It's that time of year we begin to review, reflect, and plan for our future. What have we done well, what are we going to work on, and what we didn't do well in our recent review. Before you can really put a plan into action, you need to understand that any change requires a simple domino effect.
I need to thank the John Maxwell Podcast for this ... I added a bit of my commentary, but the basis comes from John!
Thinking - Domino 1
This domino effect begins upstairs! That's right, in your mind. Zig Ziglar is quoted "You are what you are because of what goes into your mind". It's pretty simple then, right? If you want to change who you are, then change what is going on in your mind. The first step in the domino effect is thinking! Henry Ford said "If you think you can, or think you can't, you are right".
What are you putting into our mind? When you think about the possibilities of something happening, are you more negative than positive? I am not a big believer of the theory of Law of Attraction, however negative thinking will bring about negative results. When we watch the evening news, or scroll through social media, this changes our attitudes and our thinking.
In order to start this domino effect, you need to start with changing your thinking! If Zig Ziglar is right, and we are who we are because of what goes into our mind AND if we want to be something else, then change the way you think! When you change the way you think, you will change your beliefs.
Beliefs - Domino 2
Step two in the domino effect is a direct result of our thinking. Again with Henry Fords quote, thinking you can or can't, you are right! When you line up to run a race of any kind, why would you think of anything but coming in first?
The first time I ever went to a Casino, I went to the ATM Machine and took out $100. This was a lot of money for me, and I set this budget because why? It was the most I could afford to lose. This is good practical advice, but not a great way to head out and conquer the world. I am not much of a gambler, so I went to a $2 Blackjack table to play. For the next 45 minutes, things were going okay. Win a few, lose a few, and the chips were increasing. I started to raise my bets a bit higher, and after another 30 minutes I looked down and found that I was up over $300!
Looking at my watch, I realized it was getting late, and I had an early breakfast meeting with a client. I pulled my chips towards me like I was going to leave, and then something in my head said, go ahead and stay for a while, you said it was okay to lose up to $100. I stayed, and within 15 minutes, I not only lost the $3oo I was up, but the $100 that I said it was okay to lose. Beliefs lead to expectations.
Expectations - Domino 3
Benjamin Franklin said "Blessed are for he that expects nothing, for he shall receive it" Again, why line up for a race where you expect to lose? Why play the lottery when you say it's okay to lose that $5?
In the nearly 4-decades of being in sales, I have never gone into a negotiation expecting to fail. Why negotiate then at all? Just give the customer exactly what they want, and save the time. If the client is going in to negotiate, they obviously are willing to give in a bit as well. Otherwise they would have either said emphatically no to your last offer, or signed the contract.
What are your expectations? If we starting thinking and believing positive things, you will soon begin to expect those as well.
As your expectations change, then a big shift occurs, your attitude changes as well.
Attitude - Domino 4
Let's use another Ziglar quote here ... "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude". Those with a positive attitude have a better working brain! Yes, this was actually reported in a Stanford Study, stating that your brain works better with a positive attitude!
If you want to change where you are and what you are, and you need a better working brain - get positive! How much more evidence do you need than that?
As you attitude changes for the better, what is next? Your behavior ...
Behavior - Domino 4
Our behavior is proof of what is actually going on in our minds. If you think you can do something, you are willing to push yourself thru that comfort zone. If you are expecting to lose weight, and you have a positive attitude about that, the next think is to change your behavior. It's either putting down that bag of chips, or going to the gym, but it's something you are willing to do.
Changing your behavior requires some level of discomfort. This is where change really occurs, right outside the comfort zone. Behavior is our most difficult transformation. We need to fight our urges and make it natural. When I first started my exercise program, it was a simple walk to the end of the block and back. Some days I did, some I didn't. I am now into my 7th year of these walks, and I don't miss ... ever. I'm at 3-5 miles (depending on time) daily, and nothing stops me. I'm like the post office; thru rain, snow, sleet and all of that, I get it done. I simply followed these dominos ...
Which leads us next from behavior to performance!
Performance - Domino 5
I've already said it above. I moved from a simple block to up to 5 miles. From 1 or 2 days a week, to 365 days a year without missing. This really doesn't require much more explanation that. Positive attitude, modified and positive behavior ... improved results.
And when we follow all of these domino's ... we get what we are expecting.
Domino 6 - Life
When you have improved performance in any aspect of your life. Whether it is family, personal, social, financial, mental, spiritual, or physical ... if it's improve, your life is improved. And that is what we are trying to do, isn't it? When we are out to grow, we want to change our lives for the better. Follow the domino effect, and you can write your success story next year!
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