Posted tagged ‘attitude’

Staying Positive in a Struggle When Others Are Frustrated

December 22, 2009

“What can you do to enable positive attitudes as the struggle continues so those around you don’t get frustrated with your struggle recovery?”  Marla

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

Marla, here are a couple of ideas for you:

Be an example and have the attitude you want others to have.  Those who are around you the most will respond to whatever attitude you have the most.  If you are going through a struggle and they see you embracing it, moving forward, looking for the bright side, and working hard to improve the situation, this will encourage them.

Express gratitude.  Let those around you know that you are thankful for many things, including their support, love, and encouragement.

Understand you can’t change everybody.  Some of the people around you may continue to react negatively and remain frustrated.  By being the right kind of person and doing the things you need to do to help the situation, you have the peace of mind to understand that they are not frustrated with you, but with the situation.  They may “take it out” on you from time to time, and after this occurs you may want to have a talk with them.  The purpose of this talk will be to ask them, “Are you frustrated with me, or the situation?”  Then listen.  Chances are good that it will be the situation, especially if you are doing all you can.  If they say it is you, then you will need to understand why.  Perhaps you are doing something that they see as making the situation worse that you have not considered.  If they are right, this is great news because you have more room to improve.  Maybe you just need a time of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Or maybe they are the ones with the problem.  In any case, you need to find out if they are part of your struggle and recovery.

Embrace The Struggle!

Getting Knocked Down

December 17, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 webcast.

“When your mind takes a hit after working hard at getting better, how does one get back?”  Chris

Chris, good news and bad news on this one.  The bad news first.  We all get knocked down!  Everyone has to deal with taking a mental hit, even if you are working on staying mentally strong and staying positive.

Here is the good news.  You can decide NOW how you are going to respond when you take a mental hit.  Here are a few things to remember.

“Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.”  Zig Ziglar.  You can not “just” think your way out of a mental hit.  It is important to recognize that you have taken a hit, and then you have to take action to get back on track.

Have on hand your favorite books and audio recordings, and when you take a hit plan some time each day to absorb the good stuff.

Call a friend or mentor who is positive and ask them for a little motivational feedback.  It’s great if you can also be this person for someone else.

Create a victory list of all of the things you have accomplished and the goals that you are in the process of achieving and review it when you get knocked down.  This will remind you that you have been knocked down before and you can get back up and achieve great things.

Pray.  Tell God exactly what is going on, ask Him for direction, and then be still and listen.  It is amazing how many times getting knocked down really means that you just stand up and start again, in a slightly new direction!

Do It, and You Will Feel Like Doing It

December 15, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“I’m in the Insurance field and not doing as well as I expected and I could blame it on a lot of different things but they would all in some way point back at me. I’m great with people, I always put my clients first, but there are days that I simply don’t want to get out of bed and take on that daily struggle to make that happen. My question is, have you ever been in that situation and, if so, how do you over come it?”  Thank You, Tommy

Tommy, I guess this makes you normal!  Dad has a couple of quotes that really hit home with this one.  “Logic will not change an emotion, but action will,” and, “Do it, and you will feel like doing it.”  Not very complicated I know, but still it is true.

Here is a quick tip for you – plan the next day before you go to bed at night.  Make sure you have your morning detailed out and your priority list in order.  As you write this out, envision exactly how you want the day to go.  Then, when your opportunity clock goes off in the morning, start working your plan right away.  Don’t hesitate or procrastinate, just start doing.  The act of doing will then create the motivation to keep doing.

When Dad put this tip in action his career took off!  He made an appointment (with himself) to be knocking on a prospects “door” everyday at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  You will find that when you commit to action, and then follow through, your results will go through the roof!

The Attitude Misconception

December 14, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 webcast.

“As a small business owner, I struggle with maintaining a positive attitude during this challenging economy.  I do believe, but when I receive my P & L at the end of the month, it is frustrating.  Help!!”

Chuck, Dad says, “A positive attitude will not let you do anything, but it will let you do everything — better than a negative attitude will.”

Here is what this philosophy means in regards to your P & L at the end of the month.  When you see the P & L, your response should be, “Do I have in place, and am I executing, the right plans to turn this thing around?”  If the answer is yes, then keep the good attitude and look at the progress you are making, because a good attitude will help you get in the positive numbers faster than a bad attitude will.  If the answer is no, then use your positive attitude to do whatever it takes to create the plan that will get you on the right track.  Once again, the positive attitude speeds up the process.

Here is the big misconception – far too many people believe that a good attitude can replace the need for a good plan!  Bottom line is you need both.  A good plan with a good attitude will always take your farther than a good plan with a bad attitude, or a good attitude with a bad plan.

Teaching Kids to Respond vs. React

December 9, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“How did you kids learn how to RESPOND rather than REACT?” Shoshannah

Shoshannah, we kids learned by example, and by reminder!  I think most people, especially when they are kids, have a tendency to react when things don’t go their way.  I can remember numerous occasions growing up when Dad would get “bad” news that would impact our family plans.  It could have been rain on a vacation day, or a delayed flight, or whatever, but every time Dad always immediately focused on what we could do.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I see that he was showing us that sometimes negative things happen, but those things don’t have to ruin our day, and we have that choice.

