Attitude is a Maserati: Formula For Success Part 1
"Life asks us to make measurable progress in reasonable time. How long should you be in the fourth grade?” - Jim Rohn
What if I revealed a simple formula for success that is guaranteed to work? If life is a joy ride, a good attitude upgrades you to a Maserati.
You are reading the first in a three-article series. This information has taken me a lifetime to learn. Like most things in my life, I had to obtain it the hard way. Far from an expert, I am still learning these brutal lessons. I am hopeful that some of you are smarter than me, though. I implore you, follow me, read these articles. If you gain just one kernel of wisdom, it could change the course of your life.
Think about your daydreams for a moment, those private moments when no one is around. Would you describe your thoughts as positive?
Human beings default to negative thoughts including fears, anxieties, anger and negative thoughts towards other people. Sometimes these thoughts are past events that replay in our heads like some sadistic DVR. You may choose to pause and rewind one particular scene thousands of times.
Other times we think about the future. Some of these thoughts are anxious and fearful. Most fears never actually happen, and when they do, we manage and survive (like we always do).
Another problem is the “I can't”, “I’m not good at”, “I’m fat”, “I’m stupid”, “I’m too old”, “I’m too young”, "I'm too shy", or my favorite, "I can't believe I did that". Sound familiar? These can stem from childhood or adult experiences where our parents or others drilled them into us, or we just decided to make them "true" one day.
If you tell yourself something repetitively, you’ll start to believe it. Self-loathing makes a fictitious statement as real as Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid.
The answer is to start telling yourself, "I can". Tell yourself this until you believe it. It may start as a whisper, but with practice, you'll roar.
I can hear the doubters already. So, if I tell myself I can beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, then that makes it true? Of course not, but tell yourself that you are worthless, and you will be. I promise.
Victim or Victor
Bitter people are easy to spot. They blame others for the state of their life. They get knocked down, but just complain from the mat. I’ve had bad bosses before. I’ve had some rotten things happen to me, and I’ve been unfairly singled out and even targeted. I take responsibility for all of it. The reason I take responsibility is not to let other people off the hook (although I do believe in forgiveness), it is to solve my own problems.
If your boss is abusive, you must ask yourself why you still work there. You may need to feed your family. You may see opportunities on the horizon. Just take responsibility. Remind yourself that you are making the choice to stay right now.
As long as you can blame someone else for something not going right in your life, you don’t have to formulate any solutions. You are a victim. Permanent victims are never successful. Turn it around. I know it’s easier to harbor your anger. These three words changed my life. Say them with me, “I am responsible”. Say it out loud wherever you are.
It’s hard for me to admit, but one day I looked up and realized that I had not fostered many friendships and relationships in my life including my own marriage. It wasn’t my wife's or friends’ fault. The problem was that I prioritized other things higher, much higher. I’m pretty self-aware, and I know that I can be intense. I also know that I can get focused on the wrong things. I had to take responsibility. If I want more friends in my life or a better relationship with my wife it will be up to me to make the effort.
Now for the magic. As soon as you take responsibility, your brain will open up and allow you to start formulating solutions for your problem. Anytime, you feel stuck, just repeat this exercise. I am responsible!
But I'm Not a Salesperson
If you were selling yourself, could you get behind the product? Many times when people have self-esteem issues, it's because they haven't done anything esteemable. One way to solve this problem is to provide a higher level of service at your job than anyone else.
Take expectations of your boss, colleagues or clients and beat them soundly. Do things faster with higher quality. Work harder. Be sharper. Pursue family relationships and friendships. Soon you will be convinced that you are worth more and your product, service or job function is worth more because you are not normal. Nothing is worse for your self-esteem than mediocrity. Banish the idea of being normal. Losers are normal.
When you are sold on yourself, you will find the rest of the world agrees with you. Every day, I get up and remind myself why companies pay me more than other recruiters. I think about how my candidates radically change and improve my clients, how hard I work, the specialization and added value I bring during an offer and the service I provide after the deal. My clients never work with me just once. They always come back, but I have to remind myself of why daily.
As a small company CEO, I’m constantly selling. I sell ideas to clients, candidates, employees, community leaders, bankers, my church, my charity, my wife, kids and even my dog. I need them to understand what makes my company special. I need them to listen to my ideas, but if I don’t believe in me, they won’t either.