Excerpt for Ingredients Of a Success Mindset by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


By Tony W. Leslie

Copyright 2018, Tony W. Leslie. This book is in copyright

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That morning kelvin Enrick stood alternative to the door of the fifth computer laboratory, the peak laboratory at Delvicx Technologies. He gazed at it with widened eyes of admiration and a smile on his face. After a few seconds, the smile on his face was supplanted by a mask of gloom. “That's where I belong.” He said silently as he walked away his head facing downwards. He had always wanted to work there but Mr. Edward, his boss, had adamantly refused to permit him because he thought his skills were limited to the third computer laboratory.

That evening he said enough is enough. As he drove to his home, he passed by the book store, bought a pile of artificial intelligence books then resumed his journey.

He started spending up to seven hours a day immersed in the books and practicing what he was learning from them. Six months later, he completed his studies.

Mr. Edward walked into the fifth laboratory and found Enrick working on a computer. “Hi Mr. Enrick! Don’t you work in the third laboratory?” He said walking towards him. “Yeah.” He tilted his head to the right side and focused his eyes into Mr. Edward’s narrowed red eyes. “That is where I was assigned, but working in that laboratory is limiting myself. Technically speaking I don’t exploit my abilities fully, you know.” He stood to his full height and started walking towards a white robot that was standing five meters away from the computer's monitor. Mr. Edward was looking at him with narrowed eyes and a gloomy face. He pressed a green button on the robot's chest. “Hi Mr. Edward! Why are you angry and sad?” The robot asked in a soft female voice. You mean she can detect my emotions accurately?” He said fixing his widened eyes of astonishment on Enrick. Enrick nodded confidently. “Spectacular!” He said walking towards the robot. “Wow! I can see that you now happy.” The robot said. Mr. Edward started conversing with her.

Enrick had just accomplished a masterpiece that the company had rendered a conundrum after investing over two hundred million dollars. He had proven his incredible prowess in robotics and computer science. Mr. Edward was really impressed with his action. This compelled him to make Enrick the president of the fifth laboratory.

You need to emulate Kelvin's approach towards life. If you want something, go for it. If you are not happy with the state of your life, change it yourself. Dreams are achieved through taking massive action that correlates with them. You can’t be a jazz maestro through rapping, you can’t be a legendary footballer through honing your biotechnology prowess, and you can’t be an astronaut via studying molecular biology. The same way you can’t achieve your dreams through doing things that do not pertain achieving them, or doing nothing about them. You must take action for your life to change.

Practically all human beings have goals that they want to achieve. Some of us dream of becoming millionaires, others dream of becoming industrialists, scientists, artists among things. Tragically, most people don’t achieve their goals. They do their best to achieve those goals but not what it takes to achieve them.

Most folks try to do exactly what this farmer was doing. He planted grass on his farm then waited for it to mature. Three months later, the grass became yellow. He slashed it then left it to regrow, when it regrew, it became yellow again. He slashed it and left it to regrow five more times but he received the same results. He started wondering what the heck was amiss with the grass.

The heck that was wrong with the grass was its roots, not its leaves. They needed enough mineral salts and water. All he had to do was to add fertilizer and water the grass.

We operate in two worlds: The visible world and invisible world. The visible world constitutes our physical world. The results we receive in life like our levels of happiness and our achievements. The invisible world is the mental world. It constitutes our minds. This is a fact that has skipped the minds of most people. For this reason, they keep on trying to pursue success by dealing with the physical aspects of their lives as they exempt their minds. They try to achieve success through changing their geographical locations, jobs, and even the niches of their investments. Unfortunately, they receive the same results perpetually. This is called disaster. No matter how many times they try, they will keep on failing. This is parallel to typing information into a computer in English then printing it before passing it through a language translation software expecting to have a printed document that is in French.

Your mind is like a universal powerhouse. It houses all the ideas that govern every aspect of your life. It’s the underpinning of all your results in life. Technically, there is nothing you will ever change in this world if you don’t change your mind. Being successful in anything you do requires a total renewal of your mind. Anything else you try to do related to pursuing success without changing your mind is a waste of time.

