, “I have a lot on my mind that I rather not talk about right now.” This was a tough situation, but trying to be honest all the time can put us in some peculiar situations to lie.
For most, keeping secrets to benefit or better someone is not considered being dishonest, if in the future that person can understand our sincere reasons why we avoided or could not share on the topic. The boundaries between "honest secrecy" and "dishonest secrecy" are very faint and should be treaded lightly. Paolo Coelho said it this way, "Better to tell the truth and make someone cry than to tell a lie and make someone simile." Let's look at some ways to be honest in our tough spots.
3 Points to Honesty
1. Consideration – To be understanding about another person’s feelings or opinions should not require us to change the truth. When faced with the choice of telling the truth verses a lie, it is good to consider what the future will look like more than what we initially see before us. Someone once said, "When we tell the truth, it becomes a part of our past but when we tell a lie it becomes a part of our future". There's no way to get beyond a lie. You will always have to tweak and change to make it fit.
It is okay, not to be liked by everyone because it's actually impossible to be liked by everyone at the same time. But it's not okay to twist the truth to try to gain more people to like you. Your honesty can be misinterpreted as being critical or non-supportive, as well as, hurt feelings and sour friendships. So be considerate (thoughtful, kind and loving) when speaking the truth. Your consideration should reflect a concern of the best for that person, which is the truth shared lovingly,
2. Creative – Coming up with a "white lie" can be very tempting when dealing with sensitive people; however, we should not give in! We can develop the habit of wisely expressing the truth just as quickly as we can express a lie. This is something I've had to work on when shopping with my wife. When she is trying on clothes I've had to learn how to respond creatively but truthfully. For example: I shouldn’t say, "You don’t look good in that, honey". It is better for me to say something like, "Honey, I like the way this one looks on you or let’s try a different color than the one you have on.”
You can find creative ways to live out the truth in your environment. Telling the truth is a cultivated behavior that is chosen over the habit of telling a lie. "Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving." - Hurst
3. Consistent – Let's face it, staying balanced on truth all the time can feel like an additional burden in our lives. But living each day with the alternative (a lie) is a life full of worry, doubt and fear. Mark Twain said it like this, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." When being honest is how we roll we can expect others to know our character.
Being honest doesn't demand that you expose everything to everybody. Your consistence in being real with yourself and others means that you work to handle every situation truthfully. Your consistency will develop strong character, credibility, and trust in the long run. Being honest isn't a goal that you check off your list—it's an ongoing process that will both challenge and benefit you throughout your life.
Summary - Be consistent, creative and considerate in being honest. The more time you spend with the truth the less you will believe a lie.
Football is a very popular sport this time of year in America. But behind the game that we might see or hear about are well thought out plans called "game plays" or "game plans". They are the strategies and actions the players have practiced over and over for game day. In life, we consciously and unconsciously practice our "life plans" over and over again. When a stressful day comes (game time) we execute our practiced plans revealing what really guides and directs our lives. There are certain life strategies that can help boost success on our game days!
3 Plans for Success
1. Analyze – Teams analyze past games to see if proper execution of the plans were made and how to improve the plans for better success next time. To successfully arrive at our next levels we must analyze and critique our efforts with a standard higher than what's currently required. The perfect guide to proper analyzes is always the truth. We should make sure that truth is the pivotal part of our plans for success.
Allow truth to be your standard setter. Be alert for it's convicting analysis. Listen to true statements about your current status. See what those who are in your circle are saying that you need to do to improve. Accept all analysis who's motive is to improve your plan.
2. Apply – A team would not want to huddle up, decide on a play and then go out to do something different. That's pointless! Application of information gained is key to our success.
After analyzing your life with truth, take the data and apply it into the proper areas of your life. Success over challenges require "life plans" that reflect updated solutions from the truth. Dale Carnegie said, "Knowledge isn't power until its applied."
3. Accomplish – When we have analyzed and applied the necessary changes, it's still possible to miss the goal. Success happens when continuous progress is made toward the desired goal. Jim Rohn says that "The bridge between our goals and accomplishment is discipline." We can't have success in our lives if we are not disciplined to overcome the distractions in our lives.
Make sure your number one plan is to accomplish your goals. If success is your objective, take time to look at your life closely and line it up with the truth of accomplishment. Remember that, "obstacles are the raw materials of great accomplishments." (Tommy Newberry)
Summary - True success is not a happenstance. Behind true success is usually a great plan that has been guiding and directing to a specific outcome for a good while. So our planning must be precise to achieve a high level of quality with our goals. Continue to implement the 3 A's to build success in your life: Analyze, Apply and Accomplish.