Harvey Mackay: Positive thinking helps achieve goals
BY HARVEY MACKAY United Feature Syndicate
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/20/13 at 3:46 AM
One of life's great annoyances is the tendency of folks to ask you to perform an impossible task, list the issues they foresee and the problems that have plagued previous attempts - and then admonish you to "think positive."
Wow! Does that mean you are so good that you can achieve what no one else has? Or are you being set up to fail?
Because I am an eternal optimist, I prefer to believe the first premise. Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.
A friend who also prefers to look for the silver lining suggested I Google "The Positive Pledge" by author and inspirational speaker Jon Gordon. Several promises stand out among the 15 in the pledge, including:
Identify the triggers. When you have a negative thought, stop and ask yourself what's bringing it on. You may be tired or stressed out, or you may be affected by someone else's perspective. If you can locate the cause, the thought itself won't have as much power over you.
- I pledge to be a positive person and positive influence on my family, friends, co-workers and community.
- I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.
- When I want to be bitter, I will choose to get better.
- When I meet failure, I will fail forward, toward future success.
- I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.
Focus on the now. Worrying about the past or the future isn't productive. When you start chastising yourself for past mistakes, or seeing disaster around every corner, stop and take a breath and ask yourself what you can do right now to succeed.
Replace the negative. If you find yourself plagued by a recurrent worry, train yourself to think of something else. Your conscious mind can concentrate on only one thought at a time, and driving the negativity away will free you up to move forward again.
Years ago, I came across an essay that really solidified my commitment to positive thinking:
"There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept from fear and apprehension.
"One of these days is Yesterday with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.
"The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
"This leaves only one day - Today. Anyone can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities - Yesterday and Tomorrow - that we break down."
Mackay's Moral: A positive attitude lightens your load and expands your reach.
Original Print Headline: Positive thinking helps achieve goals
Harvey Mackay is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive." To send him a question or comment, go to tulsaworld.com/mackayfeedback.