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The Power of Positive Thinking

Aug 18, 2007
Last December, my family and I took our first ever trip during a holiday. Since I was always in the wine business and working long hours during December we could never get away. But we were able to enjoy Chicago's lovely weather instead of relaxing by a pool in the hot Florida sun. During the plane ride down I read a great book on positive thinking. Little did I know how quickly it would come in handy!

We were not unaccustomed to the throng of warm weather seekers, as we had never traveled in December. The line at the car rental counter seemed longer than the Mississippi River. We waited patiently (sort of) for 45 minutes, only to learn that we were at the wrong place! Have you ever made a bone-headed move like that? Typically, this would have thrown me for a complete loop; however, I was able to draw upon my new, positive mental attitude to save the day! "Good news and bad news," I told my family. "The bad news: we're at the wrong place! The good news is that we have a funny family story to laugh about for generations to come." The children weren't impressed!

Situations in life can either be positive or negative, happy or sad. You've all heard the expression, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." It's true! It's your frame of reference that makes the difference. Had I chosen to be upset by this fiasco, it would have been my choice! Having taken the car rental bus from the airport, we were caught in no- man's-land. I had two choices: take the bus back to the airport, or hoof it a mile to the right place. I hoofed it! (Yes, just a mile; however, I'm not in marathon shape any more. The other day I stepped on our talking scale, and it told me to come back when I was alone!).

Unfortunately, the line was just as long. The lady behind me was making all these frustrated noises, muttering under her breath about the long wait. Inside, I was chuckling because I had chosen not to let the situation get the best of me.

Here are some tips to help you develop a positive mental attitude:

-Generate enthusiasm: Have a great sense of expectancy each day.

Enthusiastic people have an infectious effect on other people and are typically able to garner cooperation from others. Many books on success say that you become what you think about. Keeping a positive state of mind is part of maintaining an enthusiastic attitude.

I always stress the need to select passionate, enthusiastic people. Have you ever walked in a store and felt a warm embiance? The truth is that customers feel more welcome in an enthusiastic environment.

See the positive in things: Don't dwell on the negative.

People have a tendency to ignore all the positive things that happen in life and business. For most of my life, I was the President and owner of my family's wine stores. We had a manager who would always complain about orders being filled incorrectly. I knew that it was important to see why the problem was occurring; however, I reminded everybody to remember all the orders that were completed successfully. I wanted everybody to take pride in what was going right. Learn from the bad things, but always remember all the good that happens as well.

Have positive body language: When you talk with others, most of your communication is coming from your body language.

Don't just have a positive frame of mind. Demonstrate through your body language your happiness. Let others see your smile. Smiling shows your warmth, and that you are an open and accepting person. It shows how you feel on the inside. In business, greet customers sincerely, whether on the phone or in person. Try this test: the next time you run into someone you haven't seen in a while, show, through your actions, that you are genuinely happy to see that person. It will make a great difference.

Welcome friendly criticism; don't avoid it: Use criticism as an opportunity to learn.

Recognize opportunities to see how others view you. If you accept (and don't fear) comments, you may see areas that need improvement. Nobody's perfect! A long time ago, somebody gave me some advice that I will always remember. A friend of mine said "Calm down. Don't be so hyper!" It turns out that my passion and emotion needed to be more reserved when I met someone for the first time. It was great advice.

Learn to ignore people who just want to put you down. Have you ever had a friend or family member who constantly put you down? Did those people wear you down? Learn to spot the people who want to help, while ignoring the others. They are wrestling their own demons. Don't let them affect you.

Develop a success plan: Make a blueprint of your own vision. Achieving your goals is incumbent on your ability to decide what you want, and then to do everything necessary to get it. Most people, although they are not pleased with their current state of life, will do nothing to change the situation. As Herbert Harris calls it in "The 12 Universal Laws of Success", they become "satisfied with their dissatisfaction." A success plan is tangible and concrete. Before you achieve success, you must first ask if you are willing to increase your commitment and do whatever it takes to get that success.

Don't forget reading a few books on positive mental attitude. A great one is Jeffrey Gitomer's "YES! Attitude Book." As Jeffrey would say, turn off the TV and read. Invest in your future. Take the time to change your thought processes. It works!

Remember the car rental mistake from the first paragraph above? I could have blamed the travel agent and blown off a little steam, perhaps even saved some face with the family. I didn't, and I feel better for it. I asked the travel agent to book the wrong company. It was my fault; however, with the right attitude, things were ok. Look at the bright side. I ran a mile. At least I worked out!
About the Author
Mr. Rosen served as President and Owner of Sam's Wines & Spirits, a family-owned business established in 1940. Mr. Rosen has founded Grand Slam Results, LLC, a speaking and training workshop firm. For more information, visit http://www.grslamresults.com
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