A man was washing his new car when his neighbor asked him, "When did you get the car?" He replied "My brother gave it to me." The neighbor's response was, "I wish l had a car like that." The man replied, "You should wish to have a brother like that." The neighbor's wife was listening to the conversation and she interrupted, "I wish I was a brother like that."
Act “as if” You start off each day not always feeling the way you would like to. You may want to feel happy or cheerful but due to a reason or two, your feeling is not what you would like it to be. However, you can feel a particular feeling whenever and wherever you want to. You can act or behave as if you already have the feeling that you want. Your action will cause the feeling that is consistent with your desired feeling to arise within you. You can “fake it till you make it.”
You can become an outstanding individual of integrity by consciously acting as if you are already one. If you behave like a person who has strong moral principles, your consistent behaviour will create within you the habits of such a person. It becomes your reality.
A positive thinker’s thinking must not be mediocre. If you refer to yourself as a positive thinker, be sure that your thinking is not mediocre. Mediocre thinking involves thinking thoughts which are less optimistic or confident that those of a positive thinker. When you are in a state of being mediocre, you tend to habitually use mediocre or average words or terms in your thinking and responses. Mediocre thinkers believe they are only average people. Anything that is of only average quality is well below the best.
When employers are on a recruitment drive, they do not turn to those who are of mediocre ability. They look for those who strive for excellence in what they do. High level of success is rarely possible with average level of thinking. People who possess the quality of being mediocre do not aspire to great success, let alone achieving it. They believe it’s beyond their capability.
Mediocre thinkers are ordinary people. They are not given to thinking big, and as a result they are hardly ambitious. They feel comfortable and willingly accept being considered average in their thinking. Their actions are usually moderate which are in accordance with their thinking which is seldom really creative. Mediocre thinkers should take action to overcome their previous restrictive conditioning in order to graduate to positive thinkers.
Apply the Rule of 21. If you are intent on acquiring a positive quality and making it into a personal habit, you can succeed with a high degree of probability if you practise it for 21 days in a row. The secret here is the power of persistence. Whether you are trying to be punctual, to control your quick outbursts of temper or to give up excessive drinking, you need to persevere for 21 days in continuous succession. It is said that great acts are performed not through strength but by perseverance.
Change yourself to change your life. If you want to change your life, you must change yourself. The change must come from within you if you want it to be enduring. If you want to lead a life of generosity and success, you must begin to develop within you the qualities of being generous and successful. You cannot perform kindly acts unless you are a kindly person. Change empowers you, and you gain happiness and satisfaction by fully achieving your potential
Personal change can only come to you when you realize you need to change. To know what to change, you need to acknowledge the existence of weaknesses within you and recognize what they are. You do that by identifying what is delaying or holding you back in terms of personal development or progress. Your weaknesses may run up a list which you feel you are committed to overcome.
Revealing the inherent weaknesses to your own self requires courage and discipline. Many people choose to ignore rather than face them. However, knowing your weaknesses and taking actions to deal with them is a start to a new personality with renewed strength. You cannot possibly lose in changing yourself. It enhances your self-worth and you can only be a better person. The greatest obstacle in personal change could prove to be denial of your own weaknesses. Perhaps, you think they are not weaknesses but normal qualities regarded as characteristic of most people, or it is necessary to have them for self-preservation.
If you allow change to come from the outside, whatever benefit you derive from it is very unlikely to last. For example, you attend a self-improvement seminar and listening to the brilliant speaker can only inspire you for as long as you attend the seminar. Once it’s over, you quickly revert to your former self. What you need to do is to apply and work on yourself with the knowledge or information you gain at the seminar. No one can really help you, you have to help yourself.
Curbing desires. Leading a simple life and curbing desires is the path to enlightenment. If you attribute your happiness to your material possessions, the moment you lose them, you lose your mental or emotional calm. The direct result is likely to be mental stress or anxiety. It is easy to believe that money or the things you owned bring you happiness. Would you want to be an unhappy millionaire? Unhappy millionaires are aplenty. Personal happiness must develop from within. Most people on the verge of death wish they had spent more time with their families rather than wish to bring along those possessions which they know they can’t.
Don’t let vanity stand in your way to being a better person. Vanity is excessive pride in your own self. It is only human nature to want to take pride in your appearance, abilities and achievements. You want to have attractive appearance, exceptional abilities and be admired for your high achievements. Nothing’s wrong with that. However, all of you have your respective shortcomings and faults. These are weaknesses in your character which you are almost never aware of.