Changing your mind involves developing a success mindset. A success mindset is the belief system that successful people have towards success and life in general. It governs everything that they do as they pursue their dreams.

Why should you cultivate a success mindset?

Before schools were established, people could learn through apprenticeship. Someone who wanted to become a doctor could become a doctor's apprentice, someone who wanted to become a philosopher could learn from a philosopher, someone who wanted to become a merchant could learn from a merchant. The same system has been extended to the contemporary word only that it’s in a different form. Doctors learn from professors of medicine; astronomers learn from astronomy experts among other professions. This can’t be done the other way round. A professor of medicine can’t teach an astronaut how to fly a rocket. Doing this is instigating a catastrophe.

The reason why we must find relevant persons to teach us what we need to know about those fields is that those teachers have delved into those fields, studied them, and experienced them. The same principle applies to success. To achieve success, you need to learn from successful people and cultivate a mindset that is parallel to theirs. In order to achieve success, you must have a success mindset. You can’t become a millionaire if you have a poverty mindset.

Human beings have potential, but they must be trained in order to reach their full potential. They are great but they must be trained in order to achieve greatness. Our potential and greatness are suppressed by the fact that we have been born and brought up in average societies. We have been taught the average ways of living our lives such as embracing our comfort zones, settling for less than we can become, shunning economic progress, searching for the convenience of success without the inconvenience that comes with it among other self-limiting things. After being programmed with these ideas, they create our reality, which is the average results the societies we live in have received.

This book is going to guide you through the framework of a success mindset. The lessons you will find here will put you into perfect harmony with the principles of success and enable you to awaken your personal power.

This book doesn’t contain everything you need to know about success. I have just demystified the frameworks of a success mindset. In order to benefit from it, read a single chapter, then close it and contemplate what you have learnt and how it will help you to achieve your dreams.

Ingredient 1: Establish The Underpinnings of Success

Having a strong intention to make consistent progress is the primary requisite for reaching your full potential and being successful. According to most people, the major framework of success constitutes: goals, strategies, and massive action. However, achieving success requires more than the three. Its foundational prerequisite is being in a position where you can achieve it. You can't carry a 90-kilogram gunny of corn if you don’t have the strength required to lift it, you can’t fly a rocket if you don’t have the skills required to fly it, and you can’t code a software in C++ if you don’t know its principles. The same applies to success. You can’t achieve it if you aren’t in a position to succeed.

Legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “The biggest challenge in life is you can have more than you got or become less than you are; unless you change who you are, you will always be the same person. Success far exceeds personal development. Unless you grow to where it is, it will never come to you.”

Mr. Rohn's words elucidate the meaning of being in a position where you can succeed. You need to improve yourself consistently. Personal development is a basic facet of achieving success. It puts you in a position where you can succeed. Moreover, it separates you from the multitude. It makes you a very unique person.

There are three main levels in life. The below average level, the average level, and the above average level. Falling in any of these levels is a personal choice.

The below average level is also called the level of indifference. People who dwell here don’t give a damn about life and success. They go with the wind wherever it blows. They are, “died at thirty buried at seventy” ideologues. Moreover, they are synonymous with the belief that “the rich get richer, the poor get poorer”; consequently, they don’t have to dissipate their time striving for success. They are fine within their pathetic state.

People on the average level unlike below average are interested in life. Moreover, they want to succeed, but they do not know what it takes to do it. Therefore, their attempts to succeed fail. After some of them fail to succeed, they relinquish their dreams after branding them the title “unrealistic dreams” and decide to live a satisfactory life – having a good family and income is enough for them.

People who are on the average level are at the growing zone. They have an indescribable zeal for success, learn what it takes to achieve it, and take massive action. They are determined to grow in their own unique ways and reach their full potential.

You need to rise above the two precedent levels if you want become successful. Those are zones of mediocrity. Success is found on the above average level. When you reach the above average level, you will become a unique person. You will develop an above average desire to win, an above average desire for knowledge, above average eyes for opportunities in your environment, an above average inclination for living a life of purpose, an above average purpose in life, start above average relationships, and have an above average perception of failure. Every significant aspect of your life will be above average.

