Each problem has hidden within it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.
– Joseph Sugarman
The way you think about yourself and your life determines almost everything that happens to you. Your primary responsibility is to take full control over your thinking and to keep your words and thoughts clearly focused on the things that you really want. Simultaneously, you must refuse to think about the things that you don’t want. This simple formula is the real key to health, happiness, and personal prosperity.
This chapter is about ”possibility thinking.” This is the process of looking at everything that is going on around you in terms of possibilities and opportunities rather than as difficulties or problems. Your goal is to make this a habitual way of thinking, and, like all habits, it is learnable.You can develop it with constant repetition. Eventually, you will become a completely positive and constructive person in everything you do.
- POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDEA positive mental attitude is closely associated with success in every area of life. The kind of people we like the most and want to associate with tend to be people who are generally cheerful and optimistic about their work and personal lives. No one wants to spend time with a negative, pessimistic, complaining person.
Unfortunately, it is easy to slip into the habit of criticizing and complaining.We are bombarded continuously with negative information, from radio, television, newspapers, and magazines and in our daily interactions with others. It may not be easy to rise above the flood of negativity that engulfs you, but it is absolutely essential to do so if you want to keep your spirits up and your mind clear and positive.
- RESPOND CONSTRUCTIVELY TO STRESSA positive mental attitude can be defined as a constructive response to stress. It doesn’t mean that, no matter what happens, you are happy and cheerful all the time. Having a positive mental attitude instead requires that you deal with the inevitable problems of your daily life in a more effective way than the average person.
Stress is inevitable. Problems are never ending. Failures and disappointments happen to everyone, all the time. The only thing over which you have any control is how you respond to these stressful events. If you respond in a positive, constructive way, you will maintain a generally positive attitude.When your mind is calm and clear, you will be more creative and alert.You will be more likely to see more ways to solve your problems, and to keep moving toward accomplishing your goals.
When you respond in a negative or angry way to a problem or difficulty, you trigger a series of nervous reactions that shut down the most creative parts of your brain. Instead of going into a ”react and respond” way of thinking, you develop a ”fight or flight” mentality.
- FIVE STEPS TO PERSONAL POWERThere is a five-step power process that you can use to keep yourself positive and to achieve your goals faster. This five-step process brings together several of the very best techniques ever discovered for permanent mind change. It contains and illustrates all of the key principles that you need to know to become a highly effective, positive ”possibility thinker” in your own life.
The five steps are: first, to idealize; second, to verbalize; third, to visualize; fourth, to emotionalize; and fifth, to realize. Let me explain how they work one at a time, and then, altogether.
- IMAGINE YOUR PERFECT FUTUREPerhaps the biggest obstacle to creating a wonderful life is ”selflimiting beliefs.” Everyone has them, and some people have so many of them that they are almost paralyzed when it comes to taking action.
A self-limiting belief is an idea you have that you are limited in some way, in terms of time, talent, intelligence, money, ability, or opportunity. As a result of these beliefs, most of which are probably not true, you hold yourself back from taking the steps necessary to create the kind of life you really desire.
The way you free yourself from these negative brakes on your potential is to change your thinking about who you are and what is truly possible for you.You put aside any thought of limitation and begin to idealize and imagine the kind of life that you want to have a week, a month, a year, and five years from now, as if anything was possible.
In idealization, you consider each of the key areas of your life and imagine what each would look like if that area of your life were exactly as you would want it to be, in every respect.
- SHOW ME THE MONEYStart with your income. How much do you want to be earning one, two, three, and five years from today? Look around you and ask, ”Who else is earning the kind of money I want to earn, and what are they doing differently from me?” If you don’t know or you aren’t sure, go and ask them. Do your homework.
What knowledge, skills, and abilities would you have to have to be able to earn that amount? What kind of work would you, or could you, be doing to achieve that kind of income? What position will you have in your company? How high up will you have to be in your field or profession? If you are in sales, how much will you have to be selling, and to whom?
- DESIGN YOUR PERFECT LIFEImagine your perfect lifestyle. If you had no limitations at all, how would you like to live, day in and day out? If you were financially independent, what kind of home would you like to live in? What kind of car would you want to drive? What kind of life would you like to provide for your family? What sort of activities would you like to engage in throughout the week, month, and year?
