Thursday, August 20, 2009

Champions are unfailingly positive.

Post 308 - "Even when I went to the playground, I never picked the best players. I picked guys with less talent, but who were willing to work hard, who had the desire to be great." - Magic Johnson

Undoubtedly the most important quality that all champions share is an unwavering belief that they'll succeed. Champions always look for the good in every situation. No matter what obstacles they encounter, they always continue to think positively. Without confidence, faith in your abilities, and a positive mental attitude, you've defeated yourself before you start. Your success depends more on your mindset than on market conditions. Here are some tips on how to stay up when life threatens to bring you down:

• Be proactive.
Set key priorities everyday and set minimum goals everyday. Stay in control of what needs to be done and stay on top of your daily tasks. Focus and concentrate on the things you can control. List your goals on 3 x 5 index cards. Carry these index cards with you and take them out at least daily and review them. Then, ask yourself what you’re doing or planning to do to move closer to each goal. Always be proactive rather than reactive. I’ve found that inspiration comes from within ourselves when we’re motivated to action. Thomas Edison was the epitome of persistence: He conducted 10,000 experiments before finally finding a filament that would burn in the electric light bulb. Champions approach their vocation with the same diligence of an Edison. They know that if they persist long enough, eventually they must succeed.

• Be creative.
If what you're doing is no longer working – just stop – and try something new. Engage in possibility thinking. Brainstorm with others for different ways to achieve your goals. Think of every crisis as an opportunity to grow, to extend beyond your normal limits. When asked how it felt to fail 10,000 times, Thomas Edison replied, "I didn't fail, I learned 9,999 ways that wouldn't work."

• Commit to keep on going, no matter what.
Never give up. Keep trying and stay in motion. Remember The Karate Kid (1984), a movie that captured my imagination because he simply wouldn't quit. It made me realize that you win whenever you get up from a fall. Remember, it takes way more energy to be mad at the world than to roll with the punches. "We're made to persist. That's how we find out who we are." - Tobias Wolff

• Avoid negative people.
If you are having a difficult time and you're trying to get yourself and your business back on track, you don’t need to spend time with negative people. Negative people may mean well, but when they talk to you, they come from a pessimistic place. They constantly point out what's wrong and complain and blame others for their circumstances. If you hear this all of the time, it will have a very negative impact on your performance. Don't think or say, "I hate..." or "I can't." Learn to block out inflexible, rigid statements that only build emotional roadblocks. And turn off the TV. You don’t need to be bombarded with negativity and hype when you're trying to mentally concentrate on improving yourself. Arnold Schwarzenegger put it this way (I guess this was before he became governor of California!): "I have nothing to do with negative relationships. I stay away from negative influences. I have no time for negative thinkers and pessimists. Such people will suck you dry until you have become as pessimistic as they are. Then you'll have not just one but two losers."

• Expect to be successful.
What you focus on will multiply. Always look for the things that you did right as well as learning from the things you did wrong. Whatever you don't want to do or are afraid you can't do, post signs everywhere saying, "I love to ..." Write it 25-times a day and learn to think it. Remember what Marilyn Monroe said, "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle."

• Enjoy your life.
" Life is about chasing after the things you think are truly worth it, even if they don't happen, I'd rather have nothing but know I didn't settle for something I didn't want!" - Selma Hayek. No matter what's going on with your business, you need to have joy in your everyday life. Work is anything you're doing when you'd rather be doing something else. Champions are doing what they love, so to them it's not work at all, its fun!

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