YOU CAN WIN
Winners don't do different things.
They do things Differently.
A STEP BY STEP TOOL FOR TOP ACHIEVERS
To my mother
to whom I shall remain indebted
for setting the foundation
on which this book is based
Success doesn't mean the absence of failures; it means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle.
Edwin C. Bliss
You have met people who literally wander through life. They simply accept whatever fate brings them. A few may succeed by accident, but most suffer through a lifetime of frustration and unhappiness.
This book is not for them. They have neither the determination to succeed nor the willingness to devote the time and effort necessary to achieve success.
This book is for you. The simple fact that you are reading this book indicates you want to live a richer, more fulfilling life than you have now.
This book can enable you to do that.
In one sense, this book is a construction manual. It describes the tools you will need for success, and offers blueprints to help you build a successful and rewarding life.
In a second, sense, it is a cookbook. It lists the ingredients the principles you will need to follow to become successful and gives you the recipe for mixing them in the correct proportions.
But, above all, this is a guidebook a step by step, how to book that will take you from dreaming about success to unlocking your potential for success.
HOW TO READ THIS BOOK
This book will help you establish new goals, develop a new sense of purpose, and generate new ideas about yourself and your future. It will enable you, as the title suggests, to guarantee yourself a lifetime of success.
But the concepts in this book cannot be absorbed by casual browsing or by gulping the whole book down in one reading. It should be read slowly and carefully, one chapter at a time. Don't move on to the next chapter until you are sure you understand every concept in the previous chapter.
Use this as a workbook. Write marginal notes to yourself. Use a highlighter as you read and mark those words or sentences or paragraphs that seem vital, or especially applicable to you.
As you read, discuss the concepts in each chapter with your spouse or partner, or with a close friend. A second (and hopefully frank) opinion from someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses can be especially helpful.
One of the purposes of this book is to help you create an Action Plan for the rest of your life. If you have never created an Action Plan, it defines three things:
1. What you want to achieve
2. How you expect to achieve it
3. When you plan to achieve it
As you read this book, keep a notebook handy, divided into three sections: your goals, the stages in which you plan to reach them, and your timetable for success.
By the time you finish reading this book, your notebook will be the foundation on which you can build your new life.
The principles in this book are universal. They are applicable in any situation, organization, or country. As Plato said, "Truths are eternal."
Throughout the book I have used masculine gender, only for the purpose of ease in writing. The principles apply to both genders and are based on the premise that most people fail not because of lack of ability or intelligence but because of lack of desire, direction, dedication, and discipline.
Any accomplishment requires the effort of many people and this work is no different. I thank my daughters and especially my wife, whose patience and support was instrumental in accomplishing this task. I thank my staff whose diligent effort made this publication possible.
Many examples, stories, anecdotes are the result of a collection from various sources, such as newspapers, magazines, other speakers, and seminar participants, over the last 25 years. Unfortunately, sources were not always noted or available; hence, it became impractical to provide an accurate acknowledgement. Regardless of the source, I wish to express my gratitude to those who may have contributed to this work, even though anonymously.
Every effort has been made to give credit where it is due for the material contained herein. If inadvertently we have omitted giving credit, future publications will give due credit to those that are brought to the author's attention.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following for permission to use copyrighted material:
The Best of ... Bits & Pieces, copyright 1994. Reprinted by permission. The Economics Press, Inc.,12 Daniel Road, Fairfield, NJ 07004Ä2565, USA. Tel: (+1 973) 2271224, Fax: (+1 973) 2279742, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web-site: http:/ / www.epinc.com
Chapter 1 IMPORTANCE OF ATTITUDE
Building a positive attitude
Chapter 2 SUCCESS
Chapter 3 MOTIVATION
Motivating yourself and others every day
Chapter 4 SELF-ESTEEM
Building positive self-esteem and image
Chapter 5 INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Building a pleasing personality
Chapter 6 SUBCONSCIOUS MIND AND HABITS
Forming positive habits and character
Chapter 7 GOAL-SETTING
Setting and achieving your goals
Chapter 8 VALUES AND VISION 223
Doing the right thing for the right reason
Building a positive attitude
There was a man who made a living selling balloons at a fair. He had all colors of balloons, including red, yellow, blue, and green. Whenever business was slow, he would release a helium-filled balloon into the air and when the children saw it go up, they all wanted to buy one. They would come up to him, buy a balloon, and his sales would go up again. He continued this process all day. One day, he felt someone tugging at his jacket. He turned around and saw a little boy who asked, "If you release a black balloon, would that also fly?" Moved by the boy's concern, the man replied with empathy, "Son, it is not the color of the balloon, it is what is inside that makes it go up."