How much time would you want to take off on vacation, and where would you like to go? What would you like to do? What sort of activities do you most enjoy? If you were forced to take a month off from work and you had all the money you needed, how would you spend that time?
- FAMILY PLANNINGInvolve your family in your design of an ideal lifestyle. Make this an ongoing part of your relationships.The more people get a chance to discuss a course of action, the more committed they will be to whatever is finally decided.
Some time ago, a good friend of mine sat down with his wife and children to discuss the fact that he was working too much and not spending enough time with the family.They imagined how they would spend their time as a family if they had no limitations. Everyone contributed ideas, including the young children.
As a result of this exercise, they made some decisions about both time and lifestyle. They decided to move out of the city to a larger home with a bigger yard in the country. He reorganized his workweek so that he worked four days per week in the city, 10 to 12 hours per day, and then worked only three or four hours on one day in his office at home in the country. He ended up spending much more time with his family and getting far more satisfaction out of life. The best part was that both his results and his income actually increased with this new plan.
- TURN YOUR IDEAL INTO REALITYWhen you sit down and design your ideal lifestyle, you can then compare it to what you are doing today and notice the differences. You can then start thinking about how you could bring your real or current lifestyle closer to your ideal.
When you idealize your income and your lifestyle, you develop a vision for your life.You begin to practice a key quality of personal leadership.You begin projecting into the future and making plans to turn your future dreams into a current reality.
- HEALTH AND FITNESSYou should idealize about your health, as well. Imagine your health was perfect in every way. How would you be different from today? Exactly how much do you want to weigh, and what level of fitness do you want to enjoy? How does that compare with where you are today? What steps will you have to take, and what changes will you have to make in your health habits in order to become the ideal person that you desire to be personally? This description then becomes your ideal future vision for yourself.
- THE PERSON YOU BECOMECreate an ideal future self in terms of your personal and professional development.What kind of a person do you want to be in the future? What additional knowledge and skills do you want to acquire? In what areas would you like to become absolutely excellent? What subjects would you like to master? What do you need to learn to move to the top of your field? What is your growth plan to get from where you are to where you want to go?
- YOUR MISSION STATEMENTWhen you conduct personal strategic planning for yourself, you always begin with a mission statement.This is clear definition of exactly what you want to be and accomplish at some future date. To develop your mission statement, you project forward and imagine that you have been completely successful in achieving all your goals in a particular area.You then describe your life and activities in this area exactly as if they were already true today.
For example, your personal mission statement could be something like: ”I am a happy, healthy, positive person who does excellent work, is paid extremely well, is highly respected by his customers and coworkers, and is deeply loved by his family.”
This kind of mission statement can then serve as an organizational blueprint for your life. You can use it to make decisions by comparing what you are about to do to see if it is consistent with your mission. If it is not consistent with your mission, or with your ideal image of the very best person you could possible be, you would not do it.
- A BENCHMARK FOR DECISION MAKINGI conducted a strategic planning session for a large corporation not long ago. The executives had more than 250 potential projects on their drawing boards. After we had defined the values, vision, and ideal mission of the company, they were immediately able to discard more than 200 of those potential projects. It was clear to everyone at the meeting that these projects were not consistent with who they were as a company and where they wanted to be in the future. This can work for you as well.
One of your problems today is that you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time. You have too many things to think about.You are swamped by too many problems, possibilities, and opportunities. When you idealize and become crystal clear about what your perfect life would look like sometime in the future, you will immediately start to make better choices in your day-to-day activities.You will immediately begin eliminating activities that are not consistent with where you really want to end up.
- A KEY TO HAPPINESSA clear definition of your ideal, in any area of your life that is important to you, is the starting point of making better decisions in the present that will lead to greater success and happiness in the future. As you feel yourself moving toward the achievement of a worthy ideal, you will feel happier and more confident. The more progress you make toward a clear goal or set of ideal conditions, the more energy and enthusiasm you will have.
- THE DEFINITION OF INTELLIGENCESome years ago, the Gallup organization interviewed 1,500 very successful men and women in a search for some of the common denominators of success. But when they asked them to define ”intelligence,” they got an unexpected answer.
The top people in the survey defined intelligence not so much as IQ or good grades in school, but more as a way of acting. Intelligent behavior was defined as doing only those things that moved them toward their goals. They defined intelligence as the ability to systematically eliminate those time-consuming activities that did not help them to achieve their goals, or even worse, moved them away from their goals.
