Think back to the classic stories you read as a child and why you enjoyed them. Was it the pictures, a favorite character, or a saying you liked to repeat? Many times, those stories were trying to teach us something, even though we may not have fully understood it at the time.
One example is “The Little Engine That Could,” which introduces one of the biggest secrets to success. While several trains can pull the stranded cars filled with toys and treats over the mountain, they all refuse. Yet an unlikely engine does because it thinks it can.
So why am I taking us on this walk down memory lane? Because the power of our thoughts can drive us to achieve wealth. When thought drives action, our brain will gravitate to positive or negative solutions depending on what atmosphere already exists within our mind. There is no such thing as neutral because positive and negative cannot exist at the same time, so our brain must choose.
Developing a positive state of mind doesn’t mean walking around with a smile on your face. It’s much more than that. We must look for all the ways something can be done and act on those ideas to get what we want. All you have to do is reprogram your brain to default to attracting those positive thoughts. The following steps, if applied daily, can help you down the path.
1. Shed Negativity
The first step is to identify negativity in your day and get rid of it. Avoid participating in gossip and negative conversations. Make a conscious choice to not get offended by others. Reject self‐pity and embrace self‐reliance. Recognize bad habits and commit to abstaining for a month. In doing so, you build up the muscle memory of controlling your thoughts.
2. Train Your Brain
Once you’ve swept out the negative, make room for the positive. Find something you love to do, whether it be in the office or a hobby, and then devote time to doing it. Keep your mind busy doing positive things, then track those things daily and express gratitude for the rewards.
3. Focus Outward
Focusing on others builds empathy and relationships. Helping others find solutions to their problems oftentimes leads to a solution in your own life. Look for the good in others and find at least one thing to like in every person.
4. Improve Yourself
Once you rely on internal validation of your worthiness of success, you can build on that externally. Improving yourself is much easier when it comes from a place of growth, rather than fear or self‐doubt. Welcome friendly criticism as an opportunity for improvement. However, don’t ask or accept advice from someone who doesn’t have talent in the area in which they speak.
5. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising, and taking time for relaxation protects against stress, anxiety, and depression. A healthy body keeps our mind sharp, even as we age. Don’t fear getting older. Embrace the wisdom that is earned over time.
Every agent has the ability to power their mind to a positive state, and it’s never too late to start. You do not have to be a product of your environment. You can choose to be a product of your own thoughts. Just be like that little engine from your childhood and start with thinking you can!
David Ibarra is a managing director for Portfolio, a leading provider of reinsurance and F&I programs, and a nationally recognized leadership consultant, entrepreneur, speaker, and author.