The person who wants to do something will find a way. The person who doesn’t will find an excuse.
As a former professor, as a present-day author and professional speaker, I’ve spent my entire adult life studying people. One of the biggest questions I have tried to answer is why some people are winners while others are whiners.
I think I’ve found some of the answers. The difference is in the way those two groups think, talk, and act.
In terms of the way they think, WINNERS KEEP AN OPEN MIND. They consciously refrain from thinking a particular goal might be impossible. As long as they continue to think something is possible, their subconscious minds continue to work towards the achievement of their goals.
By contrast, whiners think, “That’ll never work.” They think of all kinds of reasons why they shouldn’t try. They rationalize their lack of effort or their feelings of fear by telling themselves “rational lies.”
Second, winners talk differently. WINNERS SPEAK OUT POSITIVE WORDS OF AFFIRMATION. They memorize key words or self-motivating sentences and say them out loud over and over again.
For example, if a winner wants to master patience, he might simply repeat the word “patience” fifty times in the morning and fifty times in the afternoon. Then, when he is confronted by an irritating coworker or a bout of bad luck, he automatically responds with patience.
Winners always find something positive to say. Dr. Robert Schuller tells the story of the great drought during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. When harvest season came, his father would normally gather a hundred wagons-full of corn. But that year his father got a meager one-half wagon-load.
Robert says he’ll never forget his Dad’s response. As they sat at the dinner table holding hands, his father said, “I thank you God that I have lost nothing. For I have regained the seed I planted in the springtime.” He had planted a half wagon-load of seed, and he harvested a half wagon-load in the fall.
While other farmers were saying, “We lost 90 to 100 loads,” his father taught him, “Never count up the might-have-beens or you’ll be dejected. Never look at what you have lost. Look at what you have left.” That’s the way winners think and talk.
Whiners, on the other hand tend to commiserate. They say such things as, “Oh, you don’t know the problems I have… or…I couldn’t do it…or…I tried that one time, and I failed.” They speak out verbal curses that kill off their willingness to start and their ability to succeed.
Because of the way they think and the way they talk, the difference in the way winners and whiners believe is huge. WINNERS KEEP ON TRYING. THEY FIND A WAY. Whiners don’t. It’s that simple.
One comedian on TV summarized it quite well. He said, “I always thought I was an underachiever. Then one day I realized I was just a damn failure. I never even tried.” That’s the sad but true story of many people’s lives.
Winners find a way. I learned that at a speaking engagement I had a while ago. I arrived at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix-Scottsdale at 1:00 a.m., but my clothes didn’t. I was wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and tennis shoes, and I was to address a new, very important client– a tie and suit crowd–at 8:00 a.m.
I told the desk clerk my predicament. I asked him if I could borrow a suit that might be used by one of their waiters. He told me to check with housekeeping at 6:00 a.m. to see what if anything they might have.
At 6:00 a.m. I approached the head of housekeeping. She only had one suit, and it was much too big. The sleeves were too long. The pants weren’t even hemmed. I took it. I figured I could pin up the pants, and if I held my arms up when I gestured, the sleeves wouldn’t fall over my hands. The only other problem was they had no shoes whatsoever. I was forced to wear my white tennis shoes with my baggy Ritz Carlton suit.
So it was off to the speech. When the rather formal vice president saw me, his first remark was, “What’s this outfit?” I explained what had happened and what I had done about it. He said, “Good thinking.”
The vice president then introduced me to the audience. He described my ordeal. The audience loved the speech. They even thought my “outfit” added to the overall impact of the presentation and suggested that I always dress that way.
I don’t know about that. But I do know that winners find a way. Such was the case with the Roeblings. John Roebling was the engineer who got the idea of building the Brooklyn Bridge that would tie Manhattan Island to Brooklyn. But all the bridge-building experts and structural engineers said it was impossible. And even if it could be built, the winds and tides would destroy it.
Nonetheless, John and his son, Washington, figured out how the problems could be solved. They began construction–until an awful accident occurred. In the same incident, John was killed, and Washington got submerged beneath the water so long that he suffered permanent brain damage. In fact Washington never walked or talked again.
Everybody said to forget the project. But not Washington. He developed a communication system where he could touch one finger to the arm of his wife. Through her, he communicated to the engineers and supervised the project for 13 years. And finally, in 1883 traffic streamed across the completed Brooklyn Bridge. When Washington Roebling was told the news, he wept for joy. He had found a way to make the impossible dream become a reality.
As a reader of the “Tuesday Tip,” I know you’re more of a winner than a whiner. Whiners would pooh-pooh this kind of information. But the evidence is overwhelming. Winners think, talk, and act differently, and all you’ve got to do is think, talk and act like them to have more success than ever before.
Action: Think of three winning qualities you want to master. Have each of those qualities be embodied in a single word such as “Patience,” “Perseverance,” or “Confidence.” Speak out your three words every morning and evening. Say each word 50 times each, and you will indeed possess more and more of those qualities.