Make up your mind to win and nothing
else. — Norman Vincent Peale
Peale believes that all the resources you need to succeed are in
your mind. If you expect to succeed, you likely will. If you think you will
fail, you probably are right. Peale counsels you to expect success. Pealeisms
have a powerfully positive ring. Always play with abandon. It is always too
soon to quit. Conditions will shift in your favor. Faith cures fear. Are you
climbing aboard Peale’s winners’ express? Do you believe you can succeed? Dr.
Peale knows you can succeed. You can if you think you can. Stinking thinking
leads to hardening of the attitudes. Zig Ziglar is at least as colorful as this
Ziglarism. In How to Get What You Want, Ziglar quickly cuts to the chase. “If
you don’t think you deserve success, you will do things to keep you from
How do winners who know they deserve success get their get up
and go up and going? Ziglar contends they start from where they are with what
they’ve got. They do not wait for something to change or for things to get
better before deciding to succeed. They just get on with it. They go as far as
they can see, knowing that once they get there they will always be able to see
further. Ziglar combines his self-motivation philosophy with personal goals and
a zest for people helping people. On personal goals, Ziglar zeros in with a
total lack of subtlety. You cannot reach goals you do not have. You cannot
reach someone else’s goal; you can only reach your own. Thinking you are too busy
is stinking thinking. It is not the lack of time that is the problem, it is the
lack of direction. Either you think you deserve success and go for it or you
will get cooked in the squat which is even worse than it sounds. “You will
get everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what
they want.” For Ziglar, this is the nub of personal goal setting. It is
both the value and the direction. More eloquently, Ziglar says, “You don’t
climb the high mountain by yourself; it is in conjunction with others that you
really accomplish the major things in life.” If you look, think and behave
like everyone else, you will look, think and behave like everyone else.
Michael LeBoeuf calls his success philosophy Imagineering. Your
uniqueness is your ticket into the winner’s circle, according to LeBoeuf.
Getting to the circle to be admitted is your personal creative challenge, the
problem before you. But waiting on an inspiration is useless. Start on the
problem and then the ideas will come. Inspiration, LeBoeuf advises, usually
comes to those who have done the groundwork.
In Blow Your Own Horn, Jeffrey P. Davidson shows he knows about
the ways of winners. You are your own marketing department, according to
Davidson. In one sentence, what is it that you are marketing; what is it that
you have to offer the world? If you do not know, no one else is likely to care.
Peter F. Drucker makes a similar point when, in The Frontiers of
Management, he says, “It is your vision or its absence that shapes your
future.” Drucker sees success itself as the ultimate test of success; and
your personal vision is the key to your status as a winner or loser.
In Developing Winner’s Habits, Denis Waitley adds meat to the
wishbone of goals and personal vision. Waitley insists that winners never let
anyone know they are scared or unprepared. Winners act like winners; they
project confidence. Waitley’s strategy is to find one good idea to pull your
trigger on, remembering that there is still plenty of time to win but never
enough time to lose. Attack the problem and never the people.
Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting to Yes join the
unanimous chorus of success experts in emphasizing the importance of people
skills. Fisher and Ury give their attention to negotiating; but their main
points could equally apply to almost any success opportunity. Focus on
interests, not on positions. Invent options that benefit both sides. Use
objective criteria, not opinions or emotions.
Mary Heideman joins the chorus when she counsels winners to take
responsibility for people processes. For example, in Winning Over Stress
Heideman says, “Do not be a stress sponge, absorbing the stress of others,
thinking you should fix their stress.” Being a stress spreader and
participating in pity parties and gripe sessions also are not the ways of
In Coping With Difficult People, Robert M. Bramson extends the
repertoire of people skills for winners. Do not automatically respond by trying
to solve difficult people’s problems. Do not automatically agree with difficult
people even if you think they are right. Never argue with difficult people.
Always feed back the difficult person’s main points before you do anything
else. Be calmly assertive and do not let the difficult person run over you.
The range of people tips and techniques emanating from the
success chorus is impressive. They extend to every detail of your personal and
business life. A tidbit or so more will suffice for now, though.
1. People do not want to know what you cannot do for them; they
want to know what you can do for them. From Developing a Powerful Telephone
Image; Dave Winter.
2. Start by asking the person what’s the problem? They will
likely tell you. From Turning Marginal Employees Into Productive Employees;
3. Know what you want, who can give it to you and how to get it.
From How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less;
If you always judge new experiences based on past experiences,
you will never have any new experiences. Kevin J. Murphy in Effective Listening
may have found the ultimate secret of success. Implicit in Murphy’s pithy
insight is the kernel from which all other success secrets may have grown. Make
up your mind to win and nothing else. It’s a new game. The score is tied:
zero/zero. It does not matter how you did before; today you succeed, today you
Stinking thinking leads to hardening of the attitudes. It’s past
thinking, worn attitudes and dated approaches that smell so rotten. Dump the
garbage and start afresh. Success requires new thinking, new attitudes, new
approaches. To paraphrase LeBoeuf, if you look, think and behave like you
always have, you will look, think and behave like you always have. Here is the
problem. It’s a new game, things are changing, the world moves on. You either
develop a new look, new ways of thinking, new ways of dealing with events or
you will fall back, be forced back with the other losers.
You have committed to success, you have dumped the mental
garbage, you have new ideas and approaches. What is the problem? What is
getting in your way? The answer to this question is the last key to your door
of opportunity. Separate the people from the problem. The only person in your
way is you. Get out of your way so you can attack the real problem, realize the
success you deserve.