At this time of year, it feels appropriate to talk about new starts, new beginnings and the soon to be upon us New Year. What would it mean to you if every New Year was a new start to a new mindset to the rest of your life? For that matter, what would it mean to you if you can look at the start of a new month, the start of a new week, and even the start of a new day as a fresh new start to the rest of your life? I say this because what I know is having this type of an approach to life will serve you very well.
I think by treating every single day as a fresh new start to the rest of your life will be extremely beneficial to you. By adapting this type of mindset, you will be able to internalize and deal with the challenges, obstacles and failures in life in a more positive and constructive manner, and one thing I’ve learned is that nobody is immune to life’s difficulties and setbacks.
I’m fortunate enough that my professional career allows me to help people with transformation, personal growth, and leadership development, and I often talk about mindset, and how society by nature tends to condition us to think in a way that too often does not serve us well. As a matter of fact, what I have learned in my career leading thousands of people and working with many different and unique personalities, is that a large percentage of people tend to have a mindset that is 180° opposite to how they really should think to get the best results out of life… And I see it everywhere, every day, and therefore it’s important to bring attention to this topic as a new year is upon us, so you too can enjoy a happier, healthier, more fulfilling and productive 2017.
The fact is, by waking up and starting each day, each week, and each month with a frustrated, unfocused and un-serving mindset, you are having a negative impact on your own journey, your own success, and ultimately your own happiness. The point being, we are talking about the level of enjoyment and satisfaction you get out of life, and it all starts with a shift in thinking, and a conscious awareness of your thought process, and how you approach life.
Over, and over, and over again, I encounter scenarios where people are so focused on what others are doing, and they worry so much about the things that are out of their control, they forget to pay attention to what they are doing, and what’s important to them, that they suffer unnecessary consequences, because their focus is not on themselves. This causes people a lot of hardship, stress, anguish, and pain that can, in fact, be avoided… It’s a simple choice. An un-serving mindset causes people to wake up every single day, every week, every month, for sometimes years at a time burdened with challenges and frustrations that are self-inflicted, and much to do with a mindset that doesn’t serve their best interests.
To further elaborate on this topic, I want to offer an example for you to consider. At one point in my life I use to have the same self-sabotaging thought process, which is how too many people tend to think in today’s world, which is certainly a thought process that only makes people’s lives more difficult, to the point where they are in fact causing their own negative outcomes and overall dissatisfaction with life. It’s not about what’s happening around you because much of these self-induced results do in fact come from within.
The following example will illustrate why I believe a 180° shift in thinking is necessary, and have an opposite viewpoint to how so many think today, will serve you so much better on all levels of life.
On a regular basis, while managing and leading teams during my corporate career I would have staff complain about many things, for instance; They would worry about how somebody ‘might’ be breaking the dress code policy because their shorts look like they might be too short. Sounds silly, right? Well, believe me, this type of situation happens all the time. Yet those who are complaining are the same people who are underperforming, breaking policies consistently themselves, have attendance issues and are on ‘Corrective Disciplinary Action’ of their own negative behaviors, actions, and attitude.
Of course, when you try to have the conversation on how they should focus on themselves and meet the expectations of the company and the client, and let me worry about enforcing policies, they get upset and frustrated and try to take the focus off themselves by casting blame or focusing on others, when in fact they would be much better served if they channel their time and energy onto themselves, and focus on their own performance, their own attendance, and their own commitment level. These people should only be focused on protecting their way of earning a living, especially since their jobs are currently in jeopardy. Their focus is simply in the wrong place, and it is self-sabotaging, creating a low-level of happiness and satisfaction in their own lives.
Now how does that make any sense?
How is that approach beneficial to anybody in life?
How will this mindset allow people to achieve success and happiness?
How will such an approach help this person avoid having their only source of income taken away?
The only results a person will realize with this approach to life will be negative, and it will simply not serve them well.
The bottom line, I see this type of attitude every day, in many environments and with numerous scenarios, and this is just one of hundreds of examples I could provide, but to stay ‘focused’ on the point of my message I will stop here with the examples, as I’m confident you fully understand what I am conveying with this real-life example, as to the harm the wrong mindset can have on people.
Of course, this is where an 180° shift in thinking would be extremely beneficial to any person that has a self-sabotaging thought process.
Below are some key points and quotes designed to help get you into a new mindset, and help change your attitude and behaviors. The more you can have a conscious awareness of how you are approaching life, the better the path will be as you strive to achieve success, happiness, and personal well-being.
We will all fail, more than once, and it’s how you condition yourself to deal with these failures that are most important. By having top of mind awareness of your thoughts and attitude in these situations, you can ensure your failures are internalized in a constructive manner, thus creating a more successful outcome as you go forward in life.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over, and over, and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
As you endure the ups and downs that are an inevitable part of life, just think back on all the time’s things didn’t go your way as a toddler, and how you approached those difficult challenges, and with persistence how you overcame them. You had the mindset of never giving up, and you always approached things in the most determined way possible. And in your mind at such a tender young age every day was, in fact, a new start to the rest of your life. This is the only way you once approached everything in your life, so it only makes sense to get back to approaching life in this way, and for the rest of your life.
Professional athletes teach us all the time how to quickly forget and let go of the past and focus on the future, focus on what’s within their control. If they have a bad game, they forget quickly, allowing themselves to move forward and enjoy success. Pro athletes simply cannot dwell on the past, and that’s because it is the only way they will succeed in the big leagues, and the same goes for you with all your life endeavors.
Of course, it even goes deeper than that, because motivation, persistence, willpower and self-discipline can be fun and rewarding, as you will learn if you just give it a try and apply these lessons.
Here’s a little tip to help you develop a positive and productive mindset and attitude;
Visualize and Achieve: Practice visualization, develop a conscious awareness of your actions, thoughts, and responses, reflect on your day, plan for tomorrow, and continuously work on developing your new mindset, and you will, in fact, achieve what you set out to achieve.
About the Author: Michael W. HARNETT is a Certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer and Speaker based in Ontario, Canada. He founded the brand Mind Growth Matters in 2014, due to an incredible desire and passion to help others change their mindset, overcome their fears, step out of their comfort zone, realize their full potential, live a life of purpose and significance, and achieve much greater levels of success and happiness in both life and career.
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