Having all the desired appearance, abilities, and achievements that you have, are they enough to make you an outstanding individual? How could you if you cannot see yourself in the way other people see you. Usually, others know you more than you know yourself. Most of the times, you are in denial about your personal weaknesses. Any comments on them are met with angry argument from you.
If you want to be the kind of person with a striking personality, you do not want to defend your weaknesses. You should welcome constructive criticisms even if they are a huge blow to your ego. You accept them as positive feedback to be used for self-improvement. Your aim is to realize your life’s ambition, so don’t let vanity stand in your way of becoming what you want to be.
Don’t react to circumstances but create your own. We are responsible for the way we think. When we think, we create a state of mind which evokes the emotions that we feel. These emotions are either positive or negative, and they affect our circumstances. Unfortunately, most of us let circumstances dictate the way we think. If we are caught in a traffic jam, we react with anger. If someone passes a careless remark, we feel annoyed. That’s the way we are. We react to circumstances all the time instead of creating them.
It’s a good thing the way we think is totally within our control. This means we can create our circumstances instead of reacting to them. However adverse circumstances are, we can choose the state of mind we wish to have in response to them. By adopting a positive point of view or attitude, we can change the circumstances even if they are unfavourable ones. It always starts from within us. If we want to change external circumstances, we must first change the internal way of thinking or feeling.
If we want to help someone who lives a life of crime, and insist that all we have to do is to change their circumstances and all will be fine, we will fail miserably. Even if we provide them with a job, it is no guarantee that they will not continue to commit crimes. It is likely they may even quit their job and revert to their life of crime. What is required is a change in their attitude or thinking, their feelings towards crimes and a disciplined character.
Good at starting but not finishing. There are people who are very enthusiastic about starting something. They start off double-quick, raring to go. But partway or halfway through they quit. There are also people who are determined and persistent. Whether or not they are handicapped by lack of physical attributes or natural talents, they keep flowing forward steadily and continuously till they finish the race or whatever they are doing.
It is a good habit to finish whatever you do. Even if what you do is a tedious task, you have started it and so should accept full responsibility to finish it. You may look upon what you do as insignificant but this is beside the point – it is about cultivating the attitude that you should finish whatever you start to do. Forming the habit of seeing every task you perform till its completion is advantageous and beneficial to you in the long term. You ensure completion in all your endeavours.
Quitting a task is habit forming too. People who quit easily usually believe they are controlled by outside forces so that quitting is beyond their control. What they lack is persistence. Once you quit something you are doing, you are likely to do it again until it becomes second nature to you. To overcome this, you have to feel responsible for what you do and if you do, you tend to discipline yourself and persist.
Never say you can’t even if others can’t. Everybody is capable of doing anything once they set their heart on doing something. You can make things happen if you tell yourself that you can. When you say you can’t, you are quitting without trying. If you don’t try, how do you ever know whether you can or can’t. Perhaps you can. Never use the word ‘can’t’. It is the negative form of ‘can’. Avoid this negative term. The mere thought of it causes you to lose confidence or enthusiasm and makes you less willing to do something.
Develop a can-do attitude. It always gives you the essential positive feeling that makes you want to begin something, create something and successfully complete something. You may not know how to do something, you can still do it. Just get down to doing it and most of the times, you find you can do it. Avoid like the plague those who tell you that you can’t do it. They are convinced they can’t do it and they want to share their inability with you. Ignore them entirely because you are you, they are not you.
Other people have tried and failed to do something. That should not discourage you from doing the same thing or to continue trying to do it. They are not you. They have failed and that does not mean you will fail also. The same applies if they use a particular procedure or method to do something but fail. That does not mean the procedure or method will not work for you. You can do it but they can’t. You may be an exceptional person or you may well be an exception. This could be due to some special reasons. You have an absolutely positive attitude towards whatever you do or you have an exceedingly high level of confidence. Always remember, you are you.
Our perception dictates our reactions to events. How many of us believe or accept that we are responsible for whatever happens to us? We may often feel that everything that happens to us is caused by other people. Maybe that is true that they have said or done something to us. What they have done to us need not cause anything to happen to us. It is we ourselves that contribute to what happens to us by our reaction.
