Understanding Success – Part Two

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the second post of a who knows how long series of those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. The series will be at least a few posts, maybe as many as six. 

Once successful people have made the choice of a positive attitude it makes it much easier to understand the difference between “I can’t” and “I won’t.” Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Mr. Ford obviously knew something about what it takes to succeed. 

He also knew about the unbelievably destructive nature of thinking that you can’t. It’s really not possible to simply talk your way to success but it’s pretty common for people to talk their way out of it.

Do you talk to yourself? You just proved that you do when you asked yourself that question. Talking to yourself isn’t bad but negative self-talk kills dreams so be VERY careful about what you say to yourself. 

Every time you say “I can’t” you willingly give up a measure of control by telling yourself and others that you are willing to surrender your success. They more often that you say “I can’t” the more likely it becomes that you won’t. 

It’s perfectly fine if you willingly choose not to do something, just be certain that “I won’t” is a conscious choice and that you’re not unconsciously forcing it upon yourself by repeating “I can’t” over and over. 

Successful people find a way to say, and think, “I can.”

Remember, pretty much everything that’s ever been done was at one time thought impossible yet it was eventually done by someone who said “I can” and they quickly followed it up with a big “I WILL.” 

Nothing is truly impossible until every person on the planet agrees that it’s impossible. Never agree that anything is impossible…. be the one who proves it isn’t.

One more thing….be certain that your “won’t” isn’t simply coming from the fact that you don’t like doing something because here is one thing that nearly all successful people have in common: successful people have developed the habits of doing things that less successful people simply don’t like to do. 

Focus on the fact that YOU CAN!

Understanding Success – Part One

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the initial post of a who knows how long series on those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. The series will be at least a few posts, maybe as many as six. 

First and foremost successful people understand the role that attitude plays in their success. They awake each day with the same choice to make as everyone else in the world and the choice they make is to have a positive attitude. It’s not that less successful people choose a negative attitude, they simply make no choice at all and allow the nattering nabobs of negativism to choose their attitude for them. 

If you want success and happiness in your life (by the way, each of our definitions of success may vary but I personally believe that if you’re not happy then you’re not successful) then begin each day by making the choice of a positive attitude. No matter what else is going on in your life it’s your attitude that is the one choice that no one can ever take from you.

Never doubt for a moment this absolute fact of success: Your attitude is a choice and it’s yours and yours alone to make.

By the way, just a thought here: if you’re a leader who desires to have a positive impact on your people then you should know that it’s pretty tough to have a positive impact on others unless you first have a positive impact on yourself.

Focus on your attitude.

 

The Difference Between If and How

imageThe attitude of less successful people says “if” I can succeed. The attitude of highly successful people says “how” will I succeed. They know they will succeed at whatever they do, the only question is how.

When your mindset is one of “if” you allow the possibility of failure to enter your life. When you allow the possibility of failure into your life you could possibly talk yourself into not even trying.

There may not be a way to absolutely guarantee success but there is most certainly a way to guarantee failure… and that is not trying in the first place. When you decide the effort to try is too great to bother you have just accepted failure. You may have to swallow hard the first time you do it but no worries… failure not only gets easier, it becomes a habit.

The mindset of “if” causes lots of self-discussion. Discussions about “if” I try how much work will it be. “If” I try will I might look foolish if I fall short. That discussion can quickly become one of “why bother” because it’s so much work and I’m more likely to fail than not.

With a mindset of “how” the self-discussions are much more focused…. the “if” is not considered, the discussions are all focused on the strategies and tactics required to succeed.

The “how” mindset accepts 100% responsibility for the success or failure of whatever it is they are working on.

The “if” mindset prepares the excuses in advance. The “how” mindset simply prepares to succeed. The “if” mindset says I’ll do everything I can and if things work out I’ll be fine. The “how” mindset says I’ll do everything that needs to be done so if things don’t work out I’ll still be just fine.

