Positive Thinkers Achieve Impossible Goals

Don Loyd Color PicDo you realize that the way you think about an event or circumstance before it happens can actually influence the outcome? If you are like most folk, you really haven’t given much thought to this question.

In some ways it’s similar to a patient being told that a pill, especially if it is expensive, will relieve pain. And it does!

But the pill was simply a placebo. The patient expected the pain to ease.

That’s what I call positive expectation.

As it relates to your business and personal life, “An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality,” according to Brian Tracy.

Positive expectation is seen in the life of the multiple Olympic gold medal winner in the pole vault from the 1950s, Bob Richards (check him out on Wikipedia). He accomplished some truly amazing feats.

By his own admission, however, he submits that he was not the greatest athlete at the time. His testimony is that he visualized his success millions of times before he actually won anything. He had positive expectation.freedom

Richards admitted: “I won it [in my mind], at least five million times. Men who were stronger, bigger and faster than I was could have done it, but they never picked up a pole, and never made the feeble effort to pick their legs off the ground and get over the bar.”

Richards is right. It’s not about who’s the strongest, smartest, most talented, most gifted, best looking, best dressed or has the most potential. These advantages will get you nowhere if you don’t back them up with belief and action.

Therein lies the difference between those who do, and those who just talk about doing.

The successful visualize success and take the necessary action to get there. Once visualized, they “pick up the pole, and lift their legs off the ground.”

If you would rather view life from a positive expectant view point, here are some things you can do to help create it. On a regular basis:

  1. Recognize when you practice negative expectation.
  2. Change your thinking and turn the negative into a positive.
  3. Practice viewing life events in the positive.

When this becomes your life’s pattern, you will create a habit of expecting positive things.

Positive thinkers see more possibilities and enjoy more success. Here’s to yours.

success 4


© 2014 by Don Loyd

No, No, No to Stinkin Thinkin

Zig Ziglar said, “Every day we all need a checkup from the neck up, to avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ and hardening of the attitudes.”

His subject, of course, was the way we think about life in general and “how I feel” about certain events or circumstances in particular.

Have you ever wrestlCapture 208ed with negative thoughts? Of course you have. You might be having negatives right now.

At some point, even the most positive, upbeat thinkers have those harmful mantras ringing in their unconscious mind, spewing out things like this not so all-inclusive list:

I’m not pretty.

I’m not smart enough.

No one likes me.

No one cares about me.

I’m not good enough.

I don’t deserve good things in my life.

I’m not capable of making my dreams come true.

I can’t do this (or that).

I had a terrible childhood.

I’m too poor, etc., etc.

Do any of these kinds of statement resonate with you? The important thing to remember is. . . (are you ready?), tCapture 1hey not truths, they are simply thoughts, nothing more, nothing less.

A negative mindset is impartial and color blind – we all face one from time to time

I’ve read that 65% to 80% of your emotions are the result of what is referred to as self-talk. Self-talk is the mental imagery created in your mind when you feel rejected, worried, stressed, and nervous, and many more similar type conditions.

When you hear that negative inner dialogue, replace it with more positive self-talk and imagery. You are then positioned to turn the negative self-talk into positive action.

And here’s an important note: Take full responsibility and don’t blame others. What you are, and what you can do, is up to you. You create your own reality. If you want to change your circumstance, or your life in general, change your reality and gain a higher vision for your life

Take away action plan:

time for actionFind a quiet place where you can sit for a few minutes and picture the success you want to achieve – in every area of your life. What does that look like? What does it taste like? What does it smell like? How does it feel?

Turn your disappointments and challenges in positive statements and you will find ways to accomplish goals you never thought possible.

Instead of telling yourself, “I always do it wrong,” say something like, “I failed this time. But that isn’t like me. As I learn from my mistakes I become stronger and better equipped for the next time.

Those newly created mental images and positive self-talk will help lead you to greater service and success as you end the cycle of stinkin’ thinkin’.

And, as the saying goes, “Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your ears.”