Most people want above average jobs, above average health, to drive above average cars, and live in above average homes, yet they have confined themselves to the average or below average levels. This is like trying to install an IOS application in an android device expecting it to work.

It is beyond the realms of possibility. The two operating systems are incommensurable. Trying to pursue success yet you are not on the growing level is the most absurd irony in the world.

When you embrace below average and mediocre ways of life, you limit yourself. You limit your success, you limit your happiness, you limit your health, and you limit your potential.

You need to emulate the desire of the young but unlimited eagle. When she was hatched, her mom placed her in the nest. While in the nest, she asked herself why she was limiting herself to the tiny nest yet she could explore the environment beyond the nest’s vicinity. She left the nest.

As she explored the environment she saw trees then asked herself why she was limiting herself to the ground, yet she could fly above the trees. She flew above them. As she flew above the trees, she saw taller trees then she asked herself why she was limiting herself to the short trees, yet she could fly above them. She flew above them.

As she flew above the trees, she saw the tallest trees then asked herself why she was limiting herself to them, yet she could fly above the tallest trees, she did the same, but in the process she discovered that she could fly high to the sky, so she flew higher and higher and higher until she could fly no more. She not only saw the vicinity of her nest but also the whole jungle. She reached her full potential. Didn’t she?

Don’t settle for less than you can become. How many significant books can you read? As many as possible. How hard can you work? As hard as you can. How productive can you be? Beyond your imagination. How far can you reach in life? Further than you could ever imagine? How creative can you become? Beyond infinity. There is no limit to how much of your potential you can exploit or what you can become as long as you embrace life with deliberate purpose to grow. Just the way the eagle couldn’t settle for less than she could become is the same way you should not settle for less than you can become. Life and time are too good to be wasted in the lower levels.

You are like a black smith, he has created manifold things out of metals: pans, locomotives, houses, cutlery – name it. You can’t become everything on earth. However, you can achieve more than you can ever imagine only if you get out of your comfort zone, learn the philosophy of success and step into the above average zone with a training spirit and a deliberate purpose to succeed.

You can reach your full potential by doing that single thing you choose to pursue. It doesn’t matter what sort of field you are in. When Walt Disney got into the animation industry, it was bereft of financial rewards and appropriate technology, but he revolutionized it and managed to create Walt Disney Corporation. Sometimes you might never reach your full potential while in a particular occupation. This doesn’t mean that you should stagnate. Life is all about constant progress. As for the mentioned case, you can find a place where you belong. For instance, John D. Rockefeller was working as an assistant bookkeeper and running small businesses, after realizing that he could exploit his potential better in the oil industry, he ventured into it and ended up building an oil monopoly in America – Standard Oil. We have seen the same thing being done by people like Andrew Carnegie, who started a steel mining company; Jeff Bezos, who left a high paying job to start Amazon; and Jan Koum, who left Yahoo to start WhatsApp among others.

“Success is not something you seek; success is something that comes to you. If you change yourself, everything around you changes.” Jim Rohn.

This shows that success is not about the conditions that surround you. Success is about you. When you confine yourself to the lower zones (below average and average) everything is easy. There is extreme comfort. If you need something that is going to change your life but lack the resources you need to acquire it, all you have to do is say is, “I can’t afford it” and you’ll be done. Asking yourself how you can afford it is stressing yourself. In those zones, failure to make it in life is attributed to external factors. Winter held me back, my boss was too toxic to allow me grow, the jam always hindered me from arriving at work early, the taxes were too high to save extra investment cash, I couldn’t afford to make it to college, I didn’t have money thus I never bought the book, and if things get better I will get better.

Life in the next ten years will be as you see it today. As a matter of fact, it is the way it has always been for the past six thousand years. The sun rises and sets in the morning and evening respectively, the moon follows its 28-day cycle, seasons follow their normal order, a day has 24 hours, and a year the normal 365/366 days. The world is like this and will always be this way. Things will only get better for you when you decide to get better. The seasons can’t change, the economy might never change, the obstacles on your path might never change, but you can change for the better. If you continue doing what you were doing in the last three years, your life will be the way it was in the next twenty years.