- GET SMARTWhenever you are doing something that is moving you in the direction of your own self-professed goals and ideals, you are acting intelligently. This is true irrespective of your education or your IQ. This is why there are many people of average intelligence or who did poorly in school who are accomplishing far more than people with university degrees. These high achievers focus more and more of their time and energy on activities aimed at accomplishing only those goals that are most important to them.
- PUT IT IN WORDSThe second part of this five-step process is for you to verbalize clearly the person you want to be, the things you want to do, and the goals you want to achieve.You verbalize with positive affirmations. Because you can completely reprogram your subconscious mind with affirmations, by using them repeatedly you will find that your potential is unlimited.
The Law of Subconscious Activity says that whatever you repeat over and over to yourself in your conscious mind will eventually be accepted by your subconscious mind. Once your subconscious mind accepts your conscious thoughts as commands, it passes them on to your superconscious mind, which then works 24 hours a day to bring those goals into your life.
With positive affirmations, you can take full control over the content of your conscious and subconscious minds.You can activate all your mental powers. You can tap into a great universal mind that can help you to move more rapidly toward your goals of higher income, better health and relationships, and greater success in your field.
- THE THREE Ps OF POSITIVE PROGRAMMINGA positive affirmation is phrased using the ”three Ps.” This means that for maximum effectiveness, an affirmation should be personal, positive, and stated in the present tense.
Your subconscious mind is like a special computer. It can be accessed and activated only with words and commands that are presented in a specific language. It accepts only positive commands that are phrased in the personal, present tense, as though the goal has already been achieved. It knows no past or future tense.
My favorite affirmation is, ”I like myself!” repeated over and over again in a spirit of complete confidence. When you repeat, ”I like myself!” several times per day, you send this message deep into your subconscious mind. The more you like yourself, the higher will be your self-esteem. The higher your self-esteem, the better you will perform in every area of your life. The more you like yourself, the better you will do, and the better you do, the more you will like yourself.
- BECOME YOUR OWN CHEERLEADERTo improve your performance in your work, or in any other area requiring skill or ability, continually repeat the words, ”I’m the best, I’m the best, I’m the best!” By talking to yourself as if you were already the person you want to be sometime in the future, you become your own cheerleader.You will then find yourself doing better and better at whatever you attempt.
Another powerful affirmation you can repeat every morning before you start off is, ”I love my work!” Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, you won’t feel particularly excited about the coming day. But you can take control over your mind and emotions by repeating, ”I love my work!” until it actually feels true.
Even better, you can start every day with the words, ”I like myself and I love my work!” This affirmation, repeated enthusiastically several times every morning, will rev you up and get you excited about getting to your job.
- CONTROL YOUR SELF-TALKFully 95 percent of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself. Dr. Martin Seligman’s book Learned Optimism says that your ”explanatory style” is the critical factor in determining whether you are a positive or negative person.
Your explanatory style is defined as how you explain things to yourself. If you explain or interpret things to yourself in a positive way, you will be positive. If you explain them in a negative way, you will be negative.What Seligman concluded is that optimistic people, when something goes wrong, always explain the event or experience to themselves as though it were a temporary, specific situation, rather than a long-term, general condition.
Imagine that you make a sales call and the prospect is not interested in what you are selling. It didn’t work out. It was a waste of time. If you are a positive person, you will say something like, ”Well, it’s just one sales call.” This makes it temporary. You will say, ”The customer is probably having a bad day.” This makes it specific. You then say, ”I’ll be more successful on the next call.” This focuses you on the future. When you dismiss temporary setbacks in this way, you keep your mind positive.You remain confident and optimistic.
- DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLYWhen negative people experience problems, setbacks, or difficulties, they interpret them differently from confident, optimistic people. When they fail temporarily, which is inevitable, they immediately interpret this as a personal statement about their deficiencies. If the sales call is not successful, they say, ”I must be a terrible salesperson. The product is no good. Customers are not interested in what we have to sell. I’ll never succeed in this field.”
In other words, they overgeneralize and overdramatize a small failure rather than dismissing it as a temporary setback and going on to the next call. They interpret the experience negatively. It then has a negative effect on their self-image: ”I’m no good.” Their work performance declines and they do even worse next time.
