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Today Will Be A Good Day Because…

Do you believe in mantras or affirmations? I didn’t for a long time but I’m a believer now. I’ve seen the benefits firsthand and science supports how they can impact you. Each day at 5 am a message pops up on my phone that reads:

This is the day the Lord has made. I will be glad and rejoice in it.
Today will be a good day because I will approach everything with a positive attitude.
I will learn from every situation.

Depending on your belief system you may or may not appreciate or agree with the first line. That’s okay because we all have different views when it comes to faith. Let’s focus on the rest of the affirmation.

Today

I’ve heard it said if you’re standing with one foot in the past and one in the future you’re pissing on today. It’s a funny visual and I hope you’ll recall the following whenever you picture it: The past has shaped who you are today and the future will determine the kind of person you become. But, today is all you have and the only thing you can control are the choices you make.

Will be a good day

Good and bad are nothing more than a function of your mind. Shakespeare said as much when he wrote, “There’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.” It’s not uncommon to hear people who’ve been through unbelievable hardship acknowledge that good came from their circumstances.

You can choose to make today a good day by making choices about what you see, listen to, do and set your mind on. You can choose to look for the positive in any situation. To think otherwise is to give up your freedom according to Viktor Frankl.

Because I will approach everything with a positive attitude.

Frankl knows a thing or two about freedom and captivity because he experienced both during his years in Nazi concentration camps. In Man’s Search for Meaning he told readers, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Frankl came to realize nobody could make him think anything he didn’t want to think; that he was always free to choose where he would place his thoughts.

I will learn from every situation.

The human brain is a learning machine. It’s how you learn what you like, dislike, who to trust, fear and love, and much more. You may not realize it but much of what you’ve learned came about passively. That passivity often leads to less than optimal thought patterns and behaviors.

I am far from perfect in living out this affirmation. Quite often I realize in the middle of a situation, or afterwards, that my attitude was not good. But, in that moment of realization I have a choice. I can blow it off by blaming someone or circumstances. Or, I can learn by ask myself why my attitude was poor and question what I can do to change it next time.

The more I do learn the better I get at maintaining a positive attitude. It’s almost like catching myself in the moment and saying, “Wait, I’ve been here before. I’m not going to make the same mistake.”

Conclusion

Affirmations have gotten a bad rap over time and are often mocked. That’s understandable, especially when charlatans use them to take advantage of people. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Focusing on what you want – a positive attitude and learning mindset in my case – is good! The more you set your mind on positive qualities the more likely you are to live them or correct for them.

The more you focus on positive qualities, the deeper they penetrate your subconscious. As this happens, before you know it you’re living them without having to be so intentional. That’s how your brain learns and directs you.

Here’s my challenge for you. Give thought this week to one or two qualities you want to have or have in greater measure. Make sure they will benefit you and those who are around you. Come up with your own affirmation and make it a part of your daily ritual early and often. Then pay attention to the impact it has on you and others.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An international speaker, coach and consultant, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the topic of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book – Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical – will be available for pre-sale on July 9and goes live on August 20.

His LinkedIn Learning courses Persuasive SellingPersuasive Coaching and Building a Coaching Culture: Improving Performance through Timely Feedback, have been viewed by more than 70,000 people! Keep an eye out for Advanced Persuasive Selling: Persuading Different Personalitiesthis fall.

A Positive Mental Attitude is an Essential Persuasion Tool

If you follow me on Facebook then you know I broke my right ankle back in March when I stepped on my wife’s boot heel the morning after our 24th anniversary celebration. When this all happened I passed out so Jane called an ambulance and I was subjected to 12 hours of tests and waiting (more waiting than tests) in the emergency room. I was there so long because doctors were concerned with my unusually low heart rate coupled with the passing out incident. I could go on and on but you get the picture; not exactly a great way to start the 25th year of marriage. Did I mention I was in a walking boot for six weeks?

On the surface that sounds like a bummer and I won’t lie, I wish it hadn’t happened. If not for the broken ankle I could have done two activities I enjoy dearly – driving my car and running. I also wouldn’t have inconvenienced some people because I needed rides to and from work. And let’s not forget all the money I would have saved.
Having taught classes on maintaining a positive mental attitude – and knowing I was going to have to teach that very same class in the walking boot – I had to practice what I preach. So how does one find the positive in all this?
Let’s start with my trip to the emergency room. When a resident asked what happened, I told her, “I did something different this morning. Normally I leave the lights off so I don’t wake up my wife but since she was already awake I turned on the light. I think I passed out when I saw her beauty so early in the morning.” She chuckled and Jane just rolled her eyes.
I didn’t get upset when a nurse mistakenly told us I was scheduled to have a pacemaker put in at noon. Jane on the other hand started to freak out thinking I was going to meet God before she did.
Knowing there would be some hefty hospital bills, Jane was feeling bad that this all started with her boot. My attitude – we can’t change it, we don’t know what we’ll be charged so why worry about it? There’s never any sense in worrying about things you have no control over so why let them get you down?

I’ve tried to have fun with it as I tell the story. People expect to hear something manly like breaking it while running or at taekwondo. Nope, nothing manly about stepping on your wife’s boot heel at four in the morning. But I usually have them laughing when I end the story with this line, “Better that she broke my ankle than my heart.”
The rides to work were fun because Cobi Dorn and Terra Boroff are such nice people and they both have a great sense of humor. They had to in order to put up with me, my ego and all the bad jokes I tell. Being the astute observer of human behavior that I am, I think they enjoyed having me  around … at least in small doses.
My spring break trip to Chicago with Abigail was more memorable in the walking boot and airport security wasn’t as big a hassle as you might think.
Perhaps my favorite pastime during all of this was watching Jane cut the grass while I drank beer sitting on the deck with my feet up. In fact, it was such a good time I made sure to preserve it with some photos and Facebook updates. Jane’s guilt has passed and she reminds during those times that she can also break my other ankle.
And one more thing – and this almost makes it all worth it – was a dinner with insurance agents that Jane came to because I needed a ride home. For those of you who have been married for any length of time you might be able to relate. When she picked me up for dinner she looked like a million bucks in a slinky black dress! It was one of those times you stare at your spouse, and even after all those years, feel the same way you did when you first met them. It was a good night!
So why am I sharing all of this in a blog on influence? The principle of liking tells us we like people who like us. There’s nothing worse than being around someone who is cranky and negative most or all of the time. A lot of people would have responded that way causing others to avoid them. I chose a different path and I hope people found it funny and entertaining. I think it make me more likable and people enjoyed being around me.
Each of you has a choice to make when seemingly bad things come your way. You can choose to look for the good or find ways to manufacture some good. If you do so you’ll probably be a little happier for it and those who are around you will benefit as well. And in the midst of it all, if you need a favor, help or have to make some other request, the odds that you’ll hear “Yes” will be dramatically better than if you do nothing but complain.

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Brian, CMCT 
influencepeople 
Helping You Learn to Hear
“Yes”.