Outstrip Yesterday by what you do Today

October 6, 2010

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  – Stewart B. Johnson

 When I read this it seemed like an echo from the past – words appropriate to another time and place – weird. And sad. So many people have been beaten down by the length and depth of the recession that optimism has become increasingly difficult.

And therein lies our conundrum: the more we are beaten down, the more difficult it is to draw upon the very resources we need to bring us back up. Oh, we could wait for a serendipitous occurrence to turn life around – a big sale, a new relationship, a sudden, spontaneous improvement in the economy (right). But to do so puts our lives in the hands of chance. You certainly don’t want it in the hands of the government.

If you want your swagger back – NOW; if you want to feel good about life, optimistic, anxious for each day to begin, confident in your ability to achieve, it has to come from within. The question is: how do we reclaim our confidence when reality keeps slapping us in the face? I hate to quote Madison Avenue, but the short answer is: Just Do It!

Wayne Dyer uncovered a clever truth about the old saying “You’ll believe it when you see it.” Turns out that it is true in its original form and when you reverse the meaning, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” The difference is that the original version requires a serendipitous occurrence while the revised version requires only a change in beliefs.

Our power to choose and change our attitude comes from the simple truth taught by Emerson and many others, “You are what you think about all day long.” We don’t need to wait for life to turn around, we can take control, decide what we want and take the actions required to make it so. The key is in the simple quote above: what do you think about? If you focus on past failures, you pull them into your present and forward into the future. To break any destructive cycle, you must replace the old, destructive images with positive thoughts of achievement, prosperity, happiness, confidence, success. If you’re thinking that this is too difficult, stop thinking so much. Just do it, do it now. It might help to remember a time when you did feel powerful and confident. Focus on that time until you “get the feeling,” then hold on to it as much and as long as you can. Practice this every day and miraculous things will happen. Your external reality will evolve in the direction of your intentions, your belief in what you can accomplish, where you are going. Have a good trip.

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How Hard Can You Get Hit?

August 23, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep movin forward.”  

                       Rocky Balboa

 

From the mouths of fictional punch-drunk fighters…

 

Part of living a happy, stress-free life is choosing your battles wisely. If we were to pick a fight every time life failed to turn out the way we’d planned, we’d all be punch drunk.

 

Choosing your battles means deciding how important it is that another driver fails to let you merge into an exit lane. Once it happens, there is nothing you can do but look for another opening or go to the next exit and double back. You can perform these tasks in an agitated, finger-out-the-window manner, or you can take a deep breath and “keep movin forward.”

 

How you react to life’s little disappointments is determined by “how hard you can get hit.”

1.    How much criticism can you take?

2.    How important is it that you are right?

3.    How important is it that others acknowledge your accomplishments?

4.    How do you feel when others act in ways you don’t agree with?

 

In the end, we have very little control over the actions of others. What we do control is how we react to those actions. How quickly and effectively we “move forward” depends to a great extent on how we react to adversity.

 

Having been in real estate sales since 1976, I have managed agents through several recessions and numerous transitions in the housing market. When the market slows down, many agents have to move through all four stages of grief: Denial, Depression, Anger and Acceptance. By the time they finally achieve acceptance, the bills are piling up and their pipeline is empty.

 

The agents who continue to thrive in the midst of change are those who calmly analyze the situation, make adjustments and keep working.

 

Succinctly stated by Joe Pass (The Guitar Player Book) “When the chord changes, you should change.”