3 Steps to Successful Thinking

Successful Thinking

Who you are. What you have done. What you do. What you will do. Your failures. Your accomplishments. Every one of these things begins with a thought.

 

 “Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.”

This popular quote cannot be said any clearer: Who you are. What you have done. What you do. What you will do. Your failures. Your accomplishments. Every one of these things begins with a thought. In fact, every positive, tangible (even intangible) thing that exists in the world is the product of a single thought.

That iPhone you enjoy using? The product of a thought.

A healthy and fit body that was once overweight? It started with a thought.

A just law that was once an unjust law? It began with a thought first.

That successful, million-dollar company that employs thousands? It was in someone’s head before a single cent was generated.

Just as positive achievements begin in our thought life, so does the failure to achieve. You want to lose weight, but you are hesitant to take the first step due to the overwhelming dedication it may take. You want to start that business, but are afraid to take the first step. You failed to get the deal you worked so hard on, and now you are second-guessing if you’re cut out for your industry. These negative, fear-based thoughts are the root cause for quitting in the midst of adversity as well as quitting before even trying.

If everything produced in your life is the result of your thoughts, then it’s important to control your negative thoughts (before they control you).

Here are three methods to incorporate into your life right now and take control of negative thoughts holding your back:

1. Identify What Comes Out of Your Mouth – Do you find yourself in situations saying things such as, “That will never happen,” or, “It probably won’t work out.” You will never take the first step toward accomplishment if you shoot yourself in the foot before ever beginning. Negative words are reflective of negative thinking. Everything we say, even the things we utter when no one is around, is indicative of how we feel in our minds. Remove negative words from your speech and replace them with positive statements that line up with your goals.

2. Replace the Root – Once you identify the negative words that you say, go further and identify the negative thoughts that are at the root of those words. Replace words such as should and can’t with will and can. Not only are negative words reflections of your thoughts, but they are also reflections of your emotions. By taking control of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts that line up with your goals, you are also fine-tuning your emotions and attitudes. The most important attitude to have when setting out to achieve anything is confidence.

3. Focus on Solutions, Not Problems – By identifying the negative things you say, understanding the thoughts at the root of those words, and replacing those with positive thoughts and words, you are taking action, building habits, and reshaping your character. Those habits and that character will sustain you when you challenges seemingly appear out of nowhere. Instead of dwelling on your obstacles, challenges, and hurdles, think about how to solve the problem. Instead of dwelling on a lack of resources, you now possess the ability to focus on what you can accomplish with the resources you have at your disposal right now. Before you know it, you will look up and notice that you have made progress.

Everyone thinks on some level, but how many of us actually think about… well… our thinking? Thoughts are the essence of everything we do or fail to do. They are the roots of words, which produce action, which produce habits, which produce character. When you think about it on that level, our thoughts are the very thing that control us. Take control of your life, your goals, and your success today by taking control of negative thoughts!

7 Summer Activities That Will Improve Your Career

Summer

Summer is when most people want to take a break from dealing with their careers. Job search and hiring slows down, people take vacations, and the last thing any of us really want to do on a nice day is think about ways we can get ahead professionally, right? We want to have fun, not focus on work!

However…

We’re all businesses-of-one who shouldn’t really “check out” on our careers-even in the summer. In fact, if we can carve out some time and be smart about our career activities, we can actually enjoy our summer AND do some meaniningful professional development in the process.

Here are seven things you can do over the summer that can have a measurable impact on your career. They are as follows:

1) Socialize as much as possible. (That’s right, get your party on!) Besides enjoying all the BBQs, outdoor concerts, and other fun events happening over the summer, you’ll also give yourself the opportunity to meet plenty of new and interesting people in positive setting. What better way to forge new relationships than to have a good time with those you meet? Then, as the summer winds down, you can start to re-connect with these new friends on LinkedIn and explore what they do for a living. You’ll diversify your network and strengthen it all at the same time.

2) Create a visual board of your career in 10 years. Use your favorite social pinning board to create a visual representation of what you want your professional self to look like in ten years. Ask yourself, “What kind of career goals will I need to reach to realize that future me?” Then, look at the board every day for a few minutes to remind yourself of the old saying, “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.” Positive mental imagery has a big impact on our ability to succeed.

3) Pick a “Summer of _____” theme. Because the summer is so short, why not create a theme for it? What do you want to do more of? See more of? Create more of? Share your “summer of” theme with those you meet as a conversation starter and you’ll find yourself being very memorable-in a good way. It shows you A) are a fun and creative person, and B) make the best use of your time.

4) Write a blog post. Thanks to LinkedIn, now everyone can be an Influencer! Don’t let that pencil in your status update window go to waste. Craft out a well-written article that showcases your subject-matter expertise within your industry, skill set, etc. When we can articulate what we know, we validate our ability to deliver.

5) Take up a new hobby to leverage the H3 Effect. Any time we take on a new hobby, we are helping our brains expand and evolve. Learning something new-especially, something we enjoy, provides wonderful affects on our physical and mental well-being. Starting a hobby has the H3 Effect: It puts your hands, head, and heart to good use. This could be just want you need to spark some new creativity on-the-job, or get you thinking about your career with some fresh perspective.

6) Spearhead an ‘office alum’ get together. All of us have colleagues from old jobs. Even those crazy summer jobs you had while in school. Use social media and pull together a meet-up at a local restaurant and invite all the alum from an old employer. It’s a fun, easy way to network with former colleagues face-to-face. And, it could stir up some new partnership or job opportunities.

7) Curate content two times/day at peak times. Giving out social currency is easy, free, and provides an excellent ROI. Find smart, timely articles related to your industry and/or career and share them on your social networks with your own personally commentary. Let people inside your professional head so they can see what you read and what matters to you. Be sure to post the content in the morning (8 a.m. – 10 a.m.) and at night (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.), when social usage is highest. It ensures maximum viewing. This way, you’ll stay top-of-mind amongst your peers throughout the summer. You just never know what will spark someone to reach out to you with a career opportunity!

The fun doesn’t have to suffer! You can enjoy your summer and push your career forward. Remember: consistency is key in career growth. We need to constantly find ways to move forward. The seven activities above can help you.

‘Tis the Season to be Preparing for the Season!

ttis“Ho, ho, ho!”

That’s a direct quote from Santa. He’s sharing his Christmas cheer all the time while he’s making his deliveries on Christmas Eve and on into the early morning hours of Christmas Day.

For many in business, it’s convicting to think that Old Saint Nick can maintain his infectiously great mood throughout the entire season, especially when you consider how long he and his crew have been working to make everything go smoothly on their big day. Lots of us have a somewhat more difficult time keeping our attitudes properly aligned to the spirit of the holidays.

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