The good news, however, is that how you interpret an event is under your control. It is a matter of choice.You determine how you are going to feel and react by how you choose to explain a situation to yourself. Choose to put a positive spin on it, whatever it is.You are in charge.
- MAKE IT SIMPLEWhen you verbalize your goals in the form of positive affirmations, you should use words that your subconscious can easily understand and go to work on. Make your statements simple and practical. For example, ”I like myself” is personal. ”I’m the best” is personal and positive. And ”I love my work” is personal, positive, and in the present tense.
These are the kinds of affirmations that are immediately accepted by your subconscious mind as commands.They have an immediate impact on how you think and feel about yourself. They instantly boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.To remain optimistic, you must be continually talking to yourself in terms of the way you want to be rather than the way things are at the moment.
In neurolinguistic programming, the way that you talk to yourself about what is happening to you is called your ”interpretive style.” The way you interpret things is a key part of changing your thinking. The question is always whether you interpret things that are happening around you in a positive or negative way. Remember, the optimist sees the glass as half full while the pessimist sees the glass as half empty. Choose to be an optimist.
- BECOME AN INVERSE PARANOIDThe multimillionaire W. Clement Stone started off selling newspapers on the streets of Chicago at the age of 12. He went on to build Combined Insurance Company of America, and died recently at the age of 100 worth more than $800 million. He was a great inspiration to thousands of people, and was famous for his habit of being an ”inverse paranoid.”
A paranoid is someone who believes that people are conspiring against him or her. An inverse paranoid, in contrast, is a person who is convinced that the world is conspiring to make him or her successful. An inverse paranoid insists upon interpreting everything that happens as part of a great plan leading to success. W. Clement Stone used to respond to every difficulty with the emphatic statement, ”That’s good!” Then he would concentrate his attention on finding out what was good about the situation. And he always found something, even if it was just a valuable lesson.
If you change the definition of a problem to a situation, a challenge, or an opportunity, your response to the problem will be positive and constructive, rather than negative and angry. If you look at every problem as a potential opportunity, you will almost always find within the problem an opportunity or benefit that you can take advantage of.
Norman Vincent Peale used to say, ”When God wants to send you a gift, He wraps it up in a problem.” The bigger the problem that you have, the bigger the gift – in the form of valuable lessons,ideas, and insights that it probably contains. Is the glass half full or is it half empty? It’s up to you.
- YOU WILL BELIEVE IT WHEN YOU SEE ITThe third part of the five-part process of supercharging your thinking is visualization.You already know how powerful this can be in helping you to achieve your goals. It is only when you learn to use visualization on every goal and activity that you will truly tap into its amazing power for good in your life.
As it happens, everyone visualizes, all the time. The difference is that successful people visualize the things they want, and unsuccessful people visualize the things they don’t want. Prior to every new experience, a successful person will take a few moments to recall and relive a previous successful experience in that area. Unsuccessful people, in contrast, prior to a new experience will recall and relive a previous failure experience.
In each case, people are creating a predisposition to succeed or fail. When they visualize, they send a command to their subconscious minds. The subconscious mind then coordinates their words and actions in the upcoming situation so that they perform consistent with that picture.
- IMAGINE A PERFECT OUTCOMEIn visualizing, you project your mind forward and create a clear picture of your ideal future goal.You imagine what it would look like if it were already achieved.You make your picture as vivid as possible. You repeat this mental picture over and over, as often as you possibly can during the day, and for as long as you can.
There is a direct relationship between how clearly you can see your goal or performance on the inside and how rapidly it comes into your reality on the outside.Visualization is one of the most powerful faculties available to you to become a possibility thinker, to change your thinking about your life and your future.With visualization, you can make your current dreams into future realities.You can change your thinking completely by changing your mental pictures.
- PROGRAM YOUR MINDThere are three techniques combining verbalization and visualization that you can practice to achieve your goals faster. These are often referred to as ”mental programming techniques.” They are amazingly effective in preparing yourself and your mind for an upcoming event.
The first of these methods is what is called the quick programming technique. Here is how it works. Prior to any nonrecurring event of importance, like a sales call, a meeting, or an interview, you take a few moments to prepare mentally, like an athlete would warm up for a competition.
First, take a few deep breaths. This relaxes you and drops your mind into the alpha state. In this state, your subconscious mind becomes highly receptive to any incoming command. Second, you visualize the ideal outcome of the upcoming situation.You imagine it as turning out perfectly for you in every respect. For example, if you are making a sales call, visualize the client responding to you in a positive, receptive way. Especially, visualize the client signing the check or sales order at the end of the conversation.