Personal development is the reason why economically successful people do well economically even when the economy is in a bad state. The lessons of personal development they have inculcated in themselves have made them sapient enough to change their investment strategy.

Personal development is the reason why two people work for the same company, but one gets paid ten thousand dollars a year, and the other gets paid two hundred thousand dollars a year. Personal development adds value; value attracts success. The reason why the latter is paid more money than the former is that he is more valuable. This fact resonates through the entire corporate world. Entrepreneurs who add more value to the lives of people through production of products make more money. Those who make the best products thus add the most value earn the largest sums of money. The most valuable employees get paid the largest amount of money, for instance Sunder Pichai, the CEO of Google. The least valuable employees get paid less money. Value is the prime thing in the economic world. It can only be increased through consistent self-improvement.

Success can’t come to you until you make a deliberate purpose to improve yourself. Even if it comes luckily you won’t maintain it. If you doubt, here is what happens to people who earn it overnight, when they lack the qualities that can enable them to maintain it. Statistics show that 80% of lottery winners go back to their initial financial position or even a worse financial state. At the same time, we saw Masayoshi Son becoming the richest man on earth but lost 97% of his wealth within a few hours but still became the richest man in Japan. Why? Because people in the lower levels do not know what it means to create and maintain wealth, but above average people are fully conscious of the philosophy of wealth creation. Those who lose their lottery jackpots are below average and average people, with below average and average belief systems and actions trying to handle things that above average people handle. There is a huge difference between the way lower level persons and above average persons can handle a million dollars. These are called FACTS. Someone who doesn’t know the philosophy of money can’t handle it like someone who understands it.

Waiting for the world to change so that you can grow is the worst form of delusion. If you want change stand up and effect that change. That is exactly what people who live their lives beyond limits do. For instance,

- Charles Babbage was dissatisfied with how mathematics was done in his days, he invented the first computer so as to correct errors he was seeing in the field of mathematics.

- Thomas Edison effected the changes he wanted via his inventions.

- Mother Theresa was dissatisfied with the conditions of people living in slums in India, she went and changed their lives according to her best abilities.

- Samuel Walton wanted Walmart to expand, he expanded it himself.

Don’t wait for the world. Take a deliberate action to change yourself. You are the change you have been waiting for.

The question to ask yourself about life is not what life is giving you, the question to ask is what you are becoming. You are the change effector. Your job has no problem. The problem is what you are becoming. Keep growing.

Ingredient 2: Cultivate a Winning Attitude

You have a tremendous potential to achieve your goals, be happy, and achieve greatness. However, reaching your full potential depends on your attitude.

Your attitude is your outlook of yourself and your environment. It’s very significant because it determines the speed at which you procure knowledge, skills, and achieve your goals. It provides you with a framework which you can use to deal with challenges, failure, and change.

If you perceive challenges as paralysis, they will paralyze you. If you see them as hurdles, one strengthening you to the next, they’ll strengthen you. If you perceive failure as the end of the world, your perception will become a reality. If you perceive it as an opportunity, full of indispensable treasures that can make you successful, you'll be inspired to search for the seeds of success disguised in it and use them to achieve your goals. If you perceive change as a distraction you won’t draw any lessons from it. Your attitude is powerful enough to enable you to either manifest your desire or not.

Your main source of happiness, or sadness is you. Happiness and success don’t come to you, you create them yourself through the attitude you have towards life and the actions your attitude influences you to take. Success can only come towards you if you are an above average person. And being an above average person is determined by the attitude you have towards self-improvement. Life is like a mirror, if you face it with a frowning face, it frowns back at you. If you face it with a smiling face, it faces you with a parallel face. You design your life with your own attitude.

