Your key to succeed; The power of positive beginnings

Have you ever heard the old saying that it takes 37 muscles to frown, and only 22 to smile? So why does it seem so hard to focus on what makes us happy.. and more productive?

How more productive do you think you can be when you’re sad, confused or worried vs. happy, carefree & confident?

At the end of this post I have shared with you some great quotes to pick you up when you’re feeling down.

Yesterday I shared a story about the ironic nature of focusing on the urgent vs. the important. I also shared an exercise on how to look back on your “past activity” in order to make the necessary adjustments to improve what isn’t working (or increase what is) for you. This is the best quick-win exercise to get you moving in the right direction, or moving even faster in the productive direction you’re already headed.

The power of a positive beginning

Today I’d like to share the empowering relevance of focusing on what’s within your control.. how you react to life. Still using Portugal as an example, since it’s familiar territory, ironically it’s our famed melancholy culture & the essence of saudade taken too seriously that will kill any remaining motivation to succeed.

I last left Portugal at the end of 2006 because after returning here in 1991, and starting my first entrepreneurial ventures in 2000, it was just too bloody hard to achieve any sustainable success in this country. As the graph in yesterday’s article also shows, at approximately 1/4 the size of Spain (45,957,671), Portugal (10,632,069) alone can’t take the full responsibility of the “worst-in-class” productivity numbers of Southern Europe.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that one of the greatest difficulties in doing business in this country.. and this region, is that the cup seems to always be half-empty. Sitting in a coffee shop, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner time.. when people greet each other.. rather than starting off with the good things that are happening in their lives, all you hear is what’s wrong with their lives. How depressing!

By contrast, here are 3 recent stories that demonstrate how this once great world power still has some kick in its step;

Now the boggled mind is left to wonder what this country could really do if it just took success & the entrepreneurial spirit a little more seriously. If it just focused on the glass half-full, along with the positive aspects of life first before thinking about the stuff that’s going to bring you down. I speak from experience, as at one stage in my life I was a dooms-day drip also, actually thinking that suffering somehow made me more resilient.

The fact is that as soon as I started to focus on what I could change about what I didn’t like.. as soon as I started seeking out.. and surrounding myself with winning mentality people.. everything seemed to change & life somehow got that much easier really quickly.

It works for anyone

Not only in my own life experience, but as I encounter & work with people that start off by focusing on the opportunities, and then move on to acknowledge the dangers.. success seems to be easier to come by. And when we also have the courage to address opportunities to mitigate those dangers.. in life or work.. success seems to come up as easy as a sunrise on a beautiful summer’s day.

As down as I am on my experience of my past week from the perspective of “what could be” for this great nation, I’m still holding out hope that this new generation about to enter into the workforce can make a difference. I’m encouraging my 19 & 14 year-old sons to look at life from a different lens.. and hoping they pick-up the torch! I do see glimpses that reinforce my hope for change.. and I’m holding out hope to see those glimpses become more consistent, and wider.. in breath & scope.

How about you?

When have you started out the day on a bad foot.. yet rather than lowering your shoulders.. simply pick-up your chin & move positively forward, one step at a time? How did that day end? Better than it started I’ll bet! That’s called directing life instead of allowing life to direct you.

How many of you have let the opposite happen? How many times have you looked at the wrong side of the fence.. and lowered your head & shoulders.. giving in to what you consider your fate?

  • “Men don’t fail; they give up trying.” – Elihu Root
  • “The longer I live, the more deeply I’m convinced that the difference between the successful person and the failure, between the strong and the weak, is a decision.” – Willie E. Gary
  • “Winners are those people who make a habit of doing things losers are uncomfortable doing.” – Ed Foreman
  • “Don’t think of your goals. Think from your goals.” – Neville
  • “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “Most people who fail in their dreams fail not from lack of ability but from lack of commitment.” – Unknown
  • “I couldn’t wait for success – so I went ahead without it.” – Jonathan Winters
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