One of my good friends has used this technique for many years to become one of the highest-paid people in his industry. He says it is absolutely amazing how many times the sales situation works out exactly as he visualized it before he went in.Try it for yourself and see.
- Affirm and Visualize The third and last part of the quick programming technique is for you to verbalize or create a positive affirmation that is consistent with your mental picture. A simple affirmation would be ”This sales call goes extremely well and concludes satisfactorily for everyone involved.” This command instructs your subconscious mind to give you the words, feelings, behaviors, and body language consistent with achieving your goal of a successful sales call.
We teach this ”quick affirmation” technique to applicants who are going on job interviews, speakers giving public talks, performers in the arts, and even to politicians. It is an extraordinarily effective technique, and it only takes a few seconds prior to each event.
- WRITE AND REVIEW YOUR GOALSThe second method you can use to bring about rapid internal changes to your thinking and your life is called the standard affirmation technique. This technique requires that you write out your major goals in the form of present, positive, personal affirmations on three-by-five index cards, one goal per card.You can work on 10 to 15 goals at a time using this method.
Carry these cards around with you. At the beginning of each day, take a few minutes by yourself to review each goal.
Take the first card and read it. Perhaps the first card says, ”I earn $50,000 per year.” Read the card and let your eyes focus on the message so that it is imprinted on your subconscious mind. Then, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and repeat the affirmation five times. As you affirm, visualize your goal as already achieved. See it. Feel it. Then open your eyes, relax, exhale deeply, and read the next card.
- PREPARE FOR THE DAYThis entire exercise, with 10 to 15 goals, takes about 10 minutes. It programs your subconscious mind at a deep level, and prepares you to perform at your very best for the rest of the day.
If you practice this each morning before you start out and each evening before you go to bed, you will be absolutely amazed at how quickly your goals begin to materialize.
Your subconscious mind is the sending and receiving station for the power of attraction in your life. The more you feed your subconscious mind with words and pictures consistent with what you want to accomplish, the more you magnetize your goals.You become a living magnet. You begin to attract people, opportunities, ideas, and resources into your life that make achieving your goals a possibility.
- PRACTICE MENTAL REHEARSALThe third mental programming technique that you can use to perform better and achieve your goals faster is often called mental rehearsal. It is taught and used extensively in sports of all kinds. The process is both simple and powerful.
First, you sit or lie down, completely relaxed, with your eyes closed, and breath deeply until your whole body is calm and quiet.
Second, you clearly visualize an upcoming event, or a goal that you desire. You allow yourself to enter into the experience and see it clearly in your mind. You imagine yourself actually doing and saying the things you would if the upcoming situation is perfect.
One of the very best times to practice mental rehearsal is just before you go to sleep. By verbalizing and visualizing your ideal goals or activities for the coming day immediately prior to sleeping, you program your subconscious mind to work on those goals all night long. Then, when you wake up in the morning, you will often have insights and ideas that you can use to make those goals a reality. It is an amazing technique and is extremely effective.
- PREPROGRAM FOR PEAK PERFORMANCEYou can use this technique to preprogram your mind for a variety of things. For example, let us say you have a problem that you are worried about. Just before you go to sleep, turn this problem over to your superconscious mind and ask for a solution. Then, forget about it and go to sleep.Very often, when you wake up in the morning the solution will occur to you. It will be crystal clear and perfect in every respect.
You can use this method of mental programming to assure that you wake up feeling positive and energetic. The process is both simple and effective. Just before going to sleep, say to yourself, ”When I wake up in the morning, I feel terrific!” Repeat this several times. Imagine yourself getting up the next morning feeling happy and full of energy. Especially when you go to bed late and you need to be at your best the next day, use this technique to wake up feeling refreshed. It works every time.
- WAKE AT A CERTAIN TIMEYou can use mental rehearsal and preprogramming to wake up at the desired time without an alarm clock. No matter where you are, or in what time zone, you can ”set your mind” on a certain time before you go to sleep, and you will wake up at exactly that minute.
Before you fall asleep, you say, ”I wake up tomorrow morning at seven o’clock sharp.” You can then fall to sleep without worrying. The next morning, your heart rate will gradually speed up, waking you at your preset time.You will be unable to go back to sleep.You can even travel great distances and wake up in different time zones on schedule using this method.
