Sunday, May 25, 2008

It's all in your head and heart

Direct from my email,

Here's Harvey:

Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Change your thoughts and change your life

If what you see is what you get, what will you get?

That all depends on what you see.

A man pulled into a small restaurant on the outskirts of town. He remarked to his server: "I just was transferred to your town, and I've never been to this part of the country. What are people like here?"

"What are people like where you come from?" asked the server.

"Not so nice," the man replied. "In fact, they can be quite rude."

The server shook her head and said, "Well, I'm afraid you'll find the people in this town to be the same way."

A second gentleman came in and sat at a nearby table. He called out to the server. "I'm just moving to your area. Is it nice here?"

"Was it nice where you came from?" inquired the server.

"Oh, yes! I came from a great place. The people were friendly, and I hated to leave."

"Well, you'll find the same to be true of this town."

At hearing this, the first customer was irritated and asked his server, "So tell me, what is this town really like?"

She just shrugged her shoulders and said, "It's all a matter of perception. You'll find things to be just the way you think they are."

Is your glass half-full or half-empty? What do you see? Do you love your job even though there are a few things that bug you? Or do you let the little annoyances drive you crazy and complain to your co-workers non-stop?

As radio commentator Paul Harvey said: "I have never seen a monument erected to a pessimist."

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties out of opportunities. I've rarely seen a successful pessimist. You need to be able to look on the bright side of tough situations in order to take risks, and survive both successes and failures. The sooner you accept the fact that you will have both successes and failures, the easier it will be to get your business and personal life headed in the right direction.

An optimist, on the other hand, understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again. They know that as long as you get up after you're knocked down, you are not defeated.

The annals of business are full of very successful people who have gone bankrupt, lost companies, faced public humiliation and still came out on top. The only difference was their attitude: They believed in themselves and the others around them. Hard work, discipline and occasionally a little bit of luck kept them going. There's no reason it can't work for all of us too.

In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, which I highly recommend, Dale Carnegie tells the story of a young man who worried himself into a nervous breakdown. He worried about everything: his weight, his hair, money, being a father, losing the girl he wanted to marry and what others thought about him. He worried that he had ulcers.

Eventually, his worry made it impossible for him to work. Something had to give, and that was when he had his breakdown.

The young man avoided everyone and cried a lot. He decided to go to Florida to see if a change in scenery would help him. When he got on the train, his father handed him a letter and told him not to open it until he reached his destination. He was even more miserable in Florida than he had been at home.

Finally, he opened the letter from his father: "Son, you are 1,500 miles from home, and you don't feel any different, do you? I knew you wouldn't because you took with you the one thing that is the cause of all your trouble, that is, yourself. There is nothing wrong with either your body or your mind. It is not the situations you have met that have thrown you; it is what you think of these situations. 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.' When you realize that son, come home, for you will be cured."

After some reflection he realized his father was right. It was not the world that needed to change; it was merely the lens of his mind that needed adjustment.

Mackay's Moral: If seeing is believing, start seeing the bright side.

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