“He’s turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed.”
David Frost, journalist
In tough times, your financial health takes a beating. But so does your emotional health … if you’re not careful.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you. You don’t have to be miserable and depressed. You don’t have to gripe and groan. And you don’t have to live “under your circumstances.” You can be victorious … no matter what your circumstances … if you do three things.
=> 1. DECIDE to have a good day.
As silly as it sounds, the only time you’re going to have a good day is when you decide to have a good day. After all, happiness is an inside job. It starts in your head … with A DECISION.
Unfortunately, the losers in life think happiness comes from the outside. They think their happiness is dependent upon certain things “happening” in their lives … such as a raise in pay or the acquisition of a customer. But if other things “happen” … such as a drop in the stock market or a conflict with their spouse … they’re unhappy.
That, my friends, is a lousy way to live. If you wait for happiness, if you wait for certain things to happen, you become the victim of circumstances, rather than the master of them. And you simply cannot do that if you want to be in charge of your own life and career.
You’ve got to DECIDE to have a good day … no matter what is happening all around you. You’ve got to decide that today and everyday is going to be a good day. As chairman and CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates, puts it, “The pursuit of professional bliss is a lifelong journey.”
=> 2. ACT like it’s a good day.
It’s simply a matter of taking the right pill or taking the right approach. Let me explain.
Suppose there was a “magic pill” that gives you more energy … makes you less stressed … gives you more confidence …and … makes you more productive. You’d probably take that pill, just like I would. In fact, you’d probably want a lifetime supply.
Well, the good news is … there is such a “pill” on the market right now. And you don’t have to go to a doctor, get a prescription, or worry about any side effects. The pill is to be found in what Rob Gilbert calls “the three most powerful words in the English language.” All you have to do is “ACT AS IF.” Act the way you want to become and you’ll become the way you act.
And Gilbert knows what he’s talking about. This isn’t some new, fancy, passing-fad psychology. William Shakespeare wrote about this magic pill 500 years ago. He said, “ASSUME a virtue if you have it not.”
Then modern-day psychology affirmed the validity of these three words. In the 20th century, psychologist William James advised, “If you want a quality, ACT AS IF you already have it.”
Even the world-famous personal development specialist Dale Carnegie wrote about these words. He wrote, “ACT AS IF you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.”
So you want a good day? Then all you have to do is ACT like it’s a good day and you’ll tend to have one.
As a professor, Gilbert introduced his students to these three powerful words by way of an assignment. Every student was to ACT AS IF he/she was the world’s greatest student in their class of choice. They were to do such things as sit in the front row, sit in the middle, sit up straight, ask questions, answer questions, and laugh at the professor’s dumb jokes. Then they were to write a report on what happened.
He said the typical report went something like this: “My very next class was chemistry. I hate chemistry. I hate the professor. I was hungry, tired, and bored. But because you made me, I sat in the front row, sat up straight, asked questions, answered questions, and laughed at the teacher’s dumb jokes. And even though I was totally bored, every once in a while an amazing thing happened. Every once in a while … I lapsed into states of attention.”
After completing the assignment, the students agreed on one thing … if you act interested, eventually you’ll become interested. And as I said before, if you act like it’s a good day, you’ll more than likely have a good day … or at least a better day than you would have gotten by dwelling on the negative.
It’s one of the many skills I teach at my “Journey to the Extraordinary” program. And when you master the technique, it even helps other people have a good day. That’s what Jeanene Townswick discovered.
She wrote, “Hi Dr. Alan: I’ve been practicing the ‘Act-as-if’ principle at home, and the results have been amazing. In fact, one day my husband said to me, ‘I don’t know why, but I’m feeling happy all the time. Maybe you’re rubbing off on me.’ It was the greatest thing he could have said to me.”
Jeanene continued, “Your ‘Journey’ changed my life and my career. I’ve been playing your ‘PURPOSE’ CD on the way to work every day. So I can probably do the entire talk verbatim, but it sure beats listening to the news! And your ‘SUBLIMINAL SELF-CONFIDENCE’ CD has given me the courage to embark on a totally new adventure when it comes to financial security and my future retirement. I’m no longer just going through life and missing it … as so many people do. Ever since the ‘Journey,’ I’m LIVING it.”
=> 3. PLAN a good day.
Most people don’t bother to do this. They just go through life on auto-pilot, hoping for a good day, but never planning for it. They’re hoping that accidental happiness will somehow land upon them.
Business philosopher Jim Rohn talks about these kinds of people. He says, “I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives… If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”
Winners know that good days don’t just happen. They PLAN for them. They make them happen. They do what author Brian Tracy advises, and that is, to: “Take time each day to sit back, think, and reflect on your priorities so that you are using every minute well.”
If you want a good day, every day, you’ve got to DECIDE to have one, ACT AS IF you’re having one, and PLAN for it. You see a good day is the result of the choices you make. As former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”