Here’s to your success.

Don Loyd Color Pic




© by Don Loyd 2014

A Negative Mind Will Never Give You a Positive Life

When you take an honest look at your life, you realize you’re surrounded by an assortment of people. Some folk you appreciate because they bring you joy. Others nurture and encourage you to do great things.

Then there are those who have the opposite effect. They are negative in their words they choose and the way they think. They drain your energy and you find yourself exhausted after a period of time.

Here’s the truth: Your success and well Capture 174being are influenced by those around you.

With whom do you associate? Positive or negative people?

When you surround yourself with positive people, you discover that you are not only more positive, you    see possibilities where you didn’t before. You gain greater insights into the quality of all phases of your life – physical, spiritual, mental, relational, professional, and more – and the result is a more powerful, influential you.

As you collect positive doers and thinkers in your sphere, you begin the process of clearing a path through the pessimists and create room for a nurturing mental state of mind.

Every choice you make in surrounding yourself with positive minded people has a positive effect on others, too. You even become contagious and they want to emulate you. They see in you what they want for themselves.26

Choose your friends with care. Those with whom you devote time and effort will create an environment in which you will either blossom or wither.

It’s okay if you have family and friends who are negative, I suppose. Give everyone the opportunity of friendship.

Having stated that, however, be very careful with whom you share your goals and dreams. Only trust those to others who value them as much as you do.

And remember, a negative mindset will never result in a positive life. Also remember that you can only think of one thing at a time.

Be a lighthouse and a breath of fresh air in a negative world. Embrace positive thinking.

© Don Loyd 2014

Four Steps to Greatness

Have you ever felt like giving up?

I mean, really give up! Are you are ready to give up on your marriage, dreams and/or life itself?

I have been there. I’ve felt the despair, failure and helplessness and the feeling of being all alone.

Those kinds of thoughts result when we believe the lies told to us. Lies like, “I’m not good enough,” “no one really loves me,” “I have nothing to offer,” and “I’m no good and I’ll always be a failure.” Because I’ve been there I want to share with you a story of survival and accomplishment.

I was in Gold’s Gym one morning in 2002 when an attractive, petite, 5-foot-tall stranger, about my daughter’s age, strolled by. New to the gym but with a loOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAok of experience, she was dressed for a workout at about 5:30 AM – pretty noteworthy in itself.

She bore a raised, rectangular scar on her thigh: the telltale mark of a skin graft. I was struck by her determined and self-assured body language as she walked past me – even though she wore a support on her left knee and a brace on a scarred and shriveled left arm and hand.

Over the course of the next few months, I watched her with interest. She was always upbeat, and always had something encouraging to say to others. I was very impressed by her tenacious workout: she was relentless in spite of her weaker left arm and hand.

I was even more impressed that she seemed unaware that she might have any kind of limiting physical condition. Her attitude and demeanor were especially memorable because this is a place where many young women are concerned more with their makeup than cardio.

A few weeks after I first saw her, when she and I were doing weight training, I was granted permission to ask a personal question. I asked about her arm and hand. She answered directly and honestly, and she has been my hero ever since.

* * *

Shannon Bart, my co-author and collaborator in a forthcoming book, is truly an amazing woman. Not only has she overcome challenges that would have stopped lesser people, she has excelled in spite of them.Success Puzzle Image

She’s been an inspiration and source of encouragement to many people. Her experiences, her education, her achievements and her remarkable perspective on life make her uniquely qualified to contribute to this book and take the role of your coach and mentor. I think she will become your hero, too.

Here’s her story:
Shannon was physically active in her youth. A talented gymnast, she pushed herself to compete and succeed, and as a freshman was a member of at Arizona State University’s gymnastics team.

Unfortunately, during a practice she tore her anterior cruciate ligament. It was an injury that required surgery and marked the end of her gymnastics career. A hospital stay was followed by six weeks on crutches and in physical therapy. Although this could have been devastating, Shannon wasn’t discouraged: she pressed on.

