Thursday, August 03, 2006

Day 6 - POSITIVE

Emphasis on positive outlook on life – eliminating critical thought and behavior.

“Smile and the world smiles with you, frown and the world frowns upon you.” – Unknown

This next set of actions to learn is no Quantum Leap of logic. You can change your attitudes, change your thought, change your mind and so your personality, actions and accomplishment level. You now know the basics of how to achieve or acquire anything you want – or could probably work out the rest.

What the rest of this book will tell you, then, are some pratfalls to avoid.

Creation is a positive action. Destruction, while considered negative action, is arguably lack of any positive action. So, with this logic, there is really only a brilliant white version of creative thought or action, along with varying shades of gray down to a completely black absence of creating in anyone's life, or any area of it. As well, non-positive thoughts would then be based on solutions for which a truly creative, optimal solution hasn't been found. Non-positive thought is just inefficient, carrying around old junk one has collected instead of making your own shiny new solutions and ideas. Some of this thinking can be attributed to simple lack of practice in thinking things through to their best solution, not uncommon in our TV-raised generations.

Such inefficient thought shows up as apparent stupidity, dullness or “blockheadedness.” It's not that a person can't think, his/her mental efforts are slowed by having to think through solutions others have already achieved for themselves. This is why successful firefighters, soldiers, paramedics and other professionals can quickly solve any emergency situation in split-seconds – they have a massed storage of ready solutions available for instantaneous execution.

More commonly, the current culture tolerates critical remarks and snide comments as ways to confront something. Newscasting now deals with heightening the controversial rather than simply finding applicable facts. Good news (positively solved situations with optimal outcomes) are the rare gems on TV and radio these days. Practically, they have lost credibility and have become mere entertainment sources – just another stop on the hundred-channel sets so common today. Since they are so filled with non-positive slant, it is hard to work out a solution from the available data; it's no wonder that these news sources aren't “trusted” these days by any more than one-third of their own viewing public – and more often, people are switching to the Internet.

We've covered earlier the point of getting out of anything what you put into it. This applies to your attitude toward life as well. Go around being critical of others at your work place and you will quickly find out that they start being critical of you – if not to your face, then behind your back. Any cooperation you would like to have from them just vanished. Negative actions, give you negative feedback and results.

The same thing happens in your mind. People or areas you are critical of are not easily solved mentally as problems. Stephen Covey refers in his works to what he calls the “spiritual and emotional cancers” of criticizing, complaining, comparing and contending. When you compete with someone, more often than not, that person becomes your enemy. You are more interested in winning against him/her than in constructively finding ways where you can both win in the same field. If you fill your mind with enemies that you are constantly critical of, find fault with or compete with, then mentally you are constantly on the lookout to dodge potential attacks coming your way. So you can see how this could mire your mind down in a great deal or all your mental energies being used in fending off attacks from potential enemies.

Sales forces suffer from this. Unknowing managers pit them against each other for top sales prizes instead of getting them to cooperate with each other, such as trading tips or teamwork on a difficult prospect.

I knew a man who used his mind to build a multinational organization and become very rich. However, he always considered that he had to be the best at everything, repeating this statement to himself daily to make it become true. While a fine idea in itself, he also couldn't allow anyone to become better than he was, so mentally thought that people would attack him and try to bring him down as he was so “powerful.” He started attacks against these potential “enemies” so that they couldn't get “power” over him, using his corporation's legal and PR resources. Because some of these actions themselves were illegal harassment and slander, law suits started mounting up. His solution was to go into seclusion, buying a remote ranch and allowing only a few people to attend to him, staying separate from his wife, children and long-time friends, communicating mostly by letter. While his corporation is still settling his/their suits at great expense to the corporation, he died alone with only a caretaker present – his whereabouts secret from anyone who truly loved him.

This is one of the pratfalls to avoid. While you can have all the money in the world, as the old saying goes, “you can't buy happiness.” True wealth and prosperity is built on giving as well as receiving, on making sure that you are positively contributing to everyone around you. Two of the richest men on earth, forming a couple of the largest corporations that still exist were Ray Kroc (McDonald's) and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart). Both made more millionaires than they could keep track of. Walton even gave most of his wealth to his children on a routine basis – a fact that kept him off the “richest man on earth” list. Both decided early on to make a great product that was a bargain for the consumer. While there is always “trash-talking” going on about them and their companies, I invite you to read up on them, read their biographies and decide for yourself.

The richest do not hold wealth in stasis, they are just channels for it, as Haanel points out.

In order to truly succeed at improving you want to improve, you are going to have to eliminate any non-positive attitude, non-constructive attitude in the area you are trying to improve. Negative (or actually non-positive) thought is just a lot of excess baggage you are carrying around which is keeping you from really taking off. Success won't let you check those bags in – there's too many, they won't fit in the overhead or under the seat. The majority of leading self-help books cover this point, most of them over and over, that you are going to have to take responsibility for what you are thinking and actively change those thoughts. If you continue thinking the same way you have been all this time, then you'll be no closer to accomplishing whatever you wrote down in Day 1 than 10 years ago.

This book isn't breaking any new ground; I'm only reporting what others have already covered. These authors have done their own research and concluded this same point. Dr. Covey covers this in his book as “Habit 5 – Think Win-Win.” Mr. Carnegie covers this point in his book in the Chapter entitled, “A Sure Way of Making Enemies – and How to Avoid It,” which deals with the art of constructive criticism.

As far as a positive mindset as a means for getting wealthy, Wallace D. Wattles described it this way in his 1910 classic, The Science of Getting Rich:

“Moral and spiritual greatness is possible only to those who are above the competitive battle for existence; and only those who are becoming rich on the plane of creative thought are free from the degrading influences of competition. If your heart is set on domestic happiness, remember that love flourishes best where there is refinement, a high level of thought, and freedom from corrupting influences; and these are to be found only where riches are attained by the exercise of creative thought, without strife or rivalry.”

This can simply be done by those exercises you've already practiced so far, namely draining off all thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. We'll cover a few more exercises today which will augment these and help you improve your mind even more.

Day 6 Exercises

Try this –

By this time, you've started having much more control over what goes through your mind. The next point to cover is to work on creative thought.

1. From Dr. Peale's book: “At intervals during the day practice thinking a carefully selected series of peaceful thoughts. Let mental pictures of the most peaceful scenes you have ever witnessed pass across your mind, as, for example, some beautiful valley filled with the hush of evening time, as the shadows lengthen and sun sinks to rest. Or recall the silvery light of the moon falling across rippling waters, or remember the sea washing gently upon soft shores of sand. Such peaceful thought images will work upon your mind as a healing medicine. So now and then during every day allow motion pictures of peace slowly to cross your mind.

2. “Practice the technique of suggestive articulation, that is, repeat audibly some peaceful words. Words have profound suggestive power, and there is healing in the very saying of them. Utter a series of panicky words and your mind will immediately go into a mild state of nervousness. You will perhaps feel a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that will affect your entire physical mechanism. If, on the contrary, you speak peaceful, quieting words, you mind will react in a peaceful manner. Use such a word as tranquility. Repeat that word slowly several times. Tranquility is one of the most beautiful and melodic of all English words, and the mere saying of it tend to induce a tranquil state.”
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