Problem: Every year in most major cities there is a road show consisting of prominent self-help gurus and other personalities who spend a day telling the audience how to feel good about themselves and improve their performance. Most of the people in the audience are in sales. No surprise! Sales is a tough business, rejection is commonplace, and pressure to meet quotas can be unrelenting. It’s no wonder that salespeople have attitude problems. While these events are useful in temporarily motivating attendees, what happens after the motivators leave town? After a few days, most folks are right back in the same mess as before, and little has changed. So how can we make change permanent?
Analysis: Although these workshops are helpful, in the long term we are responsible for our own attitudes. How often do we silently proclaim, “I can’t do that,” “I’ll never be able to…” or worse, “I don’t deserve…”? How often do we set goals and expectations at a “safe” level so that we can be assured of making them? The person who wants to play it safe and is hesitant to get out of his comfort zone may lead a comfortable life; he may also fail to achieve his true potential.
Solution: “Imagination rules the world,” declared Napoleon Hill. Albert Einstein (that’s right, old E=MC²) professed, “Imagination is everything, it’s a preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Much has been written about how we are a product of our thoughts. Essentially, we are a self-fulfilling prophecy. The mind brings into reality the things it thinks about most. However, our subconscious mind makes no distinction between positive and negative thoughts. If we fill our mind with doubt, fear, and disbelief; if we lack self-confidence and our self-image is negative, our chances of being successful are remote.
We gravitate in the direction of our dominant thoughts. This is an extremely important principle. Think about something and you will move toward it, even if it is something you don’t want. Therefore, saying “I don’t want to blow this opportunity” or “I better not miss this shot” will often cause us to achieve the opposite of the desired result—in other words, failure.
We get what we expect. That’s good news since we are in control of what we think about. You decide what to put in your mind and, therefore, determine what you get back. Discipline your thoughts and you’ll determine what you reap. “The average man quits at the first failure. That’s why there have been many average men and only one Thomas Edison,” remarked Napoleon Hill. These words are so true.