If You're Sinking, Check Your Thinking

When you start sinking, pay attention to what you’re thinking.

Life is full of problems. And you’re always going to have a bunch of them. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is your response to your problems.

Average people look for ways to GET AWAY from their problems. By contrast, successful people look for ways to GET THROUGH their problems.

Average people by the millions … bail out of jobs, careers, businesses, relationships, and life in general. When it gets a little tough or unpleasant, when they don’t get the results they want … as quickly as they’d like … they say, “I’m outta here.”

Oh sure, average people may try to cover up their bail-out or lack of commitment by using fancier words than that. As one person wrote on the bottom of his job application, “Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job hopping.’ I have never QUIT a job.”

Fancier words, perhaps, but the effect is still the same. Average people bail out when times get tough.

Well I know you don’t want to be average, or you wouldn’t be reading the “Tuesday Tip” week after week. So how can you become a true champion in life … at work … or at home … despite the problems you’re facing? I’ve found three things that work.

=> 1. Persevere.

Conrad Hilton, the famous hotel entrepreneur knew that. He said, “Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

And Ray Charles knew that. In fact his whole life was a testament to the power of never quitting. When he was six years of age, he lost his eyesight. And to a young, poor blind child, the future didn’t seem very promising.

But his mother told him, “Ray, you’ve lost your sight, but you haven’t lost your mind. You can still create a productive life for yourself.”

Ray began dreaming about becoming a music star. So he would practice the piano and practice his singing every day. One school teacher told him, “Ray, you can’t play the piano, and God knows you can’t sing. You’d better learn to weave chairs so you can support yourself.”

That kind of feedback would have stopped most people dead in their tracks. But not Ray. He just stayed focused on his goal of being a music star … even though time after time … audition after audition … he was told he couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.

But as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story. Ray persevered. Eventually he won 12 Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his musical talents. He performed for millions of ordinary people and hundreds of dignitaries around the world.

The true champions in life have always been persevering souls. And a part of their perseverance comes from the fact they…

=> 2. Deflect the negativity of others.

Ray Charles succeeded because he did NOT listen to the negative influences in his life. And they were legion.

As author Stewart E. White noted in the early 1900’s, “Do not attempt to do a thing unless you are sure of yourself; but do not relinquish it simply because someone else is not sure of you.”

You can’t let somebody else’s negativity kill off your energy. And yet people do it over and over again — without even knowing they’re doing it.

Take the Olympics, for example. An athlete gets a silver medal, and immediately an announcer puts a microphone in her face and says, “You must be disappointed. You came here to win the gold. You must feel terrible.”

What a ludicrous comment. It doesn’t get much better than being number 2 in the world, being a silver medal winner. That athlete has every right to celebrate her success, and she needs to DEFLECT the announcer’s negativity before he steals her joy.

The same is true for you. As you persist towards the achievement of your goals and dreams, take the negativity of others with a grain of salt. After all, no one has ever erected a statue to a critic.

At the same time, you must…

=> 3. Monitor your own thoughts.

You see … you change your life when you change your mind. And a part of changing your mind comes about when you discard the negative thoughts you picked up from others. As Dr. Sara Jordan, the gastroenterologist notes, “Every day give yourself a good mental shampoo.”

How do you do that, you ask? You should try my 6-pack “Mind Over Matter” CD series. As counselor Carla Erickson points out, “I’ve been listening to Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s subliminal tapes every day for eight years. In fact I wore out three tapes and replaced them immediately with your new CDs on ‘MIND OVER MATTER.’ They have been a wonderful resource for me during the stressful times in my life. I have also given them to my family members, my friends, and coworkers to help them with the difficult situations they’ve had in their lives. Everyone talks about how well your subliminal tapes and CDs work. They’re powerful.”

If you have a problem monitoring your own thoughts, if you tend to be a quitter, use this affirmation submitted by Norman Tanaka. He tells himself, “It’s OK to fail, but it’s not OK to ever give up.” Say that to yourself a few hundred or a few thousand times over the next few weeks, and watch your stick-to-ativity increase.

If you tend to give up because of fear or overwhelming odds of failure, try this affirmation. US Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz would say, “Grant me the courage not to give up even though I think it is hopeless.” You’d never expect such a statement from a military genius such as Nimitz, but they named an aircraft carrier (the USS Nimitz, CVN 68) after him.

The key … is to remember … what’s happening OUT there isn’t as important as what’s happening INside you. Negative thoughts lead to negative results, and positive thoughts lead to positive results … most of the time. So monitor your thoughts.

Action:  Identify the negative comments of others that have held you back. And then consciously decide to discard those comments and refuse to let them have a veto power over your dreams.