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The Shift From Failure to Success

 


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Limiting Beliefs, Poverty Consciousness, and Attitude all play a leading role in whether someone will fail or succeed. Tiny changes and even smaller habits will make huge differences in your bank account and your friendship accounts. Here's what to watch for and what to do when you see obstacles coming your way.

Monday Monday

Creating attitudinal shifts in other people's minds is not always an easy task.

For most people Monday means going back to work for another week. One thing that separates positive minded people from the majority of their co-workers is their approach to Mondays. You may personally think it may drive people nuts, but that is no reason not to do it.

Now, before we go on, I don't consider myself a particularly cheery kind of person. I am extremely focused and extremely realistic. I am very focused and I get things done. Most of my crucial work is done when others sleep or are away.

BUT if you have to work with other people, then you have to take that same kind of focus and attitude calibration and set it in a different light.

First of all, make it a point to greet each person by name with an upbeat “Good morning". The reaction you get will probably be the typical groan, “Yeah! What's so good about it? It's Monday". This negative response almost has the underlying message that you must have forgotten which day of the week it really is. You know. However, if someone asks you, “What's so good about it?", then tell them a few things that they experienced today as well. After rattling off three to five things you are happy about they might roll their eyes and walk away.

"Hey, it's raining, thank god, we are in the midst of a fricking drought and I won't have to water the yard this week. "

Stuff like that. Don't gloat that you won the lottery or got a date with Pamela Anderson. . . even I don't want to hear that. . .

Second, never ask “How was your weekend?"

It's almost as foolish as asking, “So how's the wife and kids?"

Phttt. . . You idiot.

Half of all marriages end in divorce and most marriages aren't that happy. Leave it alone. Stick with the sports team that WON over the weekend.

Don't lead your colleague to a list of the bad things that happened, missed opportunities, or some other complaints. Of course, you still want to know how their weekend was, but you simply ask in a different way. One foolproof question is, "So, what happened that was good this weekend?"

I take advantage of that sentence ALL THE TIME because it gets me talking to someone in a good frame of mind and it saves me playing therapist. (Don't tell anyone I said that. )

It automatically shifts their thinking to something that went right. You can then hear about the fun they had, instead of all the bad.

Finally, your whole intent here is not to irritate, but rather to help change the mood at work from one of “Oh no! Not another Monday" to one of “It's a new week, let's see what we can make happen". When that happens it benefits everybody.

This will lead you to thinking of other questions to ask, or not ask, throughout the day to elicit more positive responses. To come up with those, all you have to do is ask the right question.

The Poverty Triangle

Most people live a life they have a lot more control over than they are taking responsibility for. You and I want to see people take responsiblity for themselves (including ourselves) in three facets of life.

Poverty, in the sense of poorness, comes in many forms. Some are quite specific to geography, occupation, spirituality, or even recreation, to name a few. On the other hand, some forms of poverty are more general. Identifying your current state of ‘wealth’ or ‘poverty’ in these areas is a vital step to success.

What are these three areas that make up this poverty triangle? It has been said that people are either time poor, people poor, or money poor. That statement has enough merit to look at each of the three.

Time Poor

Everybody is allotted the exact same amount of time every day. People only differ in what they do with that time. Where many tend to go wrong in this area is in over-estimating how much time is left to complete something, and under-estimating how long it will take. It's a common mistake. How would you rate yourself?

One way to overcome this time deficit is to develop the habit of being on time, or even early when possible.

I had to go to a wedding this weekend. Family. I found myself with my daughter driving along the interstate engaged in a fairly deep conversation and we drove 20 odd miles past the exit. So, we were about 15-20 minutes North of where we needed to turn off and we had to go back 20 miles just to get to the exit!

We left so we would arrive at the ceremony about 30 minutes early.

That left no margin for error.

We *raced* down 94, exited toward “The Lakes" area, found our specific park we were going to, parked the car and walked RAPIDLY into the area to where we could see that almost all of the seats wre filled. The wedding party was making their way from some pre wedding photo's down to the tent.

We smiled at the ushers who seated us.

Five minutes or less later, the wedding began.

To my knowledge I've never been late for anything as an adult. This pushed the envelope!

Respecting time is one of the most important success factors there is to adopt. You cannot be successful and be a person who is late.

Of course, being early can mean waiting longer for someone else. You can combat this down-time by having something to work on; catching up on reading, writing down ideas, or making a few phone calls. If you are lacking in this area, start developing the habit of promptness.

People Poor

Married couples say there are two key factors in being happy together.

1) Trust
2) Time Together

It's that simple.

Here are a few thoughts on improving a people poor situation. Schedule time to spend in your most important relationships. When you are spending time with family and friends, enjoy it. This doesn't mean you have to participate in planned activities or vacations, instead try laughing together, talking together, or just being in the presence of one another.

Time matters.

You'll find it is NOT POSSIBLE to spend time with everyone you love. It doesn't happen because there are only 168 hours in the week.

But even there an email can stitch a few wounds.

Money Poor

People who are money poor are often quick to begrudge those who are wealthy.

Get over it.

Almost 90% of wealthy people started with an average background or were poor.

Nevermind that most people who are wealthy have earned it fair and square. This poor attitude contributes greatly to money poorness. Changing attitudes about money can be hard, even if you are a normal person, with a normal job, and a normal paycheck. However, to help change your attitude try this exercise: whenever you hear someone making a comment about the financially well-off being greedy, dishonest, or lucky - do your best to politely express the contrary view. Why would you let someone speak badly of something you hold dear?