By the fall of 1997, Shannon was married and pregnant with her first child. But in October, 26 weeks into her pregnancy, she went into preterm labor for no apparent reason. Her doctor ordered strict best rest and tried to determine the nature of her condition.

Within a month, she’d been flown to the High Risk Pregnancy division of Columbia-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, where her labor continued, her doctor still unable to uncover the underlying cause. Eventually, it was discovered that Shannon had a degenerative kidney disease. She would need a kidney transplant sometime within the next five years.

“Can I have more children?” she asked. Shannon and her husband, Sean, had talked about having three. “Maybe after you have a transplant,” was the Doctor’s bleak prognosis.

During the remainder of Shannon’s pregnancy, she had to endure eleven weeks of steroid injections, strict bed rest, 2 amniocenteses, medication every ninety minutes and continual home monitoring.

When that – and thirty hours of labor – was over, she delivered, by emergency c-section, a three-pound, ten-ounce baby boy: Hunter. The little guy’s heart stopped beating in the delivery room.

question markThankfully, he was resuscitated, but he had to stay in the hospital an additional four weeks. Hunter has grown into an energetic boy who wants to build houses, like his dad, and the top speller in his class.

This sounds like a great success story already, doesn’t it? But we’re not through.

A mere six months later, Shannon’s life, and that of her family, went spinning out of control.

Shannon, Sean and Hunter were on a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico to visit her mother. One morning, at about 5 A.M., Sean swerved their SUV to avoid a collision with a construction vehicle. Their SUV flipped over.

As the car rolled, Shannon’s left arm and hand were thrust through the broken sun roof and skidded down the pavement beneath the overturned car. By the time the SUV landed upright her arm and hand had been crushed and stripped of flesh, muscle and sinew.

Sean pulled Shannon and Hunter from the car. He applied a tourniquet to her arm to stop the bleeding and flagged down a truck driver to call for help.

Shannon will always wear the scars of that accident. She has no idea how the surgeons put her arm back together: she calls it a medical and scientific marvel.

She remembers asking the emergency room doctor, “…are you going to give me something for the pain?” There was no pain yet, but she was sure there was going to be some very soon.

Healing came slowly: she endured another two weeks in an Albuquerque hospital and seven more weeks in Albuquerque, healing. It took twelve months to return to a “normal” home lifestyle. With the help of Sean and family members, progress inched along at a snail’s pace.

Even after four surgeries, a skin graft, a muscle graft and a series of “cleaning outs,” Shannon is missing about 3 inches of bone in her left arm. She is also missing nerve function and sensation, and she carries with her, wherever she goes, a metal plate and screws.

Instead of becoming bitter, or getting angry at God or the world about the misfortunes that have befallen her, Shannon has remained positive and grateful for what she does have: a family and friends who were always there for her.

Much to her credit and never-say-die attitude, she completed her Masters Degree in Psychology while going through the horrors of rebuilding an arm.

“I love my arm,” she tells me. “Even after the fourth surgery the physician was not sure I would keep it. If the graft had failed,” she continues, “he would have had to amputate it. It is a daily reminder to me of how blessed I am to be alive. I have the opportunity to share my life with Sean and raise my son and grow old. My scars are a testament to who I am.”

Shannon is my hero. Here’s one reason: she didn’t flinch when life threw her a curve ball. She isn’t bashful or ashamed of those scars. She Building a Wallwants people to ask about them. She loves giving positive insight to people who need it.

Does she want to revisit the challenge? Here’s what she said: “I don’t particularly want to do it again, but if God gave me the opportunity to do it all over without the accident I would tell him, ‘no, thanks'”. Since the accident, Shannon is a different person. I think she became a better one.

Eventually the Barts moved to Bend, Oregon, Shannon’s home town, and found a new nephrologists. The first year back in Bend, she had five kidney infections. She underwent surgery, which seemed successful but five years later, her kidney began to fail.