Our perception dictates our reactions to events. How we interpret situations is based on whether we perceive an event positively or negatively. Our interpretations come from our thoughts. Our thoughts in turn arouse our emotions, so we feel angry, sad, happy, resentful, etc. It is our emotions that influence our behaviour. So we behave in the way that we feel. We scold, argue, fight, smile or laugh.
We then blame the circumstance or the other person for causing us to feel and behave the way we do. If only we can always bear in mind that we have a choice. We can choose not to react, or if we react we can choose to react positively. It’s not they that are at fault, we are.
Positive thinking is not wishful thinking. A positive thinker is not a wishful thinker. A positive thinker does not imagine, discuss or talk about a very unlikely future event or situation as if it were possible and might one day happen. That’s exactly what a wishful thinker does day in day out. A wishful thinker thinks that something good might happen without consideration that it is completely impossible.
Positive thinking involves being brave and confident enough to face reality even if it is not what the positive thinker wishes to see, and taking corrective action to overcome weaknesses in his or her character. It could well be just wishful thinking when you think you might be in line for promotion when you are not sufficiently qualified for the post. It’s risky to enter into a business relationship based on wishful thinking, especially with someone one hardly knows. A wishful thinker is unable to distinguish a bad person from a good one and as a result may suffer physical, mental or emotional harm. A positive thinker is realistic enough to accept things as they are in fact and not making decisions based on unlikely hopes for the future.
Putting others down. You get together with a friend or in a group and talk about the faults and misdeeds of others. No body is perfect so they are bound to have some weaknesses which you can talk about. You don’t care whether or not your subjective assessment is accurate or whether or not you exaggerate. At the end of it, you and your friends feel good. Why shouldn’t you? After all, if others are negative and full of faults then you must be almost perfect or faultless.
There are other reasons you talk about others’ faults. You are angry or jealous of them. By degrading others, you want to appear more saintly and thus to be more popular and respected than they are. In a dispute with them, you want to convey the impression that you are right and they are wrong. By leveling bitter criticisms against others, you display a feeling of insecurity about your abilities or a sense of inferiority. Putting others down does not boost your self-esteem. As a matter of fact, if you are a person having self-esteem, you wouldn’t act in such a manner towards others.
Relive your past successes. It always pays to live through your past successful experiences again and again in your imagination. There is a strong tendency for you to repeat those past successes when you keep thinking about them. If however you dwell on your failures, you are highly liable to suffer from their recurrence. Though it’s wise to learn from your past mistakes, it’s wiser to forget about your failures.
All those results that you achieved in the past are very worthy of remembrance or even being noted down. Whenever you experience a setback in your plans, bring the memory of past accomplishments into your mind, and mentally give yourself a description of what you remember of them, or refer to your notebook. For a public speaker, thorough preparation for each speech is extremely important and it should include replaying his or her effective speeches that were successfully delivered in the past and the positive emotions that were experienced. Evoking those emotions so that they can be re-experienced in the present is an effective way to dispel any negative feelings that may arise.
Have all those positive images and emotions from the past with you all the time. You need them to boost your confidence to deal successfully with difficult situations.
Running away from ourselves. Many of us spend a large part of our life running away from ourselves. We are afraid to stop, even for an instant, and look into the mirror. We would rather be blind than to see. We are like the proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand. We fear we may not like what we see. This is because of the way we view ourselves. We see ourselves not as we truly are but as we hope or wish us to be.
We must pluck up enough courage to face the truth about ourselves, and see ourselves as we really are. We must open our eyes and the truth will set us free to break our wrong habits and replace them with good habits. We need to be brave and confident enough to admit that wherever and whatever we are is the result of our own doing. Once we face up to the truth of who and what we are, we can decide to change ourselves to become who and what we desire.
The point is to get started. You can acquire all the knowledge you wish to have. You can devise a ten-point action plan to improve yourself. But if you don’t apply your knowledge or implement your plan, it is just as good as not having the knowledge or the plan. People generally have vast knowledge, ambitious plans or big dreams. But some are successful while others are not. What distinguishes the successful ones from those who are not successful is taking action.
You cannot hope to succeed if you don’t act. If you don't act, you are stagnant, not flowing, nor moving, nor growing, nor developing. Failure is the inevitable result if there is no proper action. If you don’t take action, it means you don’t attempt to do something. People who don’t attempt to do something are failures. They quit without trying. The idea is to get started. This will create the momentum and the next step will follow naturally. It is said that when action is taken, half the battle is already won.
