Has anyone ever spoken words over you that changed the course of your life? Have you ever heard or read something that ignited something on the inside of you that forever changed who you are? Then you know the power of words. And it’s the words that you say, that you declare, that hold the key to unleashing your full potential.
By the time you read this, I might be cradling a newborn baby in my arms. As I write this, my wife, Tara, is due with our second child any day now. So, naturally, my mind is racing with thoughts of all the things I’ll need to do for this child as his or her father.
The one thing I see repeatedly with ultra-successful people in any profession is that they are intentional about who they surround themselves with. Are you?
“Why don’t you get a real job?”
“You’re wasting your time on that.”
“You’ll never make any money doing that.”
What if you truly could never lose? What if every failure wasn’t the end but the beginning? What if you truly are invincible? What if you actually believed that?
I recently took our four-year old daughter, Aracelli, to the park for a daddy-daughter date afternoon. It was unseasonably cold, so we had the place to ourselves, except for a few brief moments when another family showed up. That was when the little girl Aracelli was playing with taught me a powerful lesson.
Make up the Rules as You Go
Somehow, I managed to be “it.” “It” of course means that I am the designated chaser. No adult ever chooses to be “it” or ever knows why he or she is “it.” It remains to this day one of the greatest mysteries of humankind: the origin of the “it.” But I digress…
As the “it,” I was charged with chasing two little girls around the park. Up and down ladders, over the bridge, down the slides, until, at last, I caught my daughter and tagged her. As I triumphantly celebrated my massive accomplishment and announced the passing of “it” status to Aracelli, Eleanor announced something remarkable:
“You have to catch us twice,” she yelled. She was making the rules up as she went.
She can always win.
She can never be defeated.
I used to be a very grumpy person. OK, I still am sometimes, but it used to be a whole lot worse. Until I discovered the power of something so simple, it almost seemed too good to be true. I learned how to smile more.
In today’s episode I’ll share with you:
- How I learned how to smile. (Yes, for some of us this takes learning)
- The positive effects of smiling more on your mind, body, and performance.
- The secret to smiling more.
- 6 ways you can get in the habit of smiling more.
This episode is literally guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, so listen carefully and you’ll reap the benefits of smiling more.
Do yourself a favor…the next time you start to say something bad about yourself, SHUT UP! Seriously, shut up. Don’t say it.
You can think it, but don’t say it. Don’t mumble it under your breathe. Don’t say it to someone else. Don’t write it down.
Your negative thoughts don’t have to become reality. In fact they can’t be, because you are too valuable to the rest of us to live that way.
So shut up.
The problem with your inner voices is that they are usually lying. And not only do they lie, but they manipulate you, twist the truth, and even make you believe the lies. They’ll even tell you two opposing lies (both extremes)…and you’ll believe them both.
Two Voices – Both Lies
My inner voices are tricky. One voice tells me this:
You are where you are in life only because of dumb luck.
That is the first lie.
Another voice tells me:
You got where you are in life only because of hard work, determination, and because you are just that special.
That is the voice I actually like to listen to. This voice lifts my head up high, puffs my chest out, and makes me feel good about myself.
But both voices are lies.
There is a single word in the English language that will bury you. It’s the worst four-letter word of them all (psychologically speaking). It’s the word “don’t.”
The problem with this word is that your subconscious mind doesn’t understand the word “don’t.”
To illustrate, try this:
Don’t think of a piping hot pizza. Don’t picture it coming out of the oven with steam rising off the top of the bubbling cheese and glistening pepperoni. Don’t think of the amazing smells wafting from the kitchen.
Just writing that caused me to drool on my keyboard. If you are reading this at approximately 10am, my apologies. Treat yourself to a mid-morning snack.
You thought of the pizza, didn’t you? That’s how our minds work.
Almost a decade ago, my boss at the time said something about me that changed my life. “Matt thrives in chaos,” he said. “When others are paralyzed by the stress to the point of inaction, Matt is focused and gets results.” That one statement forever altered the way I look at stressful events.
His words came shortly after a particularly stressful 48 hours in our company. Our only server had crashed and for the next two days, our developers, my boss and I survived on virtually no sleep. There was no guarantee that we’d recover the data from that server. Second guessing and finger pointing were in abundance.
It didn’t feel like it at the time, but I was in my comfort zone. I was standing out as a leader.
I’ll admit it. The title of this post is deceptive. Many of you read it and probably did a double take. Did I really just tell you that you’ll never be happy? No…I told you that you will never find happiness.
The pursuit of happiness
Seven years ago, I was pursuing Tara, who is now my wife. Every day was a new adventure. One day I sent her flowers, the next I wrote her a poem, the next I’d surprise her at her house when she got off work. Every single day I did something intentionally to deepen our relationship.
I never expected for her to just accidentally fall in love with me. I never expected for her to just find love in her heart.
The same is true for happiness. You will never just find it. It must be created intentionally. It must be worked for.
Emotions spread like wildfire. Every emotion is contagious, whether we like to admit it or not. One negative person can ruin an entire team, but the good news is that one positive person can affect the attitude and performance of an entire team, too.
More than a decade ago, I went through some leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. One of the exercises was particularly powerful. Unfortunately it took me more than ten years to understand the lesson it taught me.
Each of the members of the training were asked to order the steps in a manufacturing process from one to twenty. None of us knew manufacturing and that was the point. Since none of us was an expert, we would all end up with different processes.