How winners in life think (JOHN C. MAXWELL)

How winners in life think (JOHN C. MAXWELL)

Winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have done or what they didn’t do. If we don’t like our performances, then we must first change the picture.

Cancer researchers at King’s College in London did a long-term study of fifty-seven breast cancer victims who’d had mastectomies. They found that seven out of ten women “with a fighting spirit” were alive ten years later, while four out of five women “who felt hopeless” at the diagnosis had died.

The study of hope as it affects health even has a fancy name— psychoneuroimmunology. Harborview Medical Center in Seattle is researching in this field, and their findings support the conclusions of the King’s College researchers. In a two-year study of burn victims, the Harborview research team discovered that patients with positive attitudes recovered more quickly than those with negative ones.

Reframing your attitude means: I may not be able to change the world I see around me, but I can change the way I see the world within me.

As you begin changing your thinking, start immediately to change your behavior. Begin to act the part of the person you would like to become. Take action on the behavior you admire by making it your behavior. Too many people want to feel, then take action. This never works.

One day while visiting a doctor’s office, I read this in a medical magazine: We hear it almost every day . . . sigh . . . sigh . . . sigh. “I just can’t get myself motivated to lose weight, test my blood sugar, etc.” And we hear an equal number of sighs from diabetes educators who can’t get their patients motivated to do the right things for their diabetes and health.

We have news for you. Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning. And motivation is not something that someone else— nurse, doctor, family member—can bestow or force on you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.

“Motivation,” says John Bruner, “is like love and happiness. It’s a byproduct. When you’re actively engaged in doing something, the motivation to keep on doing it sneaks up and zaps you when you least expect it.” As Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner says, you’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action. So act! Whatever it is you know you should do, do it.

The attitude development of our children, Elizabeth and Joel Porter, is very important to my wife, Margaret, and me. We learned a long time ago that the most effective way to change our children’s attitudes is to work on their behaviors. But when we tell one of our children, “Change your attitude,” the message is too general and the change we want is unclear. A more effective approach is explaining behaviors that signify bad attitudes. If we help them change their behaviors, the attitudes will change on their own. Instead of saying to our kids, “Get a grateful attitude,” we ask them to give one compliment to every member of the family each day. As this becomes a habit in their lives, the attitude of gratitude follows.




Developing the Leader Within You & Developing the Leaders Around You

John C. Maxwell



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