The power of emotions. There are times when you delay doing something. You know you have to do it, but you just don’t feel like doing it, so you decide to do something else first like watching the TV, having a nap, making a drink and lying down or chatting with a friend on the phone. After more than an hour or two, you finally get down to doing it. Or you may even put off doing it till the next day. Other times when you do something, you find it hard to concentrate as your mind wanders all over the place. Your procrastination and lack of concentration have something to do with your emotions.
Your emotions dictate your attitude when you have to take on a task. Notice the difference in your performance when you feel down or energized. When you are down you are unlikely to do a piece of work as well as you would if you feel happy doing it. If you love your work, you are effective in carrying it out. Someone who is optimistic is going to achieve a great deal more than a pessimist. Enthusiasm, excitement, passion and eagerness are emotions that spur you to perform efficiently and successfully.
You produce your best results when you enjoy what you are doing. You can make what you do enjoyable, exciting or interesting by feeling the emotions. You are unlikely to find what you are doing tedious when you are enthusiastic about doing it. The positive emotions fill you with boundless and creative energy that ensures your effectiveness, yet many of you fail to give proper attention to the power of the emotions. It’s up to you to use your emotions to elevate yourself to a more effective state.
The quality of your thoughts determines the quality of your life. If in your life you are not feeling truly happy, or your relationship isn’t developing the way you think it should, or you are struggling to get the necessary finance for a decent living, you just need to look at the quality of your thoughts. The quality of your life results from the quality of your thoughts. If you fill your mind with thoughts about leading a happy, successful or peaceful life, the high probability is inevitable that you will enjoy that kind of life.
It’s up to you to fully harness the full extent of the power of your mind and think your own thoughts to transform yourself into an effective, creative, successful and positive person that you wish to be. When you exercise control over your mind, you hardly think negatively. You in fact consistently think only positive thoughts that are certain to make you a constructive, optimistic and confident person to deal with all the problems and eventualities.
To respond effectively to external events and emerge unscathed, you just need to change the nature of your thoughts and the way you think about those events. From now, ensure you fill your mind with empowering thoughts to produce the desire results.
We can be masters of our own fate. We all can be masters of our own fate. Every one of us must take responsibility for where we are and what we do in our lives. Those who lead unsuccessful lives find this hard to accept. All along we think other people are the causes that we find ourselves in this predicament. Or we blame situations outside of ourselves for our lack of success. This we believe justifies all the emotions from resentment to hatred that we feel towards others.
Instead of blaming other people and doom yourself to a permanent state of utter despair, you should first change your habitual way of thinking and your false opinions. You need to work hard to inculcate the belief in your mind that it’s solely you who determine the course and future of your life. If you have no control over where you are going, it can only mean you lack clear direction in your life. The result of this is to deprive your own self of all hopes. You tend to feel doomed to failure, so you wonder why you should even begin to try. Be determined to regain mastery of your life and be the person who has complete control and overall responsibility for the circumstances in your life.
Why do we dwell on the negative, not the positive? When people are complimentary about the way we look or what we have done, we shy away as if we are not worthy of the compliment. But when people say something negative about us, we pay particular attention to it and we seem unable to forget it.
Occasionally, we compliment ourselves, especially for something we have done, and we feel good about it. But when we receive a sincere, unsolicited compliment from another person we feel a great deal better. Unfortunately, after receiving such compliments, we often dismiss them as if they are not important and so should be treated as unworthy of serious consideration. However, we seem only capable of dwelling on discouraging comments passed about us.
When we look back, there must be many instances of flattering remarks uttered in our favour. How easily we have forgotten them. We should instead compile a list of the compliments and expand the list with new compliments received. By reading and rereading the list, we fill our mind with positive thoughts, and what our mind thinks about most it creates our reality. Without any doubt, we can be certain to continue maintaining a positive state of mind.
You must have a goal. If you don’t have a destination, how do you know where you are going? If your life has no destination, you are like a raft cast adrift, floating on the sea and is not controlled by you. This is the same as not having a clear purpose in life and not knowing what you want to do. Eventually, like the flotsam you are washed up on an unintended beach and get firmly stuck there for life.
Is that what you intend your life to be? You must have a goal in life – an expressed aim that your plans or actions are intended to achieve. Having a goal gives you a purpose and a course along which you must take to achieve that primary purpose. It provides a reason for your existence. If you don’t have a goal, how do you know how much progress you have made towards accomplishing your task or how much you have succeeded in your life? Your goals are the only way to measure what you have done.