Manifold things might transpire to you. In spite of this, the impact of negative situations on your life is up to you. They might hit you and instigate incalculable detriment on things that you have worked like a Trojan to acquire. Despite this, being prevented from becoming a better version of yourself is your own decision. Situations take their own trajectory. You can control some of them, but others are beyond the perimeters of your influence, for instance, the woman who lost her children in a deadly earthquake didn’t lose them willingly, and that innocent boy who was born without arms and legs never made that choice. However, the impact of their states on their lives is up to them. They can choose to cultivate the “I am limited by this state” attitude or the “I am a winner” attitude. Your reaction to situations and not situations you find yourself in define your reality. The wind blows in whichever direction it wants, you can’t control it, but you can adjust your sail in whichever direction you want in order to reach your destination.

Having a positive attitude has manifold benefits over a negative attitude as follows:

An optimist perceives opportunity in every difficulty, while a pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. One fact optimists understand that pessimists don’t, is as Cara Fox said it, “Beyond each impenetrable expense of thundercloud obscurity reigns a boundless canopy of brilliant sapphire blue. “There is a glittering treasure called opportunity in every problem. And only optimistic people are meticulous enough to perceive it. They have an incredibly great ability to turn their obstacles and failures into their success. Optimistic people know no limits, pessimistic people on the other hand perceive the challenges in every opportunity. They are impaired by their challenges.

According to a series of studies from both Uncle Sam and Europe, optimism helps people to cope with malady and recover from surgery briskly. Further research has revealed that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and lower the rate of death during follow up periods of 15 to 49 years. Moreover, optimists handle stress better than pessimists which has a positive contribution to their health.

People with a positive mindset set, achieve more positive outcomes than those who have a negative mindset. Unlike optimists, pessimists have a negative perception of the future thus don’t set big, achievable goals. Even if they set goals, they don’t pursue them confidently; therefore, they receive negative outcomes. For instance, when Jack Ma founded Alibaba, he believed that it was going to become one of the top websites in the word. He was optimistic about his startup. This is why he never gave up even after practically thirty investors refused to invest in the company. His optimism bore fruits. Today Alibaba is among the biggest companies in the world making him one of the richest people in the world.

When handling a disappointing situation, optimists formulate a plan that can get them out of the situation whereas pessimists tend to relinquish easily.

Optimistic people are more confident thus have a higher probability of achieving their goals as compared to pessimists. In a study, people who believed that they could achieve a certain goal did so in 80% of cases, whereas, people who did not believe they could achieve, achieved only 20% of their time. Optimists were found to put more effort and acted more creatively to find ways to overcome predicaments than pessimists.

Optimists have a high probability of excelling in their careers. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” The validity of this statement was substantiated by a study that showed that pessimistic children do poorly in achievement tests. Not because they are less bright, they relinquish when things become frustrating.

Optimism makes your life more interesting because it makes you hope for a better future, enthusiastic, and even curious about it.

Optimistic people are go get it kind of people. They believe that they are the major key to their better future. For this reason, they take responsibility for their own lives and act proactively. Moreover, when they encounter an obstacle, they find its source and solve it whether they triggered it or not.

One of the greatest difference between optimistic and pessimistic people is how they think. Pessimistic people think with their emotions as optimistic people apply rationality in their thinking. Emotions are erratic. Today you are happy, tomorrow you are sad. Thinking in correspondence with your unstable emotions is a ticket to fail. Optimists have mastered their emotions. Consequently, they know how to stabilize their minds and emotions. They know the right emotional states to make decisions. Their thinking is based on facts. Let me use this example to articulate my point. A lady gets enraged by petty things, she tells her boyfriend that she abhors him and that she doesn’t want to ever see him again. After her anger subsides, she starts regretting her actions. This is emotional thinking. It influences people to make incoherent decisions which rest on a foundation of negative experiences. Negative experiences lead to negative results. These results make people negative. The overall result is a pessimistic life. The inverse is true.

Developing a positive Attitude

Change your belief system. The human mind is like a computer. Computers operate the way they do because of the software that has been installed in them. Likewise, your life is controlled by a set of beliefs that you have instilled in your mind. If you inculcate in it positive beliefs about success and happiness, you will start working towards them. If you saturate it with beliefs that trigger failure, you’ll follow that path until you fail. For instance, someone who believes health is not important will live an unhealthy lifestyle. This will instigate an early death from a health related complication. You must change your attitude if you want to live a life without limits.

