Sunday, April 29, 2007

Are You A Real Positive Thinker

“No positive thinking can get you anything,
But it can get everything better than negative thinking can” - Zig Ziglar

Positive thinking is a favorite topic of most self help books and inspirational speakers. So, much has been written and said about it that I had started feeling that I can get anything simply my thinking positively about it. In fact, many life coaches (including myself in past) advocated positive thinking as a quick fix for all. I plead guilty of telling people that their failure can be attributed to their not being positive enough.

Over years I realized that simply thinking positively will not accomplish anything. The kind of positive thinking that a lot of people talk about is in a way denial of reality. It is great to think positive and speak positive. But what it can accomplish if it is not supported by the ability and skill. I am 34, and have never played football in my life. It does not matter how positive I think or speak, I can not become a professional footballer at this age. Simply because, to become a professional footballer, one has to start young and then acquire skill and ability over number of years.

This kind of unrealistic and impractical positive thinking actually can do more harm than good over the long run. This makes a person to shut his eyes from the problems and make them live in a fantasy world. In the end the person gets depressed and then proclaims that positive thinking is actually non-sense and yields no results.

As Zig Ziglar the great inspirational speaker and author says that, positive thinking can not get you any thing, but it can get you everything better than negative thinking can. There is a school student who is not good with numbers. Now, if is prone to negative thinking, he will have no hope and he will make no efforts to improve his ability. As a result he will surely fail in arithmetic. However he takes a positive decision, he will work on it and at least pass, even if not making it to the top grade. Any day, just passing is definitely better than failing.

So, if he makes sufficient effort in arithmetic and devotes maximum time to the subjects that uses his ability, he may barely pass in arithmetic but do extremely well in other subjects, making his overall grade as one of the top in the class. Now, that is Positive thinking and positive attitude.

It is therefore time to explain when and how we can use positive thinking to maximize the blessings that life has to offer. It is time to define what exactly positive thinking is. So, you are a positive thinker if you:

1. Believe in yourself and see yourself in positive light: It is important to have a healthy self image. A healthy self-image means a healthy acceptance of ones own self. All of us have different abilities and attributes that make us different and unique. If you do not have a particular ability that does not mean that you are inferior to others. Accepting your natural abilities and believing that they can help you to achieve success in life is the first step towards positive thinking.

2. Accept that problems exist and find solutions: Situations and circumstances are not always favorable, but they must not affect your thinking or attitude. Accepting the fact that situations will be difficult and there always will be problems is essential to keep a positive attitude towards them. Many pseudo positive thinkers often will not allow themselves or others to talk about problems. How can you solve problems and find alternatives if you do not discuss them. Pondering over them to find solutions is not negative thinking. Making them an excuse for not trying, or shutting your eyes to them as if they do not exist is definitely negative response to negative situations.

3. Take up challenges and grow: I advocate that positive thinking will help you to make best use of your existing abilities to achieve great heights in your life. At the same time it requires positive thinking to accept challenges to acquire new skills and abilities. Don’t get stuck with what you have. Accept challenges, and be ready to fail and learn from it. Failure is not a failure if you have learned something that makes you a better person. On the contrary any failure when taken positively will take you a bit towards success. Learn from your mistakes and grow.

4. Learn to say next: It requires lots of positive thinking to be able to say next. The ‘Next’ denotes forward motion; it denotes hope and therefore is positive. If you want to dig a well what you are supposed to do? The answer is simple dig. But what will you do, if you strike a big rock. You start digging in other place (unless you have the equipments that can dig past the rock). Same way, learn to accept rejection and move forward. Wishing that the rock will disappear by its own is negative thinking as it will not produce desired results.

5. Be ready to make changes: Is there a point in digging a well, when you can simply buy a bottle of mineral water. Know when to quit and change your plans. If repetition of same action is giving you same results, look back at them. It is positive thinking to have belief in yourself; but there is no point in feeling positive for plans that are not giving desired results. May be the course that you had chosen was not the right one for you. There is no point at sticking with a job or a career that is not giving you satisfaction either financially or spiritually. Learn to differentiate between the vehicle and the destination. Keep your eyes on your dreams and goals and be ready to change the vehicles to reach them.

6. Keep hope and faith in trying situations: It so happened that I lost everything in a venture what my wife and I had earned over a period of six years. Things looked pretty bad as we had no money left. I was thoroughly depressed and was feeling hopeless. (At that time I was not bitten by the positive thinking bug). Thankfully, my wife (who perhaps has more wisdom then I have) said, “If we are the rock bottom, there is only one place to go, and that is Up.” Now, that is a bit of positive attitude. We might have been bankrupt financially, but we still had our ability and skill. All it needed was the right attitude to make best use of them and come back. And that is what we did. In next five years we managed to become financially better off then before. It is all right to loose everything that is material, but if you have lost hope, you have lost everything. Most of the skilled people who are unemployed never find a job as they have been sold on to the idea that there are no jobs. So, they never make an effort to find one. Hope makes us to move forward, it helps us to say next, it helps us to make changes.