If you think having to do everything is unfair then consider this:

50% – 50% partnerships do not work. You may think that if do your part and “they” do theirs everything will work out. But when was the last time anything great was accomplished with a 50% effort. Success happens for those people who give a 100% effort every single time. They don’t leave any part of their success up to chance and they certainly don’t leave it up to anyone else.

The most successful people have a mindset of “how.”

What’s your mindset today?

The Attitude of Success

Very few things, perhaps nothing, will have more impact on your opportunity for success than your attitude.

There are many many things in life we cannot control. So many people that we cannot control either. Sometimes it just seems as if we have no control over life at all. But that is absolutely untrue. We have complete control over one of life’s greatest assets…. our attitude.

While we cannot control the events or people in our life we have total control over how we react to them. Total control. You have total, complete control over you attitude. It’s your choice and your choice alone. The only way you can lose that choice is to give it away.

Less successful people regularly give the choice of their attitude to the whims of events and the chances of life. They have, I’m sorry to say, a victim mentality that makes failure palatable. They have, to a large extent, not only given up control of their attitude, they have given up control of their life.

You see, the only real way to control your life is to control your attitude.

The most successful people make a choice to control their attitude regardless of the circumstances that effect their day. They CHOOSE positive no matter how strong the winds of negativity blow. They ignore the nattering nabobs of negativism and keep themselves shielded with positivity.

The most successful people choose to control their attitude in order to maintain control of their life. They are not blindly optimistic, they simply see opportunities where less successful people see only obstacles.

The most successful people almost all have one other thing in common: when they did fail they decided to try again. Less successful people often decided to not try at all. The difference between trying again and not trying at all is most often attitude.

You will seldom see a successful person with a negative attitude and you will seldom see a person with little success who has a positive attitude. Here’s what less successful people fail to understand: poor attitude isn’t caused by failure, failure is often caused by poor attitude.

Attitude is a choice, choose positive and choose control. Choose positive and choose success.

Your Most Important Decision of the Day

If you’re like me, if you’re human, if you have a pulse, then you make lots of decisions everyday. Most of them are tiny decisions, made with barely a conscious thought. Brand of gum to chew, water with lemon or lime, which color of socks should I wear today. Those are easy (I hope) decisions and they have little or no lasting impact on your future.

Some are more consequential, they shape your future and you likely give them a fair amount of thought.

Some are downright huge! The have long-range of even life long impact on your life. You do research, fact check, ask others for advice and struggle to be sure of your decision.

But one, one decision is the biggest of all. It is positively monumental!

It’s a decision you should be making everyday. In fact, it might be wise to make it several times a day. Yet most people never make it at all. Many people don’t even realize it’s a decision that is available for them to make. You may be one of them.

So, what is this monumental decision. It’s the decision on whether or not you’ll have a positive attitude.

YOU get to decide that.

EVERYDAY!

ALL DAY!

If you’re like most people you probably never even give that decision a thought. You just allow your attitude to be determined by the people around you and the events of your day.

If you’re like most people your attitude “reflects.” The attitude of successful people “radiates.”

The most successful people decide that they, and they alone, will control their attitude. Nothing and no one will rob them of the incredible strength, focus, and energy provided by a positive attitude. Sometimes they have to make that choice more than once a day, sometimes many times a day. But make it they do!

Attitude is contagious. It seems as if a negative attitude is the most contagious of all. The best antidote to a negative attitude is a decision. It’s a decision to choose, and choose positive.

It’s a decision that is yours and yours alone. All you have to do is make it!

You’ve Chosen Your Life

You’ve chosen your way to the life you have.

To those who would say they have not chosen their life, that their circumstances and events outside of their control have chosen their life I say to you: excuses, excuses, excuses.

The more you allow circumstances to control your life the less control of your life you have. If you’re allowing circumstances to control your life you’ve undoubtedly forgotten about the incredible power of you. You, like every other person on the planet can have more control over your life just by taking it.

Successful people control the circumstances of their life, they put themselves in a position to succeed. They use the circumstances of their life to their benefit, regardless of what those circumstances happen to be.

