The Basic Principles
There are specific principles that can be utilized to reach your fullest potential. This chapter provides an overview while the following ones go into more detail. All of these principles are proven and time tested. They work reliably if implemented faithfully and consistently.
A change in action precedes a change in results. Only you can alter those aspects of your life you are not happy with. You can not blame anyone else for your situation. You can not depend on anyone else to alter your circumstances. What happens in your life is your choice.
These concepts, although simple and straightforward, can seem difficult to carry out. Why? Because their application requires us to think and act in a manner different from what we are used to. Altering entrenched patterns of thought and action isnt easy. Improvements will not happen overnight. As you start to modify your habits you will notice definite results. Don't get discouraged or frustrated. Countless others have achieved a rich and rewarding life through the application of these principles. You can to!
All of the following principles are interrelated. For the best results they should be applied simultaneously.
- You are what you think about
- Set goals
- Plan how to reach your goals
- All we have is today
- Never ever give up
- Education never ends
- Control your own emotions
- Guard your time
- Have an attitude of gratitude
- What you project you receive
1. You are what you think about
Your attitude and what you think determines who you are. How you think is the only thing differentiating you from others. Twenty-four hours a day your mind operates to figure out ways which will bring your thoughts to reality. Positive thoughts or negative, your mind doesnt discriminate. Like a freshly plowed field, your mind grows whatever seeds of thought you plant.
Only you can select the seeds of thought which are planted. The only thing you have absolute control over is your attitude and thoughts. Always be positive and visualize success. Act the way you want to be. If you think you can do something you are right. If you think you cant do something, you are also right. The choice is yours.
2. Set goals
What do you want from life? You dont need to project years into the future. You need to determine what you want now. It doesnt matter what your goals are so long as they are your goals and dont involve hurting others. Write down your goals and read them every day. Goals give you a definiteness of purpose and are the map to your desired destination.
If you dont know what you want, spend time analyzing yourself to determine what you like and dont like. Make two lists. One will contain everything you want from life, the other what you dont want. Develop these lists without any restrictions.
List everything, even if you think it seems unrealistic. These lists will enable you to set immediate goals. Without goals, you have no direction or destination and are like a rudderless ship on the ocean, much more likely to run aground than arrive safely in port.
3. Plan how to reach your goals
Determine what steps are necessary to reach your goals. Goals can seem overwhelming and unreachable if not broken down into a series of small, manageable steps. If you dont know what steps to take, look to those who are where you want to be. How did they start and what path did they take?
This information can be found through personal contact, newspaper articles, magazine stories, and books. Every goal is reachable by taking the appropriate steps and never giving up. Each journey starts at the beginning. Of all the steps, the most important is the first. Consistently taking one step after another will inevitably bring you to your goal.
It doesnt matter how long it takes since the time will go by regardless of whether or not you are pursuing your goals. Dont suffer from paralysis by analysis. Get started now, today!
4. All we have is today
The past can easily distract and affect you. Regardless of what you feel you should have, would have, or could have done differently, you can never go back in time to change anything. Yesterday is gone forever. If you dwell on the past your positive energy and motivation will be compromised.
Dont allow your past to pollute your present. Learn from your past, dont repeat it. Every day is a fresh start. The only direction you can go is forward. If you want to do something, start today. Today will become tomorrows yesterday. Act now so that tomorrow you dont regret what you didnt do today.
5. Never ever give up
Nothing is possible without persistence. You never know around which corner or beyond which obstacle your success lies. So why would you ever give up? There is no such thing as failure. People think they have failed because they dont get up after falling down.
Things may not work out as quickly as you would like. So what. Time goes by anyway. What difference does it make how long it takes to reach your goal? If its what you want, get started, keep going and dont stop. Focus your energy and always keep your goals in sight. Everything worthwhile takes effort.
You will hear that its not easy to succeed. This is true. But its not any easier to live a life of unfulfilled goals. Ironically it takes more effort to endure a life of unrealized potential than to work toward success. So, since living life takes effort, no matter what you do, why not strive for success?
6. Education never ends
Never stop learning. Education is a lifetime endeavor. Formal schooling is the least significant part of your education. Keep your mind open to learn new things every day.
Every person you come into contact with has something to teach you. It doesnt matter what someone elses educational level, social status, or age is. Learn from those you like and admire as well as from those you dont care for.
Each situation you experience has something to teach you. When things work out as planned, you can learn. When things dont work out as expected, you can learn. Actually, you can learn more when things dont work than when they do.
In order to learn, your mind must be open and receptive. There must be room for new ideas. If a water glass is full, you cant add more water. If you feel that you know everything, your mind is full and has no room for new ideas.
7. Control your own emotions
Dont allow others to control your emotions. Although you cant control your environment you can control your reaction to it. It doesnt matter what other people say, think, or do. What does matter is what you say, think, and do. Often those closest to you, family and friends, will be the most critical and judgmental of your goals and plans.
Everyone who has ever accomplished anything has at some point been laughed at and criticized. Every technological and societal development that benefits us today was only possible because their innovators kept to their path despite the condemnation of others. You cant control other peoples opinions and actions but you can control your response.
If you want to attain other peoples goals then follow their advice. If you want to reach your own goals, follow your own path. Its not easy, but its worth it!
8. Guard your time
Twenty-four hours a day is all the time any person has. There is a special bank account where 86,400 new seconds are deposited for you every day. You choose how to spend your daily balance. Each day any unused or wasted balance is zeroed out and lost forever, nothing carries forward.
Granted, not all of your time is discretionary. You may be spending time at a job you dont like. But how is the rest of each day spent? Is your free time spent with people who share your positive attitude and encourage you or with people who are negative and discouraging?
Do you spend your free time working towards your goals? Every second that goes by is gone forever; its your choice how to use it. Your time is one of your most precious commodities. Guard your time and dont allow negative people or activities to steal it.
9. Have an attitude of gratitude
Be thankful for and appreciate all that you have, whatever your circumstances may be. Take nothing for granted. Dont compare your life to others. Never be resentful or bitter about what you feel you dont have.
Bitterness is a poison. It will erode your mental and physical health. Bitterness will prohibit you from accomplishing your goals. No matter how bad you think your predicament is, people throughout history have endured hardships and overcome adversities that are unimaginable.
Dont blow your situation out of proportion. Focus on the abundance in your life. Every problem has a solution. Appreciate what you have and you will always have more than you need. If you constantly want more you will never have enough.
Strive to develop your character into the person that you want to be. Character will serve you for a lifetime and can never be lost or taken away. What you have doesnt determine who you are; who you are determines what you have.
10. What you project you receive
You are a magnet. Your attitude and actions determine what you attract. A good attitude and good actions attract good people and situations and vice versa. You can get everything you want in your life by helping other people get what they want.
Dont give with the expectation of what you will get in return. If rewards are your motivation, they will elude you. Only by giving without the expectation of receiving will rewards follow.
Anyone can smile and laugh when things are going well. But you must learn to smile and laugh when life seems to be at a low point. Only then will you be able to bounce back from adversity and continue the journey towards your goals.
If you are waiting for your situation to improve before your attitude improves, you will be waiting a very long time. Whatever you situation, attitude always precedes results. Whatever your circumstances are, you can improve them. No one can stop you. Only you can stop yourself.
Start today to act as if you already are where you want to be. Do whatever you can to help others.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. copyright 2005 Bryan Golden