The same thing applies to our lives. It is what is inside that counts. The thing inside of us that makes us go up is our attitude.
Have you ever wondered why some individuals, organizations, or countries are more successful than others?
It is not a secret. These people simply think and act more effectively. They have learned how to do so by investing in the most valuable asset--people. I believe that the success of an individual, organization or country, depends on the quality of their people.
I have spoken to executives in major corporations all over the world and asked one question: "If you had a magic wand and there was one thing you would want changed, that would give you a cutting edge in the marketplace resulting in increased productivity and profits, what would that be?" The answer was unanimous. They all said that if people had better attitudes, they'd be better team players, and it'd cut down waste, improve loyalty and, in general, make their company a great place to work.
William James of Harvard University said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
Experience has shown that human resources is the most valuable asset of any business. It is more valuable than capital or equipment. Unfortunately, it is also the most wasted. People can be your biggest asset or your biggest liability.
Having been exposed to a number of training programs, such as customer service, selling skills, and strategic planning, I have come to the conclusion that all these are great programs with one major challenge: None of them works unless they have the right foundation, and the right foundation is TQP. What is TQP? TQP is Total Quality People-- people with character, integrity, good values, and a positive attitude.
Don't get me wrong. You do need all the other programs, but they will only work when you have the right foundation, and the foundation is TQP. For example, some customer service programs teach participants to say "please," and "thank-you," give smiles and handshakes. But how long can a person keep on a fake smile if he does not have the desire to serve? Besides, people can see through him. And if the smile is not sincere, it is irritating. My point is, there has to be substance over form, not form over substance. Without a doubt, one does need to remember "please" and "thank-you," the smiles, etc.--they are very important. But keep in mind that they come a lot easier when accompanied by a desire to serve.
Someone once approached Blaise Pascal, the famous French philosopher and said, "If I had your brains, I would be a better person." Pascal replied, "Be a better person and you will have my brains."
The Calgary Tower stands at 190.8 meters. The total weight of the tower is 10,884 tons, of which 6,349 tons is below ground (approximately 60%). This shows that some of the greatest buildings have the strongest foundations. Just like a great building stands on a strong foundation, so does success. And the foundation of success is attitude.
A study attributed to Harvard University found that when a person gets a job, 85% of the time it is because of their attitude, and only 15% of the time because of how smart they are and how many facts and figures they know. Surprisingly, almost 100% of education dollars go to teach facts and figures which account for only 15% of success in work!
This book is all about that 85% of success. Attitude is the most important word in the English language. It applies to every sphere of life, including one's personal and professional life. Can an executive be a good executive without a good attitude? Can a student be a good student without a good attitude? Can a parent, teacher, salesman, employer, employee be good in their roles without a good attitude?
The foundation of success regardless of your chosen field, is attitude.
If attitude is such a critical factor in success, shouldn't you examine your attitude toward life and ask how your attitude will affect your goals?
There was a farmer in Africa who was happy and content. He was happy because he was content. He was content because he was happy. One day a wise man came to him and told him about the glory of diamonds and the power that goes along with them. The wise man said, "If you had a diamond the size of your thumb, you could have your own city. If you had a diamond the size of your fist, you could probably own your own country." And then he went away. That night the farmer couldn't sleep. He was unhappy and he was discontent. He was unhappy because he was discontent and discontent because he was unhappy.
The next morning he made arrangements to sell off his farm, took care of his family and went in search of diamonds. He looked all over Africa and couldn't find any. He looked all through Europe and couldn't find any. When he got to Spain, he was emotionally, physically and financially broke. He got so disheartened that he threw himself into the Barcelona River and committed suicide.
Back home, the person who had bought his farm was watering the camels at a stream that ran through the farm. Across the stream, the rays of the morning sun hit a stone and made it sparkle like a rainbow. He thought it would look good on the mantle piece. He picked up the stone and put it in the living room. That afternoon the wise man came and saw the stone sparkling. He asked, "Is Hafiz back?" The new owner said, "No, why do you ask?" The wise man said, "Because that is a diamond. I recognize one when I see one." The man said, no, that's just a stone I picked up from the stream. Come, I'll show you. There are many more." They went and picked some samples and sent them for analysis. Sure enough, the stones were diamonds. They found that the farm was indeed covered with acres and acres of diamonds.*
What is the moral of this story?
