By Jim Callahan
When I think of the act of mind control, I’m not referring to hypnotism or getting my best friend to squawk like a chicken. Rather, having the right attitude in the face of both success and trials can enable one to achieve far greater heights in life.
Moreover, a lack of mind control will surely act as an impediment, stifling growth and most assuredly keeping you from reaching your potential.
I tell people that life is about keeping a balance. I find that in order to find that balance you must view things with a certain perspective. A dear friend’s daughter passed away at the age of 28, and at the time he said he had hoped she would live to be 108. Then he said, “Thank God it did not occur when she was age eight. I would not have reached the maturity level to deal with the loss.”
Yes that’s a crushing loss, but he was determined to go on. By gaining a certain perspective, as he did, he found a way of making a terrible situation tolerable by not dwelling on things he couldn’t control.
It Takes a Team
Sometimes thinking in a more positive manner requires support from a good team. A young friend just two weeks pregnant with her first child found herself without energy, to the point where she could hardly get out of bed. At the same time her appetite was ravenous for all kinds of exotic foods, but she couldn’t keep anything down.
After much prodding and cajoling, her family treated her to a beauty regimen and then a night on the town, and voila—her vibrancy returned and she was back to her former self. You can say the power of suggestion works for all of us in varying degrees.
Keeping things in perspective definitely helps. Surrounding yourself with good people can do wonders as well, whether you are running a c-store or just running for the bathroom.
There is much research on how our brains react to planning and how we set and stay consistent with our goals. Researchers have found that not only do well-laid plans seem to get accomplished more often, but good planning often starts with a positive attitude.
Just three years ago, I spent a full week in the hospital with a raging fever, caused by a serious infection, which was the result of a kidney stone. The physician was reluctant to operate while the infection raged in the face of a myriad of failed antibiotic treatment regimens. I found my mind wandering and weakening, as each day the pain and the fever returned, and I began to wonder if I was going to “make it.” In the end I had to reach inside a little bit and give myself a good talking to. I had to remind myself that getting down because of your situation can cause you to jump to all kinds of conclusions.
The only conclusion that mattered was they found a drug that worked, and I was able to return to work, albeit after dealing with a $787 co-pay for this new drug. Now that really hurt.
Here’s the thing: you’re not going to build a thriving business or even a successful blog with a defeatist attitude. Sometimes the challenges seem overwhelming, but they can be overcome.
Lastly, build on improvements that you have willed with your mind. Two weeks ago, I was back in the hospital with yet another kidney stone episode. Before they crushed the stone, I made a mental plan with the help of the anesthesiologist, who told me she would refrain from giving me the usual tranquilizer that calms, but leaves one groggy. Because I refrained from the drug, I was able to remain cognizant to carry out my plan of returning to work one hour after the operation.
My impetus was to atone for the lack of mind control and emotions that weighed on me during the previous kidney stone episode. While I don’t recommend this type of discipline for everyone, I do suggest that you make a conscious effort to push yourself to achieve your goals. As for me, I’m free from the weight of that stone.
Jim Callahan has more than 40 years of experience as a convenience store and petroleum marketer. His Convenience Store Solutions blog appears regularly on CSDecisions.com. He can be reached at (678) 485-4773 or via e-mail at [email protected]