More labs tests, medications and doctor appointments came next. She had to consider dialysis and a kidney transplant. Shannon made the decision not to go on dialysis. She knew she had a health problem, but she never conceded she was sick – even when she was very ill. And, she didn’t want to leave her son with memories of Mom in dialysis.

A seasoned surgery veteran, Shannon chose to have a kidney transplant before she needed dialysis. One day she told me, quite off the cuff, “Don, you won’t see me for a few weeks. I’m going to Portland for a transplant.” I didn’t even know she had a problem, let alone know a serious one.

She described her choice to have surgery this way: “It’s like you are walking down a train track, in a tunnel, in the wrong direction, and there’s no way to get off. You know the train is going to hit you, you just don’t know when.”

The search began for a matching donor. Shannon found one in her own home: it was great friend who happened to be living with Shannon and Sean. The three of them went to a Portland, Oregon transplant clinic. They spent five days in the hospital and an additional four weeks in recovery in a spacious hotel room nearby.

Shannon’s mother was there to care for Shannon and Jeramie. Shannon told me, “The whole thing would not have been such a blessed experience without all my family who visited, prayed, and supported us.”

She calls this life threatening experience a “blessed experience.”

Many people I know might have found another way to describe it – and not in such positive terms. But this is one facet of Shannon that has earned her a place in my heart, and another reason she’s my hero.

In spite of the obstacles and challenges, she faces life and people positively with her chin up, treating life like a treasure hunt.

smilesShe writes, “My recovery was an amazing experience. I felt healthy within 24 hours of the surgery. My labs were normal for the first time in almost ten years. I had no complications, no infection, no rejection and a month off with no responsibility except to sleep, eat, read and be well. I made a concerted effort to enjoy every minute of it and remember how happy I was. I have continued to enjoy great health and daily gratitude for being alive. I am a big proponent for living donor transplants and getting that transplant before people are at death’s door.”

And, characteristic of Shannon, she feels very strongly that the story is not as much about her as it is about the people in her life who helped her through all her trials. She takes the spotlight off herself and places it on others. She believes this is their story. “It was easier,” she wrote to me, “to be the patient than to be the ones in the hospital waiting room. I wouldn’t have traded spots with them for anything in the world.”

She has tremendous respect and love for her husband, Sean. She recently confided to me, “… my husband, Sean, has never wavered in his love or support. I am not the woman he married. I have changed physically and personally and he has never looked at me differently than the day we got married. Okay, maybe differently – but not in a lesser fashion. He is my hero for so many reasons”.

This wonderful, beautiful woman I’ve described to you is truly in a unique position to serve as your role model. It’s my hope that you can get a new positive picture of what life can be.

If you think you there’s nothing to live for, think again. If you think God has turned His back on you, He hasn’t. If you believe you’ve nothing for which to live, you’re wrong.

God has a plan for your life. A good plan, too. But as long as you’re focused on your own “problems” you won’t be able to see what that plan is and enjoy the life God has for you. Here’s what I want you to do:

Tom-Sales-Numbers1Step One: Whenever you are at your “rope’s end,” think on the good things. Even when life seems bleak there’s always some good on which you can identify.

Tom-Sales-Numbers2Step Two: When you don’t know what else to do, focus on others. One of the basic flaws in our psychological culture is its focus and obsession with “self.” Here’s the truth: if you can learn to be concerned with the needs of others, you won’t have the time or energy to think about your own “problems.”

Tom-Sales-Numbers3Step Three: If you come face to face with despair, learn to give. After you’ve leaned to focus on the need of others, learn how to give to others. Freely give your time, money and services to good causes.

Tom-Sales-Numbers4Step Four: Take personal responsibility for your actions. If you blame others for your position is life, those whom you blame are controlling you and you cannot move forward. If you’ve made bad choices, say so and break the vicious cycle and go on to greatness. It is your choice.


Regardless of where you are in life, or the challenges you face, there are millions of people who would trade places with you. Shannon has success 4faced many more obstacles than you or I will ever have to face. Let her be your hero and role model. If she can prosper in spite of her challenges (or “opportunities” as she would describe them), so can you.

