ATTITUDE AND SUCCESS
Henry Ford is a name well known to most Americans. He lived from July 30, 1863, to April 7, 1947, and was an American automobile manufacturer who created the Ford Model T car in 1908. He went on to develop the assembly line mode of production, which revolutionized the industry. As a result, Ford sold millions of cars and became a world-famous company leader. The company, with its market dominance, had a lasting impact on other technological development and U.S. infrastructure. Today Henry Ford is credited for helping to build America's entire economy during the nation's vulnerable early years and is considered one of America's leading businessmen. He was also quite well known for being a very positive person with a great attitude. He was famous for this saying:
'If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can't do a thing, you're always right.'
His favorite poem is shown below but it is not known from whom this poem originated:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win but you think you can't, it's almost a cinch you won’t.
For out in the world you'll find success begins with a person’s will.
It's all in the state of Mind.
Think big, and your deeds will grow;
Think small and you fall behind.
Think that you can, and you will.
If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before you can win the prize.
Life's battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man (women included);
But sooner or later, the ones who win are the people who think they can.
To give us an idea of how important a positive attitude can be let’s talk about a product you are likely very familiar with – Kingsford Charcoal; the stuff we use in BBQ grills for outdoor cooking. Here’s an image of this familiar product. You might be surprised to learn how this product came to be. It all started in 1919 when a fellow named Edward G. Kingsford helped Henry Ford procure a stretch of timberland to supply wood for his auto plants. Wood was an important part of a car in those days, being relatively cheap and easy to machine into wheels, floorboards and other parts of the cars coming out of the Ford plants.
Mr. Ford complained about how much waste came out of his woodworking shops when Mr. Kingsford suggested sweeping up the shavings and sawdust from the floors and pressing the waste into little cubes then burning them with a lack of oxygen. The result was what we now call charcoal briquets. At first the charcoal was marketed under Mr. Ford’s name but eventually, he changed the name in honor of the fellow who came up with the idea. Today, Kingsford converts more than one million tons of wood waste into briquets every year, making Kingsford Products Company the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the United States. Our charcoal—from the Kingsford Original briquets you grew up with to premium varieties used by competitive cooks—has become synonymous with authentic grilling, good food and most importantly, good times.
Attitude is everything when it comes to both personal and business pursuits. There is a book titled “Attitude is Everything” written by Keith Harrell. You can read about Keith here. We lost this dynamic positive thinker in 2010 after his battle with cancer. But in his lifetime, he inspired many with his speeches, books, and life work. Keith shares his powerful message, “Attitude is Everything” with audiences around the world. While growing up in Seattle, Washington, he aspired to become a professional basketball player. Although he never realized that dream, an article in the Wall Street Journal refers to him as a “Star with Attitude.” The newspaper says, “What sets him apart from less successful speakers is driving ambition and an attitude that refuses to fail.” His signature keynote focuses on ways to meet the challenges of changing technology by understanding the power of human technology. As president of Harrell Performance Systems, Keith has created a firm specializing in helping the corporate marketplace achieve and maintain their goals through the power of a positive attitude.
Typically, when we think of attitude we imagine someone who displays a strong characteristic in one direction or another. For example, someone who is “in the dumps.” Or perhaps someone who is always smiling, happy, light-hearted and full of optimism. In either case neither of these are good descriptors of attitude. Attitude is that sate of mind that directs us in nearly every action we take, be it fun, business, boring or stressful. We all have a little voice in our heads that seemingly never shuts up. That voice tells us what our limits are and where we’re likely to succeed or fail. That voice is called your “pathological critic.” This voice constantly reminds you of your past and reports your likelihood of achieving your goal. Craig Drew has a cool website called Lifehack. Craig speaks to us about attitude in a way that only a thinker of such topics would. Here are a few of his tips on creating and maintaining a good attitude.
- Determine your own reality. It’s important to realize that you determine your reality by the way you react to the outside world. When something happens, you get to choose whether it’s a positive or negative experience and react accordingly. Losing your job might be a disaster or it might be the opportunity for bigger and brighter things… you choose what it will mean to you.
- Start each day from a mindset of strength. Most of the population must drag themselves out of bed and this sets a negative frame for their entire day. Positive people create a morning ritual that reinforces how great life is and how happy they are to be alive. I enjoy starting my day with a cup of tea and my journal where I recount what is working in my personal and business life. It feels good to write it down and it gives me a chance to count my blessings.
- Exercise is a great way to maintain your positive attitude because of all the positive chemicals it releases into the bloodstream. Consider a brisk walk at lunchtime or right after work if you can’t make it into a gym for a run on a treadmill. Just walking half an hour per day makes a big difference in your overall feeling of fitness.
- Read positive materials. There are millions of amazing books, audios and videos for you to absorb from people who are inspiring and living the life of their dreams. Tap into their positive emotions and their experience by learning how they think and what they do to create the lives they want. You can do this in the morning or while exercising, eating, commuting, cooking, cleaning… there’s always time for positivity. One of my best recommendations is to get a Kindle account and buy books online… E-Books that are very inexpensive and come with huge benefits to you, the reader. They don’t take up any space and can be read on more than one device such as your smartphone, tablet, PC or MAC.
- Change your language to change your thoughts. Little changes in your language can change the way you think and how you act. Whenever someone greets you and asks how you’re doing do you answer with “fine” or “not too bad?” Think about just what this language is communicating to others… and yourself. Try saying “Better now that I’m talking to you!” or “Never better!”
- It is said that you become what you think about and who you hang out with. Craig says that you will have a similar level of health, income, and lifestyle as the 5 people you spend the most time with. So, if you want to be fit then start hanging out with fit people… want to start a business, then hang out with business owners. And if you want to be positive make sure you’re hanging out with positive people.
- Turn off your TV. This one is directly from me – the writer of this business journal. About a year ago I took all my remotes, DVR boxes, and cables back to my provider and asked them to end my TV service. I kept my Internet service but that was it. With streaming from the shows, I wanted to watch I saved money and ended the mind-numbing commercials, promotions and endless ads popping up on my TV screen. Want proof? Glance at any newspaper TV show lineup and read the actual titles of the shows available to you 24 hours a day. That should be all the proof you need.
In summary, having a good attitude is a choice. Make the best choices all day long and watch your sense of well-being improve over time. You’ll act and feel better about the new you as both your attitude and your success reach new highs as a result!
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Will Robertson, Founder / CEO, Jay McDowell, President / MBA and Lisa Walker, Senior Partner, are doing business as Performance Strategies, Inc. Our offices are located at 1231 E. Dyer Road, Suite 215, Santa Ana, CA 92705. You can reach us 562-577-7000. Our E-Mail addresses: Will@PS-MCG.com and Jay@PS-MCG.com and Lisa@PS-MCG.com
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