As a young man, I knew in my heart that I would not do manual labor for the rest of my life. On the inside I knew I was different than those around me, and over time, that belief became my reality. It’s been my experience that your outward existence will inevitably match what the heart and mind have already decided to do or be. Each of us has an overall pattern of thinking that is either positive or negative. The pattern you choose affects every aspect of your life. First of all, your basic attitude affects your belief in your potential for success. A negative attitude causes you to doubt your ability to achieve, while belief in your potential makes you willing to take the necessary action for success.
A positive attitude will also allow you to view challenges as opportunities rather than threats. People with negative attitudes think, “I can’t…” or “I doubt…” In contrast, each time you act from a positive attitude, your self-confidence is enhanced, your ability to achieve is proven, and you know you can succeed.
Finally, people who have a negative attitude have buried the ability to see opportunity. A positive attitude opens your eyes to so many opportunities that your challenge becomes which opportunity to choose.
Who You Are
Attitude gives us the power to become who we want to become, and determines who others think we are. Who you are is not determined by how you look, where you live, or who your parents were. Who you are is a function of specific choices that you have made. You are where you are and what you are because of the dominating thoughts in your mind. After all, as a man “thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). We are what we think we are—not what we appear to be on the outside. An absolutely essential ingredient for success is a positive selfimage. The world operates on the basis of the law of attraction: what you are and what you think will attract corresponding conditions. If you have a negative self-image, you attract negative results. If your selfimage is positive, you attract positive results. This may appear simplistic, but it is absolutely true.
Your mental picture of yourself determines the measure of confidence you bring to using your potential and working toward your goals. Psychologists estimate we use less than a third of our actual potential. By increasing your potential even slightly, you can make a sizable improvement in your effectiveness.
The Hidden Good
Regardless of external circumstances, beginning at an early age everyone is insulted, left out, taken advantage of, and discounted by others. And to add to the burden, uncontrollable, negative events naturally happen in life as well. However, when you make the decision to view your world with an attitude of gratitude, you are training yourself to focus on the good in life. Of the 100 companies I’ve started since the age of 19, 65 percent have not survived. They could be called “failures,” but with my positive attitude, I’ve never considered that I’ve failed at anything. These “failures” were only temporary setbacks and I learned to be grateful for each one because they all taught me something invaluable about myself. I know that in every adversity there is a seed of equivalent or greater benefit if I believe it, look for it, and work for it.
Setting goals is vital to successfully achieving your improvement and personal development plans. It is the key to all fulfillment and achievement. Confidence, determination and innate personality traits contribute to success; but they all come into focus through goal-setting.
Probably 75 percent of my personal success has come through setting goals. (The other 25 percent is a combination of focus, desire, preparation and hard work.) If I’m not making the progress I would like to make and am capable of making, it is simply because my goals are not clearly defined.
There is something almost mystical about setting a resolute goal after you have developed a plan and set a deadline for its attainment. Such a goal produces a burning desire, the necessary self-confidence and the determination to follow through. Having a wild imagination is one thing, but being very disciplined and organized makes you different from the rest. It is common to dream, but rare to follow through and see dreams realized. Goal-setting is simply writing down your dreams, crystallizing your thinking and then developing a plan with a deadline for its attainment.
Along the way, you will face obstacles, but overcoming adversities and temporary defeats will make you stronger. When you reach your goal you will have accomplished much more than you set out to do. When I first started in the insurance business, my goal was to write a million dollars worth of business, but I only made one sale out of 14 initial presentations. My highest monthly income during the first nine months was $87. But I believed in my goal and never wavered from it.
Eventually I hit the million dollar mark and the year after that, sold almost four million!
A Worry-Free Attitude
More damage is created by worrying than the actual manifestation of whatever it is you’re worried about. This is because more than 90 percent of all worries never come to pass.