By: Geoffrey James
What you believe about work either weakens you or makes you stronger.
Most people live lives of quiet desperation because they focus on things that they cannot control: outside events, stuff that happened in the past and what other people are thinking. As a result, they fail to focus on what they CAN control: their own beliefs, their own attitude, their own emotions, and their own behavior.
Of these four things, by far the most important are your beliefs, because what you believe about work and life largely determines how you feel (your attitude and emotions) and what actions you take (your resulting behavior.)
In my view, there are eight personal beliefs that not only will propel you completely out of desperation but give you the emotional oomph to handle just about anything the business world throws at you. Here they are:
1. Today’s success can breed tomorrow’s failure if I let success make me complacent about staying motivated and moving forward.
2. I learn more from failure than from success. Failure renews my humility, sharpens my objectivity and makes me more resilient.
3. Goals that contain the phrase “I’ll try…” are self-defeating. If I want goals that truly motivate me, I use phrases like “I will” and “I must.”
4. What holds most people back is fear of failure, but if I don’t take action, I’ll fail by default, so what have I got to lose?
5. What I say reinforces what I think, so if something is about to come out of my mouth that doesn’t serve my purpose, I should simply keep my mouth shut.
6. I am responsible for my own happiness, so when other people are unkind to me, it reminds me to be kind to myself.
7. There are five magic words that make even the most difficult business situation easier to handle. Those magic words are: “Do not take it personally.”
8. While there are situations (such as a death in the family) where strong emotions are appropriate, most business situations are not worth even an ounce of misery.
I wish I could say that I figured out these beliefs all by myself, but frankly I’m not that smart. They’re based upon conversations with Art Mortell and Omar Periu, who know more about motivation and personal growth than I’ll ever know.