A well known author was quoted as saying that “The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day and of those more than 80% are negative”. For years, it was though that the brain was fixed and immutable – that we were stuck with what we were born with in terms of hardware and its abilities.
However a book I read by Dr. Norman Vincent Peal was entitled The Power of Positive Thinking taught me at 21 years of age that we do not have to settle and accept but that we can set our sights on the goals we want to achieve and go after them. I believe this but sometimes I forget and have to revisit my thought pattern and the day-to-day events that many times influence our success.
I believe that many times we sabotage our own success through negative thinking. It is not done intentionally but when we are over analyzing the chances of success we think that every thing that can go wrong instead of focusing on what can go right. There is no substitute for success you must press on regardless of the circumstances.
I have a couple of heroes who I admire and one of them is Abraham Lincoln. Talk about failures consider this. On his road to the White House Lincoln:
- 1818: His family was force out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818: His mother died
- 1831: Failed in business.
- 1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
- 1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but could’t get in.
- 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off his debt.
- 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849: Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 vote.
- 1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860: Elected president of the United States.
The lessons learned here is you must persevere, realize there is no room for negative thinking because negative thinking doe not equate into success. Stay positive and believe and you too will succeed.