And, of course, he would “remind” us as well.  When I would start to whine or complain about something, Dad would cut me off and remind me that I didn’t “have” to cut the grass, I “got” to cut the grass!  A simple word change that turned a “have to” into a “get to.”  Plus a firm reminder that whining and complaining would do no good and it is not tolerated.

The Link Between Attitude and Gratitude

November 20, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“What is the best way to teach teens how to be more positive in this “me-me” society we live in?” Nick


I have a 15 year old daughter, so I know exactly what you mean!  The key is teaching kids gratitude, which is the healthiest of all human emotions.  The best way to learn gratitude is by serving others.  Here is the kicker — you can’t learn gratitude by watching others serve; you yourself have to serve.  Serving your kids and not requiring them to serve others will not do anything more than create for them the expectation that the world exists to make them happy.  Find a service project you can do with your teenager that requires them to sacrifice and serve those far less fortunate than themselves, and then talk about how grateful you are for the things that you do have.  Just talking about this is not enough – you must serve others to truly appreciate everything that you have.

Finding Hope – and Keeping It!

October 14, 2009

The following two questions came in response to my blog post — Attitude or Skill?

“So how does one overcome the beaten down attitude? I used to think differently, but in the past few years I’ve lost hope. How do I get it back?” from Brian

“What do you think is the most important part of maintaining an opportunity attitude?” from AJ

Perhaps you have asked yourself the same questions.  Hope is the one thing that everyone wants.  No matter what you have, or don’t have, if you are hopeless, it doesn’t really matter.  If you are filled with hope, then no matter the situation, you can keep on going.  So how do you find hope and then grow and maintain it?

First, you have to realize that finding hope is a choice.  You have to look for it, and you have to take actions to create it.  It is born from the belief that what you do can — and does — make a difference.

Dad has a great question that he asks his audiences when he speaks – “How many of you here today believe you can do something in the next three weeks that will make your family life, your personal life, or your business life——WORSE, can I see your hands?”  Of course everyone laughs because it is the opposite of what they expect him to say, but then the reality hits them.  If you ADMIT you can do something that will make your life worse, then you have to ADMIT you can do something that will make your life better!  You have the power to make your life either better or worse, and the choice is yours!

Hope is born when you realize you have the power to make your life better, and the choice is yours.

Now comes the action part.  What things can you do that will create a better life for you?  First, you must start with retraining your thinking.  If you have a hopeless, “beaten down” attitude, then you must put the right positive life-building information into your mind.  This is a choice, and a choice you have to make every day.  Thoughts always precede actions, so in order to have the right actions, you must have the right thoughts.  Don’t worry about your emotional state during all of this.  Your positive emotions will catch up after you begin to take action.  As Dad says, “Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.”

What kind of actions can you take that will make your life better?  Here is a challenge for you.  Get a sheet of paper right now and quickly write down 20 things you can do today that will make your life better today – and then pick 5 or 10 of them and do them!  Here are a few that should be on every list:  Tell a family member you love them; call a friend and thank them for their friendship; read an article about your profession that will build your skill level; stand up and stretch your muscles and maintain good sitting posture; drink lots of water; listen to Zig Ziglar on your MP3 player…..You get the picture!  You can find hope, and grow it.

Once you are doing these things, then you need to take the next step.  Simply identify where you want to go, what you want to do/accomplish, and then break it down into small action steps – and start your journey – today.

Yes, you can find hope, and create it in your own life.  But I would be remiss if I did not tell you that there is eternal hope that nothing in this world can shake.  This is Dad’s real secret about hope because he understands that because his eternity is secure there is nothing in the present, no circumstance or trial, that will take away what Christ has done for him.

The Recession Attitude

August 14, 2009

I was traveling this week and had the pleasure of spending some time in the airport.  We only had about 20 minutes to make it from security to our gate and I needed to grab some food since I was on the back of the plane.  I stopped and picked up a pre-packaged salad, some water, and some nuts.  Luckily, I was the only one in line.

I say “luckily” because the dude serving me was in no hurry!  In fact, all he had to do was take my money as I had brought all of the stuff from the self-serve display (oh, he did hand me the salad dressing).  Looking at him, I realized it was also my job to grab one of the bags left on the counter and bag my own food.

Walking away from the counter I started to think.  In this tough economy does any company have to employ somebody with a lousy attitude?  I think not!  As customers we should be getting the best service of our lives right now.  If you work for a company, or own your own, think hard about this – there is a long line of people who would love to have your job or work for you.  Don’t settle for adequate competence and a bad attitude.

If you are hunting for a job right now and you have the good fortune of an interview, make sure you focus on both your competence and your attitude (you could even mention this post!), and how you are focused on solving their problems and their customers’ problems.  So many people have caught the Recession Attitude of PLOM (Poor Little Old Me) Disease that you can really separate yourself by having the attitude of gratitude!

