A number of years ago, after listening to an inspirational message, Mike developed the daily practice of writing out his top ten crazy ridiculous dreams in life for the day. At a period of life which most people would find incredibly challenging, he chose to focus on what he wanted to build - a solid family, a home and business, and a way to help people make their lives better are the broad areas that are covered in the lists he made.
The incredible thing about this small and consistent action, is that most of the things he wrote on his list were really a total dream - with not a shred of possibility. Each day they were written without consulting the previous day, so they vary a little. And yet five years on, almost every single one is a reality.
Looking at life from an attitude of what you have and what you want to build, as opposed to what is hindering you and what you don’t have, changes everything. This building attitude means that you look at things differently. Because you are always looking for what is good and positive about your circumstances, and where it will lead you, you have a more abundant mindset. This focus on the positive and building means that you get to enjoy life.
An attitude of gratitude is developed by making the deliberate choice to focus on on what you have and what you want more of. There's a lovely poem which says:
Thank heaven for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell.
While other folks go hungry, we're eating very well.
An attitude of gratitude means looking at every single thing and realising there are two ways to see it - positive and building, or negative and tearing down. You get to choose what you will focus on. Be grateful for a needing petrol in the car because it means you have a car and access to petrol. In business - be grateful for your tax bill because it means you made a profit. Be grateful for a customer who complains because they're talking to you rather than the competition and giving you the opportunity to improve. Be grateful for the number of calls that you've got to make because it means that there's an abundance of opportunity. Be grateful for all the skills you need to learn because it means that there are new ways to improve and serve customers.
If there’s something which is particularly niggling and pulling you down, sit down and write down all the things which are bothering you about it. Having done that, deliberately shift your mindset and see how many things you can find which are positive and building from it. What is it teaching you? How can you look at it differently? What positive options can you see? Are you learning perseverance, resilience, communication skills, creativity, management? These are skills only learned through challenge.
When you are having trouble managing a person or situation, make it a point to always speak
to the positive in the situation. Separating the problem from the people is a valuable skill.
A few years back, we were dealing with a young man whose response to challenging situations was to sulk and get resentful. This brought a tense atmosphere and made it difficult to work. We worked with him to develop the skill of negotiation - this meant that we were attacking the problem, not the person. When the sulky attitude and lack of feedback was observed, we would invite him to share what he was perceiving as negative about the situation, and what other options he saw. As we consistently worked on building positive response, he grew in character and today is a real asset in his ability both to manage his workload and aspirations, and in the way that he affects the people who are working around him.
Mike has another mantra which is not uncommon in his conversation - he will always win, because if he wins (insert the game, the sale, the discussion) then he wins, and if he does not win, he learns. Either way, he wins.
Look for the positive, grow your mindset, and here’s to your success!