There are five morals:
1. When our attitude is right, we realize that we are all walking on acres and acres of diamonds.
2. The grass on the other side always looks greener.
3. While we are dyeing the grass on the other side, there are others who are dyeing the grass on our side. They would be happy to trade places with us.
4. When people don't know how to recognize opportunity, they complain of noise when it knocks.
5. The same opportunity never knocks twice. The next one may be better or worse, but it is never the same one.
We all know the story of David and Goliath. There was a giant who was bullying and harassing the children in the village. One day, a 17-year-old shepherd boy came to visit his brothers and asked, "Why don't you stand up and fight the giant?" The brothers were terrified and they replied, "Don't you see he is too big to hit?" But David said, "No, he is not too big to hit, he is too big to miss." The rest is history. We all know what happened. David killed the giant with a sling. Same giant, different perception.
Our attitude determines how we look at a setback. To a positive thinker, it can be a stepping stone to success. To a negative thinker, it can be a stumbling block.
Great organizations are not measured by wages and working conditions, they are measured by feelings, attitudes and relationships.
When employees say, "I can't do it," there are two possible meanings. Are they saying they don't know how to or they don't want to? If they don't know how to, that is a training issue. If they are saying they don't want to,
it may be an attitude issue (they don't care) or a values issue (they believe they should not do it).
I believe in the holistic approach. We are not an arm and a leg, but a complete human being. The whole person goes to work and the whole person comes home. We take family problems to work and work problems to the family. What happens when we take family problems to work? Our stress level goes up and productivity comes down. Similarly, work and social problems have an impact on every aspect of our lives.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Are we born with attitudes or do we develop them as we mature? What are the factors that form our attitudes?
If you have a negative outlook on life because of your environment, can you change your attitude? Most of our attitude is shaped during our formative years.
There are primarily three factors that determine our attitude. They are:
These are called the triple Es of attitude. Let's evaluate each of the factors individually.
Environment consists of the following:
All of these environments create a culture. Every place be it a home, organization or a country has a culture.
Have you noticed that sometimes you go to a store and you find the salesperson polite, the supervisor, manager and owner polite as well? Yet you go to another shop and you find everyone rude and discourteous.
You go to a home and you find the kids and parents well-behaved, courteous and considerate. You go to another home where everyone is fighting like cats and dogs.
In countries where the government and political environment is honest, generally you will find that the people are honest, law abiding and helpful. And the reverse is true too. In a corrupt environment, an honest person has a tough time. Whereas in an honest environment, the corrupt one has a tough time.
In a positive environment, a marginal performer's output goes up. In a negative environment, a good performer's output goes down.
Culture in any place always goes top down, never bottom up. We need to step back and look at what kind of environment we have created for ourselves and those around us. It is tough to expect positive behavior in a negative environment. Where lawlessness becomes the law, honest citizens become cheats, crooks and thieves.
Isn't it time to evaluate the environment that we are in or we have created for others?
Our behavior changes according to our experiences with people and events in our life. If we have a positive experience with a person, our attitude toward him becomes positive and vice versa.
I refer to both formal and informal education, not just academic qualifications. Knowledge strategically applied translates into wisdom, ensuring success. I talk of education in the broader sense. It makes the role of the ; educator vital. A teacher affects eternity. The ripple effect is immeasurable.
We are drowning in information but starving for knowledge and wisdom. Education ought to teach us not only how to make a living but also how to live.
Just like an absence of ill health does not equal good health, an absence of negativity alone does not make a person positive.
People with positive attitudes have certain personality traits that are easy to recognize. They are caring, confident, patient, and humble. They have high expectations of themselves and others. They anticipate positive outcomes. A person with a positive attitude is like a fruit of all seasons. He is always welcome.
These are many and easy to see. But what is easy to see is also easy to miss. To mention a few, a positive attitude
Our life is an obstacle course and we become our own biggest obstacle by having a negative attitude. People with a negative attitude have a hard time keeping friendships, jobs, marriage and relationships. Their attitude leads to
They create a negative environment at home and work and become a liability to society. They also pass on their negative behavior to others around them and to future generations.
Human nature generally resists change. Change is uncomfortable. Regardless of its positive or negative effect, change can be stressful. Sometimes we get so comfortable with our negativity that even when the change is for the positive, we don't want to accept it. We stay with the negative.