All you need to do is to explore your beliefs. They are the basic units of your attitude and the main factors that determine how you perceive the world around you. These beliefs developed as you grew up and they are influenced by two major factors; you and your environment.

Your environment subsumes things you hear, see, and experience. No one was born with the idea that money is the root of all evil. People learn such an idea from their environment. The negative ideas they live their lives cultivating become their greatest silent destroyers. Someone who believes that money is the root of all evil, won’t work to acquire it. As a result, he or she will never create wealth, find a good and well-paying job, or take part in any significant money spinning activity.

Money is not the root of all evil in real sense. Lack of money is the root of all evil. Money is just a measure of value. As a matter of fact, the more money one has indicates that he adds a lot of value to the lives of more people by selling them the products they need. The more money one has is equal to the value he puts in the market place. Having a lot of money means one can take care of his family, help others, change the world for the better et cetera. Someone who lacks money is limited. Lack of money leads to crime, manipulation among other infractions. This is just an example. There are many beliefs that exist in people's minds (including yours) that don’t serve them.

You create your belief system by accepting and internalizing the ideas you receive from your environment. The subconscious mind accepts all of them and uses them to fabricate a belief system that governs your life. Perceive it this way. The conscious mind is like a gatekeeper. It has all the power to test and rationalize ideas then either reject or accept them. If it accepts them, they are passed to the subconscious mind which is like a fertile land. It accepts them without discrimination and nurtures them until they produce fruits. These fruits irrespective of whether they are edible or poisonous become your reality. If your mind is a pool of toxic beliefs, your life becomes limited by the beliefs.

To explore your belief system. Take a piece of paper and divide it into columns; write down all the ideas you have about different aspects of life like your career, money, health, education, relationships et cetera. Don’t hurry, take enough time to investigate them. The easiest way to find them is to look at the results you receive or the state of your life. The physical world is a reflection of the mental world, so relate it to the mental world. For example, if you spent your money in a profligate way, there is a belief that influences you to do it that way. You might have grown up believing that rich people are corrupt, an expensive lifestyle is more important than financial freedom or even brought up in an environment where people had similar behaviors. You can also investigate your upbringing, the things you have been hearing, seeing, and experiencing. These are the building blocks of your belief system. After exploring your mind, expunge all the self-sabotaging beliefs you had inculcated in yourself and start creating a belief system that serves you. This can be achieved through learning from people who have positive attitudes towards life. In such a way, you begin to reprogram your mind.

Create an environment where you can grow. If you give a shark a multibillion dollar mansion, a fleet of private jets and sport cars, and all the money in the world, it will still die after several hours. This is because everything has its own environment where it can thrive. A fresh water fish can’t survive in an ocean just the same way a human being can’t survive under the ocean water even if you made him or her the king or queen of the ocean. This means that for you to thrive, you must create your own environment where you can thrive. Therefore, you must watch the folks who you invite into your life. The chances of staying positive when you are surrounded by negative people are thin. Moreover, the people who you spend your time with can either program your mind with positivity or negativity. You can’t reach your full potential if you stay with people who perceive the difficulties in every opportunity or who are focused on the darkest aspects of everything. The kind of individuals who you tell about your new business venture but they keep on telling you how farfetched it is instead of offering you concrete solutions that will make it better.

Despite the fact that you need to supplant negative people with positive people, you need to progress in life. Progress involves understanding reality because it enables you to deal with situations appropriately. Don’t search for people who will shower you with useless praises when you are failing. Find people who are positive about life but help you to understand reality. A positive attitude is not a cheat for evading reality. It’s a tool used to face negative reality in a positive way. If drugs are bad for your health, they are bad. If your business strategy is not good, that is exactly what it is. Don’t call people toxic because they tell you the truth. You must be able to differentiate between toxic people and people who help you to comprehend reality. Toxic people have a natural tendency to focus on negative aspects of everything while positive people draw your attention to reality by telling you facts then advising you to find appropriate solutions or give you the solutions you need.

