Wow, already one twelfth of the year gone, Christmas is a dim and distant memory and I had my first Easter egg yesterday! Hope 2013 has been good to you so far and that you’ve moved a few steps closer to achieving this year’s goals?!
At 573 words, this post is like the month, short and to the point!
In the mid 1980s, when just beginning my career in ‘people development’ with the Dale Carnegie organisation, my mentor at that time told me: “Tony, don’t tell people your problems, half of them aren’t interested in the answer and the other half are secretly pleased because it makes them feel better about their own mediocre life”.
Now, I appreciate this probably sounds a little harsh, but the concept has stuck with me all of my career and aside from an inner circle of family and close friends who are genuinely interested in the answer, my response to the generic “how are you” question is usually “fantastic thank you, how are you?” And on a particularly great day, my response is “if I was any better I’d be twins!”
Ok so I made that last one up, but you get the idea. As with many aspects of life, you choose your response 100%.The American author and speaker John C. Maxwell said it best: “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”
One of the harsh realities of life is that there are many things which happen that you cannot control, not even a little bit. John Lennon famously quoted that: “Life is what happens to you whilst you’re busy making other plans”. However, you can always choose your response and control your attitude towards them. Defeat is never permanent unless you allow it to be so. When you have a positive frame of mind, you will recognise failure as the impostor that it is and realise that it is really a learning experience, a valuable lesson that will help you succeed with the next attempt, or the one after that, or the one after that…
Ask yourself: What could I have done differently that would have altered the outcome? What can I do in the future to minimise problems and mistakes? What did I learn from this experience that I can put to good use next time? What can I do more of or less of? What should I start doing or stop doing?
In his classic publication ‘Principles of Psychology’ 1890, American psychologist and philosopher William James explained it like this: ‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind’.
So in conclusion, and just like Roger Bannister did all those years ago, if you choose your response carefully and approach problems, obstacles and setbacks with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and take the necessary action, you will be surprised, maybe even amazed, how quickly your glass can become half full instead of half empty!
And the very, very, very best part of all? You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose!! The choice is 100% yours. So “how are you now?”
Meanwhile onwards + upwards!
‘Training leaders since 1985′
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