It is now up to you. The only question that remains is, will you become an achiever? You can! Will you? My challenge to you is to go for it!

Live life to the fullest and don’t believe the lies, only believe the truth: You are bright enough, smart enough, good looking enough, and all the other positive words you can imagine.

Consider the Flea

“. . . The flea when jumping accelerates 50 times faster than a space shuttle. Although fleas cannot fly, they can jump over seven inches high and thirteen inches long, that is about one hundred and fifty times its own length. Without its outer shell it would get smashed by the velocity of the jump, and especially on its landing….” Insecta Inspecta World (hwww.insecta-inspecta.com/fleas/cat/jumping.html)

When you rolled out of bed this morning I’m sure you asked: How high can a flee jump?  No? Me either.  But, I found myself face-to-face with the answer to this fascinating question. Being somewhat creative, I wondered how I could use this useful and valuable information. So I did a little research.

I discovered that when fleas are put into a container (as in a small jar or drinking glass), the little rascals will literally jump out.  If you place a sheet of paper over the top of the container, the fleas will jump up and hit the sheet of paper then fall back to the bottom.

Here’s what’s really interesting: After several failed attempts to jump out of the container, the fleas are “mentally reconditioned” and will only leap as high the sheet of paper – even after the paper has been removed.  Their previous reality has been replaced with a new one that limits their performance.

That’s a worthy lesson for us to mull over.  I believe many of us, based on personal experiences, are held in place (in our business endeavors, spiritual growth, personal development, personal relationships, etc.) by our own self imposed limits.

In some behavior, we are like fleas. For example, we were jumping high, but we got hit hard by the economy (out of our control) and experienced difficult times. Understand that there is no physical barrier.  But lots of folk carry on as though there is a ceiling that prevents them from breaking out and experiencing any kind of new reality.

Like the flea, some high level performers learned that jumping high meant getting the snot kicked out of them, so they made mental adjustments to lessen the pain. The heartbreaking side effect of that choice is that they have also limited the hope for future high level performance.

The current (2010) economic climate…, well…, sucks. Most of the people I know have lost huge sums of money and equity. I know I have lost millions. A lot of people I know have filed for bankruptcy protection. I even know people who have committed suicide over (I presume) the loss of money, credibility, a spouse and family.

My heart truly goes out to those who feel despair. I’m empathetic – I truly feel their pain. But now, faced with the economic challenges before them, many of my friends and acquaintances have limited their options by constructing the mental barriers I previously referred to.

They are like the fleas that will not jump out of the uncovered container.  The result is, not knowing what else to do, they ask fellow fleas, “How do we break free? How can we move forward? How do we get out of this mess? How can we succeed?”

Here’s a valuable principal founded on truth:

If you want to go to escape your current limitations and feel the exhilaration found in the next level (in whatever discipline or interest you choose), don’t ask your fellow fleas what to do. If they held the answers for breaking free from the limits they now embrace, they wouldn’t be in your position.  In a worst case scenario, they will keep you from moving toward success by unconsciously doing their best to hold you where they are. Remember – misery loves company.

If you truly want to disentangle yourself from the tentacles of a limited belief system, and if you want to experience freedom from your self imposed limits, seek out those whom are not limited by your mental obstacles. Find someone, a mentor, who is where you want to be. That person can help you much more than fellow fleas sharing the same limited mindset.

Word of Caution: Thinking outside the box, and acting outside the box, may cost you some friends. Most of your fellow fleas will want you to stay within the boundaries of their comfort zone. They will say, in a variety of ways, words that project the idea:  “You can’t do that!”

When you are free of those self imposed boundaries, your “friends” may well reject you because you will not share the same mental altitude anymore. But that’s okay. Move forward.