As you build a network of people who have a positive attitude towards life, don’t become a slave of anyone. Have your well defined principles and live according to them. Don’t be a people pleaser because trying to please everyone is the easiest way to fail. Moreover, don’t wear counterfeit masks that'll give you a gazillion different looks before different people. If you stand before a Christian, Jesus becomes lord, if you stand before a Muslim, you become a strong believer of Mohammed’s doctrines, and a staunch student of Buddha before a Buddhist. Be yourself.

Change how you perceive negative situations and how you act upon them. Negative situations are almost an inherent aspect of life. If they hit you, don’t run away from them. Let them touch you but not kill you. In other words, draw manifold lessons about life from them, then focus on the positive side of life. Both bright and dark days of your life are important. However, can you learn more from your darkest days than your brightest days. How can you learn from the darkest days of your life if you turn your face away from them and perceive them as plague? They are tools of learning and crutches of improving and strengthening oneself. As you learn from adversity, take action that will pull you out.

Understand facts about positive thinking. Some people astonish me with how their minds interpret things. They are willing to bend facts so that they can support their beliefs about life. One of the lame ideas about optimism that I have heard is positive thinkers tell themselves that they can change reality with thoughts. This idea has some truth in it. You can’t change reality with thoughts alone. There is more to that. However, this is underestimating the power of thoughts.

There are certain realities about life that can’t be changed, but there are those that can be changed. For instance, losing your use of legs due to an accident is a fact that is immutable. Now that you can’t change this reality will life continue or will you focus on the fact that you will never walk again and stress yourself to death? Life must continue. It can only continue if you accept reality and focus single mindedly on what you can do. If reality can’t change, change yourself and how you approach life.

All realities that can change are transformed through thoughts and actions. It’s absurd how some people ignore the power of thoughts. No action can occur without thinking no matter how impulsive it is. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, then you tell yourself that it is impossible. You will give up. Won’t you? But if you tell yourself you can become a millionaire, you will without doubt start doing things that will you a millionaire. If you reach somewhere and say it is impossible after failing twenty times you will relinquish, but if you say it is possible if you change your strategy and keep on moving, you won’t give up. If you make the right investments in life, won’t your reality change?

Don’t be deceived, thoughts are powerful enough to change your life. Look at the positive side of life and you will work towards your goals, focus on its dark side and tell yourself how you are a useless nobody who will never make it in life and see if you won’t remain that useless nobody.

Understanding facts about optimism also involves being able to define it. Optimism is not avoiding reality optimism is facing reality positively. If reality can’t be changed, you change yourself and grow. This is the art that begins in the mind because it is in it that most of our thoughts shape our realities.

Deal with negative emotions. Negative emotions trigger negative results. For instance, fear of failure can prevent you from taking risks that can change your life, worry will confine you to an endless spiral of negativity. Helplessness will make you give up. Other fruits of negative emotions are stress, depression, difficult relationships, stagnation, and poor health. It is stupid to plan and prepare for your journey then let negative emotions like fear and worry tell you that you will get an accident. What will follow when you are traveling is carelessness and an accident. This is what most people do with their lives. They focus on negative emotions then mess up everything. Question your negative emotions with courage and rationality. Never ever make a choice or take action under the influence of emotions. Don’t let your emotions control you, takeover your emotions instead.

Look at the positive side of life. We are living in a world that is governed by the law of cause and effect. According to this law, every action has its effect. The effect of looking at the positive side of life is walking towards a better future. The effect of looking at the negative side of life is cultivating more negativity which will trigger hopelessness and push you to the edge of life where you will commit suicide. Don’t tell yourself negative words about yourself. As I said earlier, there are realities you will never change about your life. Don’t try to change them, keep on encouraging and improving yourself according to your abilities.

Be a dreamer but stay at the moment. Being successful involves having a vision and a dream. For you to chase a dream, you must have one. All successful people see the future before it happens. Technically, they create it. Creating the future that you want involves focusing on your present moment. All the discoveries that have been made and all the conundrums that have been solved were solved in the present moment. Don’t stuck in the negative side of your past because it will dishearten you, learn and proceed with the journey of life. Don’t worry about the unknown future, it will trigger worry and other negative emotions. Just dream and work on your dreams in the present moment.

