My first FBI supervisor was a tall, affable guy named Bill who tended to assign the sticky cases to the newest agent on the squad—me. Bill handed me a dog-eared file that had obviously been kicked around for a few years. The case was so old that one of the witnesses had died!
I started to complain but Bill held up his hand and said, “What I expect from you is an adventurous response.”
I had joined the FBI because I was seeking something unique and exciting, and the more I thought about Bill’s admonition, I realized that adventure can not only be found in our experiences, it can also be found in the way we think.
An adventurous response is looking for the possibility in every situation, even when it doesn’t look all that great at first glance. Bill’s suggestion brought me to a closer understanding of the role of positive thinking in developing mental toughness. I was a new agent, but Bill understood that by focusing my attention on the positive aspects of my case, I would mature into the kind of person who looked at both life and work as an adventure.
When leaders have an adventurous response to life’s vicissitudes, they can conquer the world.
Here are 9 ways:
1. Start Early and Win the Morning
If it takes caffeine to get you started in the morning, go for a full cup. If you procrastinate in starting your day, what does that foretell about the way you’ll approach the rest of it? Eat a good breakfast, pray, read the Bible, workout—feed your mind, body, and soul first thing every morning.
2. Surround Yourself with Successful People
Pick your friends with care—they create the environment in which you will either thrive or wilt. Give everyone the opportunity to be a friend, but share your dreams and goals only with those who value them as much as you do.
If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up and believe in you, you can conquer the world. No matter how many you have in your network, if you want to be truly successful you will need three types of people:
- Those who are older and more successful to learn from
- Those who are your contemporaries for encouragement
- Those who are below you in experience to keep you energized
3. Believe and Act As If Everything Is a Gift
Instead of appearing like Pollyanna, think about it like this: Assuming everything is a gift is a great way of looking at the problems that will undoubtedly pop up in life and business. Choose an adventurous response by remaining positive so you are not intimidated by obstacles.
4. Write in a Journal
Goals, dreams, and ideas that are not written down are not real.
- Force you to clarify what you want
- Motivate you to take action
- Filter the best opportunities
- Help overcome resistance
- Enable you to celebrate your progress
5. Engage in Mindfulness, Prayer, Meditation, or Yoga On a Daily Basis
Research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness are not just for individual health, but also for corporate bottom lines. Stress-reduction doesn’t just make us happier and healthier, it’s a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one.
6. Ask Questions, Lots of Them, Always
Raising new questions, exploring possibilities, and regarding old problems from a new angle activates our imagination and stimulates our thinking. Continually ask yourself these questions:
- What is my purpose on earth?
- Where is my heart telling me to go?
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I start doing?
- What is my petri dish?
7. Try, Try, and Then Try Again
If you want to try something new, you will fail at first; if you don’t fail, then it wasn’t really anything new at all. Failure is a wonderfully clarifying process because if you fail and give up, then you’re heart wasn’t in it. Move on so you can get somewhere better.
If, however, you fail and do not accept defeat, keep at it until you find the secret to unlocking the potential, in both yourself and your obstacle.
8. Start At the End, and Then Don’t Stop There
Decide what you want to do, who you want to be, and where you want to end up. You cannot conquer the world setting average goals for yourself. Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time (click to tweet).
Never start small where goals are concerned. Most people don’t set goals too high and miss; they set goals too low and hit (click to tweet). Your decisions will be better when your ultimate goal is ultimate success.
9. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Setting and achieving a goal isn’t the finish line for people who are successful. Achieving one goal is simply a launching pad for the next huge goal.
When you become successful in one field, you will find that you have the skill set to be remarkably successful in other fields. Do not settle for running one race. Expect and plan to win a number of them.
Mental toughness is choosing how you respond to life’s circumstances rather than leaving things to chance. Once you do, you can conquer the world.
Any tips to offer on how people can conquer their world?
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