Here’s what I suggest:

1.      Clearly define where you want to be

2.      Answer This: Who can help you get there?” and “What am I willing to give in return?

3.      Set some target dates for successes

4.      Define how you will get there

5.      Work your plan and make adjustments as needed

6.      Associates with those not limited with your mindset

7.      Take one other flea with you on your journey

It’s now up to you. What will you do? Whatever your choice, you have chosen a path.  Robert Frost concludes his famous “The Road Not Taken” by writing:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

“Somewhere ages and ages hence:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

“I took the one less travelled by,

“and that has made all the difference.”

I challenge to you is to take the “road less traveled” and shred the paper barrier.

Winning With Physical Limitations!

If you want to succeed in every area in your life, you must get in the game. You have to take an active role in your own future: don’t allow others to dictate your success. Sometimes this means working past, through or around a disadvantage, such as a physical limitation.

To use a sports analogy, you have to step up to the plate, lift your bat over your shoulder, and take a swing. Mickey Mantle, center fielder and first baseman for the Yankees in the fifties and sixties, was the home run king for a number of years. Whenever “the Mick” strolled to home plate to take his turn at bat, people paid attention, knowing they might see him hit a ball out of the park for a home run. What most people don’t realize, however, is that Mickey Mantle held the record for the most strike-outs: he failed at bat more than any other professional baseball player. Yet what we remember are his successes.

The same thing can happen to you: keep getting into the “batter’s box” and swinging… hit a home run or even a base hit now and again, and people won’t remember your failures. They will remember the times you scored.

You have to be in the game. If you are living a life as a spectator, you aren’t getting in the batter’s box. You’re not even sitting in the dugout. People who use excuses for sitting out limit themselves by their attitudes. I know of a real estate broker in a wheelchair who earns six figures each and every year. He figured out a way to sell real estate without picking people up in his car and showing them property: he does it all by mail, email and fax from the comfort of his office. He targets out-of-state owners and lists their property for sale.

There is a general contractor in California who is in much the same position. He pulls up to a job in his truck and never gets out of it. He can’t. He can’t walk.

A man in our church owned and operated a successful restaurant. He had once owned a profitable tire re-capping business. One day, while working at his plant, a tire blew up in his face and blinded him. Steel plates were put in his face. He wasn’t able to return to the work he knew, so, in his forties, he opened a restaurant. I’ve seen him stand at the cashier’s box and make change for his customers.

I became a general contractor when it became apparent that I could no longer work construction. One day, nailing shakes on a roof outside of Santa Rosa, California, I bent down to plug in my skill saw so I could cut a hip roof. As soon as I connected the cord to the saw, I was thrown off the roof. There was short in the wiring. I broke three vertebrae in the fall. I was flat on my back for a time and when I recovered, I found I had neither the strength nor the stamina to do the work I had previously done. For years, I lived with chronic pain.

I’d been pulled off of the playing field. But I didn’t stop playing: I learned how to play a different position in the same of game. In the process I stopped working for hourly pay (which is a sure fire plan for just getting by) and began making very serious money and receiving positive recognition from others.

Rather than presenting a stop sign, a handicap or disability can be your ticket to great things. If life gives you lemons, rejoice in the lemons and find a way to sell lemonade. I’ve read many stories of penniless immigrants coming to this country and becoming millionaires. If someone can go from rags to riches speaking broken English, you can do it with a handicap or disability.

Enough about other people – here’s how you can succeed:

1. Think about all the things you can do and make a list of them. Decide what you want to do, and find a niche.

2. Set some measurable goals, both long- and short-term.

3. Define how you will attain those goals, and write a plan. You must have a road map directing you to your destination.

4. Your plan must include an activity for each day. Do the daily activity. Focus on it, rather than the goal.

5. Make adjustments as needed.

6. Be a mentor to others. There are millions of people who would like to be where you are. Take one or two along for the ride with you, and teach them what you have learned.

7. Learn to give. In order to have a complete, balanced and fulfilled life, you have to learn to give some of your time and some of your money to something greater than yourself and your bank account. He with the largest list of assets at death is not the winner. If you can’t learn to give, you are controlled by your possessions – a very sad and lonely way to live.