- GET THE FEELING OF SUCCESSThe fourth element in mental programming is emotionalization.This requires that you create the feeling that would go with successful accomplishment of your goal. This is the part that makes idealizing, verbalizing, and visualizing really work for you.Your emotions are the energy source, the jet fuel that drives you toward your goal.
You have heard it said that humans are 10 percent logical and 90 percent emotional.The fact is, however, that you are initially 100 percent emotional.You decide emotionally, and then justify logically. Everything you do is governed and controlled by your emotions, in some way. The only question is, ”What emotion is in charge?”
- MASTER OR SLAVE?Many people are slaves to their emotions. With very little control over their feelings, they continually react and respond to other people and situations.They have no minds of their own.
One of your chief responsibilities to yourself is to get your emotions under control. Take charge of your positive emotions rather than allowing yourself to be dominated by your negative emotions. By using your emotions deliberately and purposefully, especially by keeping them positive and focused on what you want, you can put enormous power behind your visualizations, verbalizations, and idealizations.
- IMAGINE YOUR IDEAL OUTCOMEOne way to unlock the energy and power contained in your emotional nature is for you to get the feeling that you would enjoy if you had already achieved your goal. See it in your mind’s eye and create within you the emotions you would experience if your dream came true this very minute.
Imagine, for example, that your goal is to earn a certain amount of money. Project mentally into the future and see yourself earning this kind of money. See the larger house, the bigger car, the better clothes, the nicer restaurants, and the more elegant lifestyle that you will enjoy when you are earning this amount of money. Imagine how you would feel if you were already enjoying all these ingredients of success. Imagine the feelings of pride, happiness, satisfaction, pleasure, joy, and gratitude that you would experience once you achieved this goal.
Just like a person soaking in a hot bath, soak your mind in these feelings, exactly as if you were already at your destination. These emotions will then trigger thoughts, desires, and actions consistent with them. Each will reinforce the other.
- THE COMBINATION IS POWERFULWhen you combine all three – a mental picture, a verbalization, and an emotion – you activate your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind then passes this impression on to your superconscious mind, which works on your goals 24 hours per day. When you practice combining verbalization, visualization, and emotionalization on every goal, you will be absolutely astonished at the things that begin happening to you, and the goals that you accomplish.
Once you activate your superconscious mind, you will receive a continuous stream of insights and ideas that you can use to solve your problems and achieve your goals.This mind will show you how to remove, get around, or climb over any obstacle that appears on your path. It will bring you the information that you need, at exactly the right time for you. It will give you intuitions and hunches that guide you to make the right decisions. Your superconscious mind will give you a steady flow of energy, enthusiasm, and motivation that will drive you toward your goals.
The way you activate this process and unleash all your mental powers is by continually idealizing, verbalizing, visualizing, and especially emotionalizing.
- DREAMS COME TRUEThe fifth element in this five-step power process is realization, to actually achieve your goals and to have your wishes come true.
This is the most important part of the process. But you must be aware that every goal takes a certain amount of time to materialize. Some goals can be achieved quickly. Some require weeks and even months of patient, steady work. Others are long-term goals, requiring several years to bring to fruition.Your attitude toward the time required for goal attainment has a major impact on whether and when you accomplish them.
In the realization phase, after you have practiced the first four steps, you simply relax and let go of the process.You allow your goal to appear in its own time. Exactly the things that you want and need will come to you at exactly the time that you are ready for them.
Successful people eventually develop an attitude of calm, confident expectation. They are never rushed or hurried. They are relaxed and confident, and they absolutely believe that everything is conspiring to bring them exactly what they want, at exactly the right time for them. This must be your attitude as well.
- MULTIPLY YOUR POWERSYou can get even greater benefit from this five-step process for achieving your goals by using special techniques in response to the things that happen to you each day.
First of all, no matter what happens, look for the good in every situation. Seek the valuable lesson. Look for what you can gain from any temporary setback or obstacle.
Napoleon Hill studied and interviewed successful men and women for 25 years. He found that they had one characteristic in common. Each of them had developed the habit of continually looking into every difficulty for the seed of an equal or greater benefit or advantage.They constantly looked for the silver lining of even their darkest cloud.