One day a man attended a seminar where he was taught about optimism. After learning, he decided to stay in his house and visualize and affirm himself that he is millionaire. A year passed but he was still the same person. Ten years passed but he never became a millionaire. He did that throughout his life and died a very poor man. Being optimistic and visualizing yourself in particular states without taking action is like trying to catch flashes of light. It is called befooling yourself.

I haven’t written this book to impress you. I have written it to tell you facts about success. I am not here to tell you stories about lighting purple and blue candles then affirming and visualizing yourself as a millionaire so that in so doing, you will influence the power of the universe to bring you success. I don’t know how that works and I don’t even care to know how it works.

There is a principle of success called doing what it takes to achieve success. This principle is as definite as you read it. It can’t and will never change, no matter what you do. For you to achieve success, you must take action. There is no substitute to this incredible fact about being successful. If you want to become a millionaire, increase your value for the market place, invest your income in appreciating and income generating assets; or start your own business, leverage other people’s skills, knowledge, time, and energy to put enough value in the market place. If you want to be healthy, eat a balanced diet and exercise. Think positively about life and take appropriate action simultaneously

Ingredient 3: The Law of the Giant Mirror

David Cook started the first Blockbuster store in 1985 in Dallas. That was an unconventional corporate action which attracted critics who questioned the longevity of the movie rental startup. However, Blockbuster was a success from its very inception. This is because it was an unconventional company that did things unconventionally. It devised a model of change completely distinct from its competitors. It displayed movies on shelves instead of behind the counter, it used a system and scanners to track tapes for ease checkouts. It refused to stock adult content to ensure it won’t loosen its grip of its customers. That was a growth oriented company.

As it grew it acquired its competitors incessantly, thus grew even bigger. Its net worth skyrocketed to two billion dollars. Despite its steady growth, it made a mistake that would cost it a few years later. It didn’t see it then but it affected it later. In 2000, Reed Hasting, the founder of Netflix flew to Dallas to propose a partnership to John Antioco and his team. Netflix wanted to run Blockbuster’s brand online then Blockbuster would run and promote it in its stores. John rejected the deal since he thought Netflix was a small niche business.

At that time, blockbuster had reached the apex of its niche. It had a gazillion customers, over 9000 stores, a huge marketing budget, and above all a huge revenue.

One of the biggest Achilles heels yet imperceptible to the Blockbuster team was the fact that it earned its enormous revenue by charging its customers late fees.

As they continued blindly in their glory, Netflix, a young but destructive innovation started rising. It went beyond its obstacles and attracted more customers.

It innovated its products moving from mailing DVDs to customers to online subscription service. Business started booming.

On the other hand, Blockbuster started losing its revenue. From 2003-2005, its revenue reduced to 75%. As the film rental behemoth started plummeting into jeopardy, legendary investor Carl Icahn bought a 5.8% stake in it for 83.8 million suggesting that its approximate net worth had fallen from 2.5 billion to 1.4 billion dollars. Despite Carl giving it a financial boost, its downfall was never quelled. Netflix on the other hand was rising. It was making exponential progress.

In 2007, Blockbuster CEO resigned. Jim Keyes, former 7-Eleven CEO succeeded him. Unfortunately, his reconstruction efforts hit the wall. Blockbuster finally met its fate in 2010. It filed for bankruptcy. Netflix was worth $28 billion at that time.

One of the things that led to the failure of Blockbuster was the fact that its team had no idea of where they were standing, and what was happening around them. They were focused on themselves to the extent that they overlooked the things that were happening around them. As a result, they didn’t perceive the menace of innovations in the industry to their continuity. They stuck to the system that they were accustomed to. What they needed to do was to stop and look at the giant mirror. This mirror could have reflected everything that was happening around them and enabled them to demystify the state of affairs around them, then come up with innovative strategies which could help them cope with the metamorphosis.

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