Remember, if you don’t make it happen, it won’t happen. Get in the game!

There’s Power in Taking Action

“As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action will be perfect. Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every action will work. Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right.” Jack Canfield

To achieve a level of success, and hopefully significance, you need to create a precise plan detailing exactly what you must do in order to realize your dream. You will have to adjust your plan as you go forward, but if you don’t write is down, how will you know if you are making progress toward the goal? Be sure, too, to set a timetable for the completion of your tasks. Open-ended tasks seem always to be pushed to the rear of the priorities.

Breakdown your objectives into daily activities and then manage those activities. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to complete a lot of work when you manage your time well. Don’t let the phone, walk-in customers or whatever “emergencies” may present themselves rule your life. Also, as best as you can, resist the urge to put off doing the things that need to get done.  Take Charge!

During certain hours, I refuse to take phone calls. I let them go to voice mail and return them when I arrive at the allotted time. I used to have a script on my voice mail that said, “Thanks for calling. I have several appointments today. I can return your call between 10 and 11 AM or 3 to 4 PM. Please let me know when the best time for you would be.” That simple script gave me back my life.
When you write down your list of daily tasks, post the list where you can easily see it. You will find the more you look at it, the more likely you will be to accomplish the tasks you’ve set. And importantly, I find that it helps to deal with difficult things first. Get anything distasteful or disagreeable off your plate as soon as you can so you can enjoy the rest of the day.

Thomas Carlyle, the 9th Century Scottish essayist, wrote: “Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can.” If you fail to take action, you will fail in reaching your target. Do all you can!

Define what you want to accomplish (as best as you can at this point) and do the daily activity that’s needed to get you where you want to go. Practice focusing on the daily activity – not necessarily the end goal. The action you implement will get you to the finish line. There is power in taking action.

As Les Brown said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”

Now, just do it.  Start right now.

Take Personal Responsibilty

“Did you ever stop to think that everything you are or ever will be is completely up to you? Just imagine! You are where you are because of who you are. Everything that exists in your life exists because of you, because of your behavior, words and actions.

“Because you have freedom of choice and because you have chosen each and every circumstance of your life, you are completely responsible for all of your success and failure, your happiness and unhappiness, your present and future.” Brian Tracy

There’s no magic pill that will make you happy or successful. The simple fact is you have to face your fears and go in the direction of your choice. If your goal is to succeed in your family life, business dealings, spiritual growth or social circles, you must take the bull by the horns and address those areas – and it begins by taking personal responsibilities for your choices and actions.

Our culture no longer believes in tasking personal responsibility. People are eager to place blame elsewhere. For example, if you made a bad decision in a real estate investment, it had to be the fault of the sales person, developer, or someone else close to the transaction. If you lost money in the stock market, it has to be the broker’s fault or the bad advice from Uncle Harry.

If your personal life is in shambles, of course the cause is the spouse you married or your family of origin. The causes of your failures seem to belong to everyone but whom really is at fault.  That would be you.

Here’s how you unlock to door to enjoying the freedom of success in all areas of your life. Before you develop positive, self-affirming, self-talk scripts to enhance your personal development and growth:

1.      Acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the choices.

2.      Accept that you are responsible for what you choose to feel or think.

3.      Accept that you choose the direction for your life.

4.      Accept that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made.

5.      Tear down the facade of defense or rationale for why others are responsible for who you are or what has happened to you.

6.       Embrace the belief that you are responsible for determining who you are.

7.      Point the finger of responsibility back to yourself when you discuss the consequences of your actions.

8.      Take an honest inventory of your strengths, abilities, talents, virtues and positive points.

9.      Let go of blame and anger toward those in your past who did the best they could, given the limitations of their knowledge, background and awareness.

10.  Let go of your anger, hostility, pessimism and depression over past hurts, pains, abuse, mistreatment and misdirection.

I know from personal experience that it’s easy to name all the things that rendered you incapable of reaching your goals, but it’s a good deal more gratifying to tell others how the same things didn’t stop you and to describe the brilliance with which you met each challenge (not the mention how you were inspired to succeed).