Like Dad says, “The bad thing about pity parties is that very few people attend and those who do don’t bring presents!” – Zig Ziglar

A Simple Success Formula

May 8, 2009

Right…. Ok, so there probably isn’t a simple success formula, but I think you will agree that without these four elements success will be very unlikely.  I also realize that there are more ingredients as well and I would love it if you would comment and leave the ingredients we should add.

(Hope x Attitude x Action x Skills) + Integrity = Long-term Success.

Hope – without hope, why bother?  Hope is the spark that lights the fire that encourages you to just start, to give it a try.  As John Maxwell says, “If there is hope in the future, there is power in the present.”

Attitude – the right attitude keeps you going; the wrong attitude shuts you down.  Hope may get you started, but keeping your attitude right pulls you through the tough times.  Your attitude is your choice and your responsibility.  Once you realize you “own” your attitude, you can then create a winning attitude by filling your mind and your life with the good, the pure, and the powerful.

Action – nothing happens until your thoughts turn into behaviors – action.  The right actions done in the right way get results.  Even the right actions done poorly will get more results than taking no action at all.

Skills – learning new skills, honing the ones you have, preparing to be the best in all that you do, this separates the good from the great.  To go to the very top, attitude and action are not enough.  They both have to be driving great skills.

Integrity – who wants fleeting success? No one.  As Fred Smith said, “Every great failure is a moral failure.”  Don’t waste your time developing your attitude, your action plans, and your skills if you don’t do everything with integrity.  Your success will be fleeting and your life will be unfulfilled.

Recommendation: Review these five things every week and pick one to work on.  If you ranked your attitude as a 1 for the week, how much more would you have gotten done if your attitude was a 2?

So what other things do we need to add to our success formula?  Please comment!

The Economy – What Would Zig Do?

October 23, 2008

This article is inspired by Anita Foss, one of our subscribers.  She sent me an email yesterday with a great idea.  Here it is:


“Dear Tom -


 I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of hearing about the

 wretched state of our economy which is predicted to remain “in the

 tank” for the next 24 months. We cannot turn off the mike on Bernanke

 and the Doomsday Brigade, but we can have faith and pray. Rather than

 continuing to just pray in general for our economy, I have compiled a

 list of the companies that each family member works for. I have asked

 each person in our family to take this list and commit to pray for

 each company every day until Thanksgiving.


 Now, I realize if you were to do this with your family, it might be a

 very short list; :) but I wonder if you might encourage other families

 and small groups to do something of this nature.


 Let’s pray for our companies to have discipline, wisdom and hope; to

 find opportunities and create solutions.”


 Faith, love and prayers for Ziglar -

 Anita Fos


This reminds me of what Dad says about times like this.  These are some great quotes and the wisdom contained in them is very deep.


Zig Says:


“It’s not the economy out there that is the problem, it’s the economy between your ears that is the problem.”


“Life is tough, but the tougher you are on yourself (self-discipline) the easier life will be on you.”


“How many of you today believe there is something you could do in the next few days that would make your personal life, your family life, or your business life…..worse?  Could I see your hands?  Doesn’t it makes sense that if you could make your life worse, you could also choose to do something that would make your life better?  You are in control and have the ability to make your life either better or worse, the choice is yours.”


“You are who you are and what you are because of what has gone into your mind.  You can change who you are and what you are by changing what goes into your mind.”


In a follow-up email with me Anita said this:


“Have you read “48 days to the Work you Love” by Dan Miller?  I love his ideas about work being an extension of our worship and the direction he provides for people to find the work God created them to do. His podcast, (available on iTunes/career) is full of ideas, inspiration and hope.

On one of his podcasts, he asked the question, “What is most commanded in the Bible?” I guessed it would be to obey or to love, but it was: 

“Do not be afraid.” What a great thing to remember at this time!”


This truth is something I have watched first hand with Dad.  His joy, his happiness, is not dependent on his circumstances!  The past year as he has had to Embrace The Struggle with his head injury, I can honestly say I have not seen him discouraged or unhappy about the situation at all.  Instead, he constantly reminds me of everything he has to be grateful for and he focuses on what he can do next to improve his situation and make a difference in someone else’s life. 


Dad is the happiest man alive not because of his circumstances here, but because of his faith and hope in our Lord.  The power in this is that circumstances are always changing, but God and His love for us never change. 


So how do you get out of the pit if your circumstances have knocked you down?  Another Zig quote for you (I think he quoted someone else on this one!):


“Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.”


So get busy!  You can start right now.


1)         Join Anita – pray for your family and their current work situation.

2)         Do what Dad does – write out a gratitude list and carry it with you.  I bet in a day you can think of 50 things you are grateful for.

3)         Change the economy between your ears – listen to Dad, Dan Miller, Dave Ramsey just to name a few.

4)         Develop an action list of things that will improve your life – and JUST START!



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