Charles Dickens wrote about a prisoner who stayed for many years in a dungeon. After serving his sentence, he got his freedom. He was brought out from his cell into the bright daylight of the open world. This man looked all around and after a few moments was so uncomfortable with his newly acquired freedom that he asked to be brought back to his cell into confinement. To him, the dungeon, the chains and the darkness were more secure and comfortable than accepting the change of freedom and the open world.
During childhood, we form attitudes that last a lifetime. Undoubtedly, it would be a lot easier and better to have acquired a positive attitude during our formative years. Does that mean if we acquire a negative attitude, whether by design or by default, we are stuck with it? Of course not. Can we change? Yes. Is it easy? Absolutely not.
How do you build and maintain a positive attitude?
As adults, regardless of our environment, education and experience, who is responsible for our attitude?
We are. We have to accept responsibility some time in our lives. We blame everyone and everything but ourselves. It is up to us to choose our attitude every morning. As adults, we need to accept responsibility for our behavior and actions.
People with negative attitudes will blame the whole world, their parents, teachers, spouse, the economy and the government for their failures.
You have to get away from the past. Dust yourself off, get back into the mainstream. Put your dreams together and move forward. Thinking of the positive things that are true, honest and good, will put us in a positive state of mind.
If we want to build and maintain a positive attitude, we need to consciously practice the following steps:
We need to become good finders. We need to focus on the positive in life. Let's start looking for what is right in a person or situation instead of looking for what is wrong. Because of our conditioning, we are so attuned to finding fault and looking for what is wrong that we forget to see the positive picture.
Even in paradise, fault finders will find faults. Most people find what they are looking for. If they are looking for friendship, happiness and the positive, that is what they get. If they are looking for fights or indifference, then that is what they get. Caution looking for the positive does not mean overlooking faults.
As a young Scots boy, Andrew Carnegie came to America and started doing odd jobs. He ended up as one of the largest steel manufacturers in the United States.
At one time he had 43 millionaires working for him. Several decades ago, a million dollars used to be a lot of money; even today it is a lot of money. Someone asked Mr. Carnegie how he dealt with people? Andrew Carnegie replied, "Dealing with people is like digging gold: When you go digging for an ounce of gold, you have to move tons of dirt to get an ounce of gold. But when you go digging, you don't go looking for the dirt, you go looking for the gold."
What is your focus? Become a digger for gold. If you are looking for what is wrong with people or with things, you will find many. What are you looking for? Andrew Carnegie's reply has a very important message. There is something positive in every person and every situation. Sometimes we have to dig deep to look for the positive because it may not be apparent. Besides, we are so used to looking for what is wrong with other people and situations, we forget to see what is right. Someone once said that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Remember when you go looking for gold, you have to move tons of dirt to get to an ounce of gold. But when you go looking, you don't go looking for the dirt, you go looking for the gold.
Negative People will Always Criticize
Some people criticize no matter what. It does not matter which side you are on, they are always on the other side. They have made a career out of criticizing. They are "career critics." They criticize as if they will win a prize at a contest. They will find fault with every person and every situation. You will find people like this in every home, family, office. They go around finding fault and telling everybody how bad things are and blaming the whole world for their problems. We have a name for these people. They are called energy suckers. They will go to the cafeteria and drown themselves in 20 cups of tea and coffee and smoke to their hearts' content with one excuse: they are trying to relax. All that they are doing is causing more tension for themselves and for others around them. They spread negative messages like a plague and create an environment conducive to negative results.
Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. On the banks of the Hudson River he was displaying his new invention. The pessimists and the skeptics were gathered around to observe. They commented that it would never start. Lo and behold, it did. As it made its way down the river, the pessimists who said it would never go, started shouting that it would never stop. What an attitude!
There was a hunter who bought a bird dog, the only one of its kind in the world. That could walk on water . He couldn't believe his eyes when he saw this miracle. At the same time, he was very pleased that he could show off his new acquisition to his friends. He invited a friend to go duck hunting. After some time, they shot a few ducks and the man ordered his dog to run and fetch the birds. All day-long, the dog ran on water and kept fetching the birds. The owner was expecting a comment or a compliment about his amazing dog, but never got one. As they were returning home, he asked his friend if he had noticed anything unusual about his dog. The friend replied, "Yes, in fact, I did notice something unusual. Your dog can't swim."
Some people always look at the negative side. Who is pessimist? Pessimists
Who is an optimist? It is well described by the following:
Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
Make all your friends feel there is something in them.
Look at the sunny side of everything.
Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best.
Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
Give everyone a smile.
Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.
Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.*