You make choices every day, and every choice has a consequence. It could be a positive consequence or it could be a negative consequence but no choice in life goes unnoticed.

Perhaps the most important choice you make every day is the choice of a positive attitude. A positive attitude makes everything in life easier. Some days you’ll need to make that choice more than once but never allow others to make that choice for you.

You choose the friends and people that you allow into your life and these friends and people have a major impact on the direction of your life. If you choose to spend your life with negative people, chances are you’ll be a negative person. If you choose to spend your time with unmotivated people it’s likely you won’t be motivated either. 

The people in your life are there because you allow them to be there, you may not realize this is a choice you’ve made but it is one of the most important choices you can make in life. Choose very carefully!

Victor Frankl, author of the life changing book, “Man’s Search for Meaning, ” says “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” When you accept that challenge to change yourself then you begin to control your life through better choices. 

I believe that we all are born with a purpose in mind. Something that makes our life worth living, something that makes our life matter. It’s something important. Once you have determined that important thing in your life you can live your life on purpose for a purpose. You no longer live your life just for today and take what comes, instead you make what comes.

You may not like where you are in life, but it’s your choices that have put you there. If you desire to be someplace else in life then make different choices because you choose your way to the life you have.

It may seem to you that others can force their choices on you but when you begin each day with the choice of a positive attitude you’ll have more choices than you could have ever imagined. No one, absolutely no one, can force their attitude on you. Frankl says that the choice of our attitude in the last of human freedoms, meaning “they” can take everything else from you but they can never take away your choice of a positive attitude.

Wherever you are in life today, your first step to being someplace else is to acknowledge that you put yourself exactly where you are. Acknowledge that you’ve done that, your choices have done that, the decisions you’ve made have done that. When you acknowledge that your choices in life have consequences, then you begin to control your life and it’s then that you begin to make your success.

Some days I’m happier than others and on the days when I can force myself to be honest about it I realize that it’s my choices that have determined my level of happiness. Successful people find a way to force that honesty upon themselves more days than not.

When you’re willing to accept 100% responsibility for who you are, what you are, and where you are then you’ll discover the power to change any part of your life that you desire.

You’ll also discover that you’ve had the power all along. Don’t waste another day of it! 

The Big Difference in a Small t

There are 26 letters in the English Alphabet. I use them all and I really would’t say I have a favorite. A good writer can combine those letters to inform people, inspire them, instigate action or maybe even make them laugh.

Depending upon how they are used these 26 letters can have huge impact on people’s lives. While I wouldn’t say I have a favorite letter I can say with certainty the one I like the least; it’s the letter t.

It’s actually just the lowercase t, as some call it, the small t. Truth be told it’s not really even the t, it’s just the t when an apostrophe (‘) is used before it. Even then it’s not so bad, it only gets really bad when the word “can” is used before the apostrophe.

Using can before t with an apostrophe between the n and the t turns the possible into the impossible. It turns positive people into negative people. It takes the hope of success through effort out of the realm of possibility, it limits people’s potential and their future. 

Yes, the small t can do all that.

If you let it. 

Nothing has more weight in determining whether you really can or can’t than your attitude. 

Saying “I can’t” becomes habit forming and it’s a hard habit to break. It wrecks your attitude. Pretty soon you’re convinced that you can’t do anything and you become stuck.

You may not be able to simply talk your way into success but many many people talk their way out of it everyday. Their “negative voice” does them in before they even had a chance to succeed. 

For many less successful people “can’t” simply means “won’t.” They tell themselves they can’t so they won’t have to try. They believe that “can’t” shields them from the risk of failure without realizing that “won’t” dooms them to the failure they so desperately hope to avoid.

If they would only remove the t from “can’t” and tell themselves they can then they just might. I’ve never met a person who couldn’t do more then they thought they could if only they would allow themselves to believe it. 

Believe! Rid your vocabulary of can’t and open up a world of possibilities. Don’t say “I can’t” instead say “How can I” or better yet, just say “I can.” 

Remember, you’re never more than one decision away from changing your life, choose can.