“Oh no, not another positive thinking post!” you might say. Yet, I decided to investigate the effects of our thinking habits, starting in my own life. For once and for all, let’s find out if you really can achieve success through a positive mental attitude.
Foundations Get Shaken.
If you have followed my posts up to now, you’ll know that my world got shaken badly in 2004. I was transferred from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Durban (South African East Coast) in 2003. My wife was offered a position with me in the Durban office of the company I was working for. We were always dreaming of living on the coast line, so to us this was a dream come true. It was a big decision though. It was a 600 km move. We were to leave all friends and family behind, and my wife had to resign from a very well paying job as well.
We would both earn good salaries though, so we would be able to afford the travelling to see the family regularly. Arrangements were made for me to move down in June 2003 to get everything ready and start working in Durban. Elmarie (my wife) had to stay in her job in Johannesburg until end October. Our two daughters would stay with her to finish their school year without interruption.
Beginning 2004, before my wife could even start work in Durban, things went bad for the company I worked for and my position was made redundant. So, there we were. We were now 600km away from any family and friends. We had two daughters who had to start a new school year, and both of us are suddenly unemployed.
I can tell you many stories about how we survived, never knowing where the next meal would be coming from. How we got treated by people that we thought we could trust and much more. But that’s not what this post is about.
What If Things Only Gets Worse?
What happened in the beginning of 2004 was the start of a vicious cycle that would last for just over ten years. I would try anything I could turn my hands to, but I was facing the one challenge after the other. It became harder to stay focused and consciously I didn’t even notice the change in my thinking habits. Without even realizing it I started developing negative thinking habits. I got caught up in the habit of always expecting the worst to happen.
Eventually my wife found new employment. Not a well paying job, but hey, it was better than nothing.
More than once I thought I have found employment too, but it would end up in disaster, such as not receiving my salary on time due to “bad cash flow”. Another time I ended up with a company which was so fraudulent, I left after two weeks when I saw what was going on there. Later I saw them being exposed on a South African TV reality show. Then, in 2008, I found employment, selling software for the stock exchange. Two months later, I got called in. The stock markets crashed worldwide, and the company I worked for couldn’t survive. My position was made redundant – again.
All of this gave me everything but a positive mental attitude. “What kind of a man am I?” I would ask myself. My wife is putting food on the table, and what can I show? As mentioned before, I started expecting the worst to happen in whatever I would try to do. The danger in this is that your negativity starts rubbing off on other people too.
It Is Not About What Happens To You, But How You Respond To What Happens To You.
I started investigating opportunities on the internet. I thought that I could maybe get something going on the internet, without having to deal with any other people.
It was during these attempts, that I got exposed to a group of people online. It was in the latter part of 2014. Taking part in conversations (without talking about my personal circumstances) opened up the opportunity for me to put on my thinking cap again. As certain topics were discussed, I would think about my it and respond, giving my point of view.
This is when I realized with a shock, how my thinking has changed. At first I was nervous to give my opinion on certain topics. I discovered that I knew certain things, but I was so overwhelmed and intimidated by my personal situation, that I stopped applying it in my own life.
I decided to make drastic changes to my thinking habits there and then. I became good friends with two of the gentlemen in that group. When they invited me to take part in daily SKYPE discussions, where they discuss their goals and the progress they are making, I immediately accepted the invitation.
Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
Since then I have already started setting goals again. It has also been a lifelong dream of mine to express myself through writing. Not ever having any official exposure to writing before, it took me way out of my comfort zone. But that is how we grow.
Now my friend Andrew Loader, a professional and successful freelance writer (he is also writing for a well known American company), is giving me guidance concerning my writing. My friend Andy Downing, an expert on websites and website development, is helping me with the technical management of my site.
My thinking has totally changed. Failure is no option anymore. I recall a story I have heard about an American general during the Second World War. He was in command of some platoons that were facing a crucial battle for an island. Apparently when the soldiers left the ships, this general gave command for the ships to leave. The reason he gave was that now there was no room for failure. There was only one way to get off that island, and that was by moving forward, by being victorious in that battle.
Failure is no option to me. I am not doing this to survive. I do it because I love doing it, and I can contribute and add value to society.
For ten years I have allowed circumstances to intimidate me. No more. It has been just over a month now since I have started taking action, and that I have been discussing my goals with Andrew and Andy. In just over a month, I have my own website in place and I am already starting to generate a steady stream of income through freelance writing.
It all started when I decided to change my thinking.
Could a positive mental attitude have saved me and my family all the agony of the last ten years? Could I have spared myself this agony? I can’t say it wouldn’t have happened. What I can say though, is that I have learned a lot by going through it all. And by what I am experiencing right now, I believe it should be possible to overcome these obstacles by responding to them in a different way.
Nobody can deny the changes that have taken place in my life since I have changed my thinking. And when I speak of success here, I am not only talking about monetary issues. I have more energy. For the first time in years I feel calm and relaxed, and best of all, I am feeling better about myself again.
Change the way a man thinks, and you change the man – Dr CREFLO DOLLAR.
If you would like to read more on the subject of a positive mental attitude, feel free to visit my BOOKS page for a wide variety of books available.
Have your thinking habits made an impact on your life? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I look forward to hear from you.