When you are looking for something good to come out of every problem situation, you will respond to difficulties in a more positive, creative, and constructive way.You will be more optimistic and confident. If you think that you are going to benefit from everything that happens to you, you will develop the attitude of the possibility thinker. As a result, no matter what happens, you will almost always find something good that you can turn to your benefit or advantage.
- THE RUDDER OF THE DAYJust as you become what you eat, you also become what you feed into your mind. Your mind is most receptive to new ideas first thing in the morning.You can accelerate the process of changing your thinking by starting off every morning by reading for 30 to 60 minutes in something uplifting and inspirational before you start your day.
Just as vigorous physical exercise in the morning will prepare you to be stronger and more resilient physically during the day, positive mental exercise in the form of inspirational reading will prepare you to be more mentally fit during the day.
The first hour of the morning is called the ”rudder of the day.” Whatever you put into your mind in this ”golden hour” sets the tone of your thinking for the rest of the day.When you get up in the morning and, instead of reading the newspaper or watching television, you read something positive, constructive, and inspiring, you preprogram your mind for the hours ahead.
Throughout the day, things will go better for you. You will be calmer, more creative, and more alert.You will be more resilient in the face of difficulties.You will respond more effectively when you face the inevitable ups and downs of your daily life. Your earlymorning reading will have prepared you mentally to perform at your best.
- LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCEYou can become a more optimistic person by planning each day in advance. This exercise frees your mind from the stress of trying to remember what you have to do. It gives you a sense of control over your work and your life. It puts you in charge.You become proactive rather than reactive. And all it takes is a list!
The ideal time to plan is the night before. Make a list of everything you have to do the following day. Go over the list and organize your work by priority. Select your most important task so that you can start in on it first thing.You will be amazed at how much better you sleep and how much better you feel when you awaken if you have already preplanned your day so that you know what you are going to do and in what order.
- START YOUR DAY RIGHTStart your day with healthy, nutritious food. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein foods, such as eggs. Drink more fruit juice and water. Eat whole-grain breakfast cereals, muffins, and yogurt. Avoid fatty foods that are hard to digest, and which tire you out.
The standard American breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast, is one of the very worst combinations you can eat in the morning. Within an hour after eating these foods you will start to become drowsy again. All the blood in your brain will rush to your stomach to try to break down these heavy, fatty, overcooked proteins, fats, and starches.You will then compensate by drinking coffee all morning to wake up.
But when you start each day with a light, healthy, nutritious breakfast, you will have more energy. You will be more alert and cheerful.You will be more eager to get on with the day.You will be more creative because more of your blood is available to your brain. You will be brighter and sharper.You will see more possibilities in everything that is going on around you. You will be a more optimistic person.
- GET LOTS OF RESTIn addition to good mental and physical nutrition, you need to get plenty of rest. Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers football coach, once said, ”Fatigue doth make cowards of us all.” When you are not getting enough rest, you are far more likely to be negative, irritable, and lacking in self-confidence.
But when you are fully rested and eating well, when you are feeding your mind with positive messages continually, when you are reading inspirationally and constantly visualizing your goals as a reality, you become a more positive, optimistic, and cheerful human being.
You will wake up in the morning with the feeling that there is nothing that you cannot do if you put your mind to it. If you hold that thought long enough and hard enough, it will become true in your life.You will begin to feel unstoppable.
- ACTION EXERCISES
- Resolve today to talk to yourself positively, using affirmations phrased in the positive, personal, present tense. Be your own cheerleader.
- Make a set of three-by-five index cards with each of your goals written out in the form of an affirmation. Review these cards twice a day, morning and evening.
- Look for something good in every problem or difficulty. Practice being an inverse paranoid, convinced that there is a vast conspiracy to make you successful.
- Create a mental picture of your most important goal, exactly as if it were already a reality. If possible, cut pictures of your goal out of magazines and study them regularly to program them into your subconscious mind.
- Get the feeling that would go with the success or the goal that you desire. Imagine that you have to pretend the emotion of joy, happiness, or satisfaction in an audition for a role in a movie. Fake it until you make it!
- Imagine that your life was perfect in a particular area. What would it look like? How would you feel? How would you describe it?
- Before falling asleep each night, mentally rehearse the key events of the coming day.Visualize and emotionalize them turning out perfectly in every way. Then go off to sleep with a smile on your face.