Despite the axiom “you are what you eat”, what really shapes us is how we think and this saying should be changed to “you are what you think.” Having a positive outlook will build positive perceptions, not only of ourselves and our lives, but on our actual success.
- Act Successfully. This may be considered a sad commentary on human nature, but it is nevertheless true. If you act as though you are successful, and entitled to what you want or are asking for, you are more likely to get it. Just picture the poor, meek individual in the back of the room, hoping someone will throw him a crumb of attention. Contrast that to the person who confidently strides into a room, smiling and shaking hands. Who gets the attention, the girl, the job interview? Not Mr. Milquetoast in the back, that’s for sure.
- Dress successfully. There is a bit of advice offered to travelers. If you ever hope to be bumped to first class because of overbooking of a flight, make sure you always dress nicely for travel. The guy with the baseball cap, sweatshirt and sneakers is going to become invisible to the boarding agents who have to fill a plane. The guy with the blazer and khakis looks like he is in business and will be the once chosen for business class. The same thing goes for everyday life. Dress nicely for shopping and you can expect better treatment from store clerks; dress nicely for work and middle management will see someone on the way up.
- Work successfully. I strongly believe that everyone should not work for recognition, but should do work that is worthy of recognition. Put your heart and soul into your work, even if it is menial. (Believe me; it won’t be menial for long if you do.) Find ways to make whatever job you are working on interesting and exciting. Have you heard the story about the two laborers who were asked what they were doing? One answered that he was laying bricks; the other answered that he was building a beautiful cathedral. Which one do you think felt like he was a success?
- Engage in successful self talk. As a freelance writer, I have to wear a lot of hats, some of which fit well, and some of which don’t. I have to be an accountant, a marketer, a project manager and so much more, in addition to being a writer. I overcame this issue by creating a corporation in my brain. The corporation has departments and I am variously the Chief Accountant, the District Sales Manager, a Project Supervisor and, of course the resident creative genius. I talked myself into enjoying, and successfully performing each of these duties, just by engaging in a little self talk to explain them away.
- Surround yourself with success. This sounds like the most difficult step on the way to total success, but it is really easy. Your own immediate environment is the first to control. Keep your desk and office neat and organized. Just picture a CEO’s office: not much clutter there because he is concentrating on one important issue at a time. Keep your vehicle clean; even if it is an old clunker, you can create a nice environment in it. But you can’t picture yourself successfully if your car is dirty and full of soda cans and empty candy wrappers. You should also try to surround yourself with successful people. By successful people, I don’t mean the rich and famous, but rather people who are upbeat about life and what they are trying to achieve in it. Avoid the soul suckers who never have anything good to say about anyone or anything; they only want to bring everyone down with them.
See yourself, feel yourself, envision yourself as successful, and you will be, sooner than you think possible.