7. Do your best but submit to the will of God: This I believe is the mother of all positive thinking, the supreme faith. Bhagwat Gita the hindu scripture says “Perform your karma (action), do not worry about result.” Similarly Bible says “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42). Both mean the same thing. Do what is to be done, put your best foot forward, but in the end leave the result in hands of the God. Have faith that God has a plan for us, and if our efforts are not producing desired results, it simply means that God has better plans for us. So as a positive thinker, you thank God for not only what you have, but also for what you have been denied as there are bigger blessings in store for you.

God Bless You!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why Don't You Get Your Own Dream

What is the number one pre-requisite for success? Yes! It is a Dream

But what is a dream. Is it something that you see when you are asleep? No! We are not talking about that kind of a dream. This is the one that you will have to see while you are awake. Think about it! Today’s airplanes can fly at a speed that is much more than the speed of sound. But still every plane, how so ever advanced it might be still is made on the basic principle that Wright brothers had used more than hundred years ago, when they made the first plane that really flew.

Do you think it was easy for the Wright brothers? People laughed at them. They were not qualified engineers. But they had something that was really very important and that is the Power to see a Dream.

In 1961 when John F. Kennedy became the president of USA, he gave a dream. America will be on the moon before the end of the decade. And what was the result? In 1969, Neil Armstrong of the United States of America was the first man to land on moon. When JFK made that historic declaration, USSR was much ahead of USA in space technology. But, it was the dream of a man that won.

India has always been a huge country with diverse languages, culture and religion. Though this made India rich, this was also the greatest weakness that the British colonial rulers exploited. They employed one of the most successful colonial strategy ever used in the world, “Divide and Rule.” But there was a man called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who united the entire country and shook the might of British Empire, with tools as simple as non-violence. Ultimately the empire where the ‘sun never used to set’ had to bow to a man with a dream.

Ok! Let us not talk about these great people. Let’s talk about the chair you are sitting on, the table your computer is kept on, or the computer itself, or the house you are living in. All this must have been somebody’s dream. Somebody must have thought how the chair will look like, what it will be made of, what will be the upholstery, what will be the color etc. This thought is nothing but a dream. And than, he must have started making it and would have given it the material shape, as you see it now and that is the realization of the dream.

You are working in an organization owned by someone else. Whose dream is it? Is it your dream or someone else’s? Of course! It is the dream of your top boss. That is why he earns more money than anyone else in the organization. That is why he lives in a better house, drives a better car, and takes his family to vacation in exotic places. The point is simple. The person with a dream has success. The person with a dream is the winner. You are working for someone else’s dream? There is nothing wrong with it. But why don’t you get your own dream?

Now, here no one is asking you to quit your job. What I am simply asking you is to get a dream. You already have it in you, to make it big. Believe me. You have been born with talents and gifts that make you unique. All you will need to do is use them and fire them with passion that comes from a dream. Even in jobs that you are doing, you can become more successful than others and reach the top. However, it is possible if uses your talents, gives you a sense of purpose and you feel passionately about the work that you are doing. Opportunities are not there in the job, but the person who is doing it.

Passion comes when you feel intensely and emotionally about something. It gives you positive energy, courage to overcome hurdles and motivation in face of failures. Look around you and you will find that people who are successful have a passion towards what they are doing and feel very emotionally towards it. This why the dream must be something that is emotionally backed up with a strong desire to achieve it, and that will translate itself into passion.

Obsession is different from passion. Obsession is born out of fear, greed, and insecurity. People who are obsessed are the people who become workaholic and suffer from stress, ignore relationships, and practically do not live a life. These people are not successful, even if they amass a lot of wealth. On the other hand the people with passion are positive. They do everything with an unselfish sense of purpose. Obviously, when they work, they do it with love and a go-give attitude. They enjoy good relationships, are open minded, enjoys good health and are truly successful.

Each one us has been gifted with the power to dream and visualize. But then why is it that only twenty percent of the people in this world are successful. Why is it that twenty percent of the people in the world control eighty percent of its wealth?

It is because most of them out there do not have the faith in their dreams. They are scared of their dreams not coming true and so they bury it deep inside. They do jobs that they do not like, are self-centered and are doomed to a life of mediocrity. They have never been taught the Principles of Success, or they have not learned them. Unfortunately, most of the schools that should be the place to learn these principles are simply a place for assimilation of hard facts and information.

The size of your success will depend on the size of your dream. In turn you will allow yourself to see a dream that is as big as your faith. It is dream coupled with your faith that will give you passion and motivation. Once you have these two, you will automatically attract the knowledge and wisdom that will catapult you to success. You are reading this article means that you already have the desire. Fortunately now a large part of the knowledge is available freely at

However, there is no free lunch. Even if the resource is available free, you will have to pay for your success with hard work, persistence, and sacrifice. But the price that you pay for success is far less than the price that you pay for failure. As Zig Ziglar, the great inspirational speaker and author say “You enjoy the price of success; you pay the price of failure.”