I hate to admit this, I really do: but I wasted most of the early years of my life. You see, my parents were raised during the Great Depression (that gives you an idea how old I am!) and were very negative about life. I grew up believing that life is unfair, that the ‘deck’ was stacked against you, and there were limits to what I could achieve.
Even when I began my own business, a commercial cleaning company; I believed that there were limits to what I could achieve: “we can only grow so big, we can only earn so much.” Seriously, I had a mental image that I could only earn a certain number of dollars! That attitude put a lot of financial stress on my wife and children.
For lack of a better word I saw life with the attitude of a ‘whining’ person, the kind of person who was always going around complaining about how unfair life is. If I hadn’t changed I would still be living that way, and my family would still be short-changed.
How did I change? What did I change?
I recently read a blog post by the writer, Jeff Goins. In that post he talked about the turning point in his writing career. For him, he had to begin calling himself a writer before he actually became one. That sounds kind of strange doesn’t it? After all, aren’t we supposed to have achieved success in an area before we claim the title of being a professional or expert in that area?
But, as Jeff Goins mentions, there is an important truth that few people who’ve made it in their professions often talk about; but yet it is most essential to achieve success. What is this truth?Mindset. What Goins is referring to is that success must first be experienced in the mind before it can become a reality.
Many people have heard of the power of positive thinking, or of the idea of visualizing something; but as Jeff Goins mentions, all that really means is: Before you start acting like a pro, you have to think like a pro.
That is more than just a career move, it is a way of living life. We live in a negative age; vast numbers of people feel that the opportunities of life have passed them by. Minority young people have an incredibly low high school graduation rate, many are involved in criminal behavior and unwed pregnancies are epidemic. Adults in our society are facing a changing employment picture, factories are closing and white-collar jobs are being shipped overseas. Baby boomers are finding that pensions, life savings, and Social Security are not enough to provide a quality retirement.
Yet, in every one of the groups mentioned, there are people who are prospering. What is the difference between those who are succeeding and those who have accepted failure? In most cases it is an attitude, a mindset.
In Part 2, I’ll describe the process of how I changed my mindset.