In my last blog, I focused on the power of good habits. Today, we’ll continue our discussion with the second of my three keys to success in 2018. This is another part of my challenge to you to Be Good and Get Better.
To achieve authentic success in 2018—in all areas of your life—you must have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for who you are and what you are able to do. Identify your own, individual “gift package;” limit any negative thinking; and stop comparing yourself to others.
Too often, we start off the right way only to digress. Avoid thinking things like, “Yes, I am doing well, but Cheryl and I started at the same time at this company and she’s already been promoted.” You began the thought in a positive way—you’re doing well and you acknowledged that—but then you made a needless comparison and that second, negative part will not do you any good.
Bryan Neale, of The Advanced Selling Podcast, tells us to not let negative thoughts “live rent-free” in our minds. If anything is going to live rent-free in your mind, it had better be a good tenant. Many of us go through life keeping score, constantly comparing ourselves to others. Rather than compare yourself to the Cheryls of this world, focus on the progress you have made, are making or want to make in your own life. If you must keep score, use an “inner scorecard” where you track your progress compared only to you and what you know you can achieve.
Believe me, negative thoughts have a way of piling up and becoming quite the distraction… or worse. I have a dear friend who, years ago, considered committing suicide. He found himself in a situation much like that of the George Bailey character in the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. George thought his family would be better off without him, and my friend thought the same thing. In our true-life situation, we had an intervention with him at my office. His friends came together to remind him of all the wonderful people and circumstances in his life. As in the movie, this story had a happy ending. Things ultimately worked out for my friend and all involved. But it took a change in attitude—and a focus on the attitude of gratitude—to get him headed in a new and right direction.
Think of yourself as gold that just needs a little polishing now and then. You’re already a winner and worth quite a bit. Keep that positive attitude! Understand and treasure your own gifts and skills and successes. Focus on what you are good at doing, and work at doing more of whatever that is. Once again, having a mentor to offer perspective regarding your strengths and challenges is a plus. Find someone who can help keep you positive and focused on your many abilities—even, and especially, when the going gets tough.
Sport psychologist Dr. Kevin Elko put it this way: “If you lost everything you had today and got it all back tomorrow, you would feel like the luckiest person in the world.”
That’s the perfect way to sum up a life of authentic gratitude! Adopt an attitude of gratitude—start right now, today—and you’ll do what you do better.
What, exactly, are you thankful for in your everyday life?