Successful people don’t place blame or make excuses – because they don’t have to. There is almost nothing you can’t plow through or work around.

From this day forward, choose to take responsibility for your own actions and choices. Find the power in taking personal responsibility and you will be free to live a much fuller and happier life. It’s amazing how liberating it is to rid yourself of the negative energy associated with the blame game.

Now, go make it a great day.

Swing Away

“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.” Hank Aaron, Baseball Player

One of the greatest hitters in baseball history is Mickey Mantle who is remembered as a great home run slugger, but did you know he struck out more than 1,750 times?  In addition, he walked to first base more than 1,750 times.  In other words, there were more than 3,500 times he went to home plate and didn’t hit the ball.  That is the equivalent of seven full seasons he never had a base hit!

Here’s the lesson:  it’s not the misses that count, it’s the hits.  Learn from your misses but focus on your hits.

When I make a mistake I increase my awareness and improve my performance. I refuse to relegate my disappointments and failures to the back of the bus and purposefully move them up front where I can deal with them, work out the kinks, make adjustments and get back on track toward success.  I turn my mistakes and failures into stepping stones toward my goal.  I figure if didn’t make a mistake yesterday, I didn’t’ learn much.

If you want to enjoy success in your personal life and business, and overcome the invisible handicaps that are detrimental to that success, step in the batter’s box and strike out a few times.  It’s okay – never fear failure!

Here’s how you step up to the plate:

1. Decide what it is you want to do and carve out a niche for yourself.  If you try to be all things to all people the deck is stacked against you.  You have to find a unique position for you

2. Set some measurable goals. You need both long term and short term measurable goals. Write these goals out on paper.  Until you write them down, they simply do not exist.

3. Define how you will attain those goals. Write a step-by-step plan that clearly defines how you are going to reach your destination.

4. Work your plan. As you do the daily activity it takes to accomplish your goals, focus on that activity rather than the goal.  If your goal is to purchase one rehab property each month, focus on the activity that will result in that one purchase.

5. Make adjustments as needed. When a mistake is made determine where you went wrong and readjust your approach but do not allow yourself to become distracted from achieving your goals.

6. As you work your plan, start thinking about ways to give to others.  If you cannot give away your money, it owns you.  You will become self-focused and shallow and contentment will always elude you.

7.  Be a mentor to others. There are millions of people who would like to be where you are.  Take one or two along for the ride with you.

The question you now face is crucial.  What are you going to do with this information?  My advice is to swing away.  Strike out, make some adjustments – most of all enjoy the ride.  Life can and should be a thrilling experience, but it’s up to you to make it happen.

Batter up!

The Challenge of Change

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C.S. Lewis

Change (sometimes called challenges, disappointments, failures, and the like), in our lives is something most of us tend to avoid.  Change is hard whether in personal relationships, business, politics, finances – whatever. It’s like the bird trying to come out of the egg.

In reality, the only constant is change. We are in a state of flux until we die. Although facing change head-on is like swimming against a river’s current the benefit is that the process, while painful at times, sharpens our senses and makes us stronger as we struggle to adjust.  Yes, it would be much easier to simply go with the flow but any dead fish can do that and who wants to be a dead fish?

The struggle that comes from the emotional, psychological and physical effects of change is necessary to go forward and grow stronger. If you don’t move forward, you will move backward – there is no staying the same. It is the struggle that enables you to achieve the next level.

Don’t be a dead fish that floats with the current (death) or an bird that won’t break free of it’s shell and only wished it could fly (slavery). The goal is to look at change with expectancy (positive mental attitude) and embrace the opportunities that will come to you as a result of enduring the pain of breaking free from the challenge of change.

Living is a grand experience.  Embracing change will make it possible for you to learn life lessons and live life to the fullest.

Now, its up to you. Go create an amazing day.

Subscribe by emailing Don at DonLoyd@DonLoyd.com.

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