Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time.
We all have within us the potential for greatness or for failure. Both possibilities are an innate part of our character. Whether we reach for the stars or plunge to the depths of despair depends in large measure on how we manage our positive and negative potential. It is doubtful that, if left unchecked, your virtues will rage out of control. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true about your faults. Left unattended, faults have a way of multiplying until they eventually choke out your good qualities. The surest way to control your faults is to attack them the moment they appear.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.
Perhaps the greatest quality in a leader and the most valuable skill in building relationships is the ability to think before you speak. If you have a tendency to speak hastily in anger and regret your actions at leisure, the childhood admonition to count to ten before speaking will still serve you well. When you pause — if only for a moment — to consider the consequences, you may think better of what you were about to say. And if you must speak strongly, it’s a good idea to sugarcoat the words — just in case you have to eat them later.
Worries, like sheep, seem to flock together. One worry leads to another, and soon you are overwhelmed with the potential for problems. When you allow yourself to play the “what if?” game — to speculate about additional problems that one potential problem might cause — worries multiply, each making the next seem worse. If you must play the “What if?” game, play it to win. Focus on solutions, not on the problems themselves and the additional problems they might create. However serious your worries may seem when they awaken you at midnight, if you analyze them carefully, you will find that every problem has a solution.
To the untrained eye, a geode looks pretty much like an ordinary rock. But a trained geologist knows that inside the geode there is a beautiful crystal lining. The story is the same for those who refuse to examine new possibilities because their minds are closed. Life’s greatest opportunities, like the geode, often come in ordinary packaging. Do not allow yourself to become such a creature of habit that you simply go through the motions and let life happen to you. Just taking a new route to work, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, reading a newspaper instead of watching television, or visiting a museum at lunchtime will stimulate your thought processes and may help you open your mind to new possibilities.
Clarence Saunders made millions by borrowing the self-help cafeteria idea for the grocery business and naming it Piggly Wiggly. Imagination pays!
The founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain was a low-level employee in a corner grocery when he visited a cafeteria and got the idea that the same techniques could be applied to the grocery business. He was ridiculed by experts, but he was convinced that the idea was a good one. Saunders persevered, and his adaptation of the self-service idea to the grocery business led him to become the father of the modern supermarket. It is often true that a great idea alone is not enough to achieve success. Implementation may require as much as or more imagination than coming up with the idea originally. Those who study such things, however, report that when you have a really good idea, even if you can’t prove it, you will intuitively know that it is good. If you’re convinced, stick with it. Others will eventually recognize the value of your idea.
No one really knows for sure how we develop self-respect, but the experts believe it begins at a very early age. Parents who show their children that they love them unconditionally — just because they are who they are — build a foundation of healthy self-respect that will sustain the children for the rest of their lives. From this foundation comes the moral and ethical structure known as character. Healthy self-respect should not be confused with egotism. An egotist loves himself for the most superficial of reasons, while a self-respecting person takes pride in qualities of character that he or she has worked hard to develop.
We human beings are the only creatures on earth who have the capacity for belief. That capacity, combined with our almost innate capability to distinguish right from wrong, provides us with a formidable power in our quest for a richer, more rewarding life. When you set goals for yourself, make sure they are based on doing the right thing for your family, your friends, your employees, and yourself. When others see that you are fair and just in your dealings with them and that you are a generous, principled person, they will move heaven and earth for you.