Never fall into alignment with something you don't believe.

Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs. . . . limit you.

This can be good or bad.

A positive limiting belief is one that limits you from doing bad or stupid things. “I don't steal because it's wrong". This is a limiting belief, in that it keeps you from doing something. In this case the limitation is good because it keeps you from doing something wrong.

Make sense?

A negative limiting belief is one that limits you from doing good things. “I never trust people because they eventually stab you in the back". This is also a limiting belief, the reason should be self-evident.

(I've had to work on this one for a long, long time. . . Trust with little things, then work your way up!)

The above two examples are somewhat shallow generalizations to make a few deeper points.

In both cases these self-imposed limitations act as a sort of survival mechanism. They keep us from harm in a physical or emotional sense. So, how can someone change their limitations? Good question.

Before anyone can change their limitations, they will have to know what limitations are. Once these are identified they should be analyzed, and put into the two groups; positive and negative.

With the limitations recognized and grouped accordingly, the next step is to figure out what the limiting belief is. In the above two examples the belief comes right after the word ‘because’. Sometimes the underlying belief is easy to find. Sometimes it takes asking the right questions. “Why do I think that way?" “Is this really the way I feel?" or “What is it about this limitation that makes me feel right or wrong?".

After you find the underlying beliefs of your negative limitations, you can start to change them. It becomes a relatively simple task once you understand what your limiting beliefs are, where they come from, and how the effect they have on you.

The good news is that you can change negative limitations into positive ones. For example: “I never trust people because they eventually stab you in the back" can be changed to “The best way to get to know someone is to trust them (and if they stab me in the back they are the ones who lose)".

Communication Breakdown?

Not many things are more important in shifting from failure to succes than effective communication.

There are times when people unintentionally use the wrong words.

At the wedding, I called my daughters uncle by his brothers name. His brother died 10 years ago and of course in the presence of all the family, this was not my most comfortable moment.

Fact is this: If you say a lot of words, you'll say more stupid things and make more mistakes than people who don't talk.

Period.

Here's who gets on my nerves: The Communication Critic.

These people use every opportunity to correct other people's speech or WRITING! This includes grammar, pronunciation, and word choice. Here are a few thoughts in this regard.

Whenever someone is talking, the purpose is to communicate something.

Period.

So, when someone misuses a word, or uses improper grammar, let's try not to correct them if they are getting their point across. If, however, what they are saying is unclear, it is fine to politely ask for clarification. Sometimes this leads to them asking about their own misuse of speech. It is only at that point that it is acceptable to correct someone, with one exception. . .

When you are around someone who constantly corrects others’ speech, we often have a tendency to want to correct the person doing the correcting. We can do this by saying something to the person being corrected. Something to the effect of, “That's okay, I knew what you meant, and that is what counts". The main reason to do this is to make the person being corrected feel more at ease. The secondary reason is to gently remind the person doing the correcting that it is more important to get an idea across, than how it is made.

Of course, there are exceptions to this too. Maybe the person doing the correcting has knowledge of what the other person is talking about, and has to correct them to make sure the point is clear. This gray area may be okay. There are also times in a professional setting when someone who continually makes errors in their speech needs to be corrected. That is also okay.

I will be the first to admit that there are probably several glaring grammatical errors in the above paragraphs. If there are, I apologize, and please let me know. Hopefully I was able to communicate my thoughts. . . Well?

Quick Thoughts

1. Humans are the only creatures who can consciously reduce stress.

2. Let us be quick to accept the responsibilities of our shortcomings, and always willing to help others overcome theirs.

3. It is far easier to maintain a good first impression than it is to fix a bad one.

4. Focus on what it takes to move from success to failure.

5. Success and procrastination are both subject to the laws of inertia.

6. Desire alone never replaces the actions needed to achieve that desire.

7. Success is not defined by how much you move up, but how much you reach out.

8. False optimism is not necessary. Be a realistic optiimist.

9. After many weeks of careful planning, contemplating, and preparation - I have decided to be spontaneous!

10. Beware of manipulation disguised as mutual benefit. Be involved in reciprocal relationships that are incredibly valuable to both people.

11. How you walk is more important than the path you choose.

The Choice Is Yours

Making good choices will propel you to success faster than poor choices. The only way to get better at making good choices is to make more decisions. Then learn from the decisions that are made.

Don't be paralyzed by the grip of indecision. When faced with too many choices - pick one. Often you will not know what type of choice you have just made until many variables have been played out. Of course, it is this very idea that can lead to that paralyzing grip.

This quote brilliantly encapsulates the truth about making choices: In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. -Theodore Roosevelt

The right thing.

Some decisions seem to come in a flash of original and almost divine inspiration. These are the decisions that are so good that you may wonder where they came from. Well, the answer is that they came from your persistence, preparation, and practice.

The wrong thing. You may at first regret such poor decisions; that's okay. The trick is to make that regret no more than a mere glance when compared to the long vision of the lesson to be learned from them. If a decision is so bad you just cannot learn from it, pat yourself on the back because at least you did something.

Nothing. This is an excuse that will surely lead to failure. You will never know if you would have made the right decision, and you lose the opportunity to learn from a poor decision. The only antidote to this is to do something.

What will you do the next time you are faced with a difficult decision? The choice is yours. Success awaits and it's just a few shifts in direction from failure.

For more free resources on shifting from failure to success, check out the left side of http://www.kevinhogan.com

Kevin Hogan, Psy. D. , is an International Professional Speaker, and, the author of 16 books including, The Psychology of Persuasion, The Science of Influence, and, Irresistible Attraction

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