How to Create Positive Change in Your Life

From my own experience and my observation of others, I've discovered a few different things about what steps are necessary to move from being in a place you don't want to be in your life to pursuing and achieving exactly what you want.

The first and most important thing you need to do is to know what you want. It doesn't do any good to chase a dream if you discover at the end that it wasn't even your dream! Make sure your goals are yours and not someone else's, and not what you think they should be, but what you want. Too many people don't know what they want, so they spend their lives chasing one thing after another, thinking each new thing will be the one that makes them happy. I'm not sure what is worse - not making the effort to chase anything, or chasing something your whole life only to discover it's not what you wanted! Take the time to sit down and really think out what it is that you want out of life. Go through each area of your life and write out what you want it to look like. You must know exactly what it is you want out of each of those areas. Only then can you take the steps to achieve the results you truly want.

Often times if you feel low or depressed, it is because you are not doing what you know you should be doing. I've discovered this in myself in the past. I've also heard comments from others around me about their lives, and the root of it is based on this. They know they should be taking action on something, but they're not. They know they have the capability to do better, to do more with their lives, but they're not. When you know you should be doing better or doing more to pursue what you want, when you know you are not meeting what you are capable of, you beat yourself up mentally over it. The solution is simply to start taking action on those things. It may be something small or simple at first, such as making a phone call you've been avoiding, or it could be starting your business plan. Whatever it is, it just needs to be something that is taking you in the direction that you know you should be working harder to get to. It doesn't have to be huge, it just needs to be action. Stop putting it off. And trust me, when you start taking these small steps you will feel relief, as well as start building your confidence and sense of worth. Once that happens, the next steps are easier and it creates momentum toward your goals.

The last part of the equation is consistency. Writing out what you want and then taking the first step is great, and will start you on the right path, but the right path can't take you to its destination if you are not taking additional steps. This is not an escalator, this is a stairway. You don't get to take one step and sit back and think you will keep making progress. You have to keep taking action. Consistent action is necessary to keep things moving, or you will find yourself right back at the previous step; knowing you should and can be doing more. Don't let that happen! Once the ball gets rolling it's easier to keep it rolling. But when it stops, it's hard to get it started again. Don't let it stop; keep taking steps every day that help you get closer to the life you want. You deserve that life, and don't let anyone tell you any different.

I encourage you to take these steps seriously and go through them one by one. I promise you it will change your direction and change your life. Keep your goals, what you want your life to look like, in front of you on a daily basis. Remind yourself what you are pressing towards. Know what you want, take action on those things, and do it consistently and you will discover abundance.

Failure - The Key to Success

Let me give you a quick lesson on failure. If you are afraid of failure, that's all you will get. If you view failure as a negative thing, you will never succeed. If you think failure is the end of the line when things go wrong, well, you'll be right...for you. Failure is not an option. It is part of the process of becoming successful.

Every successful person you see has failed over and over and over again. The problem is, the part that is usually publicised are the successes. The failures, or the majority of them anyway, usually come in the building stages, before there is major attention on them. Once they hit the public scene they seem to be an "overnight" success, when typically they've had years of hard work, struggle and failure that led up to that.

Failure is not a negative thing unless you let it be that. Failure is how we "learn on the job". It's how we become better at what we do. The critical part is that when we do fail, we stop and reflect on it. Why did the failure happen? What will you do in the future to make sure it doesn't happen again? How are you going to let this be a positive thing and make you a better person and better at your business? Failure can actually be used as a springboard instead of putting you in a slump. The key is to have the right perspective on failure, and to view it as this tool for learning and growing instead of something to avoid at all costs.

And oh, by the way...if you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough. If you find yourself trying to rack your brain for the last time you failed, you need to get out there and fail more! If you're not failing your not putting yourself out there enough.

I hope this can put a fresh perspective on failure and help you view it in a healthy way. Don't avoid failure. Use it as a learning process and a springboard to better things. I'll end with this video of Michael Jordan, one of the greatest, if not the greatest basketball player of all time. Let's take a look at one of the most successful sports figures in the world and see what his take is on success and failure.


"Attitude is everything" - so said personal development guru Paul J Meyer. Leadership expert John C. Maxwell disagrees slightly, saying "attitude isn't everything, but it's the main thing". Our attitude is the thing that is in our control that can have the most impact on our results. And you want to know the best part? We get to choose our attitude! Our attitude isn't passed along from our previous generations. It's not a product of our circumstances - though many use circumstances as an excuse for a poor attitude. It's not chosen for us by our boss or by those around us. Your attitude is yours to choose! You get to decide if you have a positive attitude or a negative one.

Now, just because we get to choose our attitude doesn't mean it's always a simple thing to do. Some people have a naturally positive attitude, but for some it takes deliberate focus and work to change their thought process and become more of a positive thinker and have a better attitude. It's easy to let your thoughts wander to a negative mindset, or let doubt or fear creep in. But developing a positive attitude can be done, even in those that have a naturally negative outlook. Start by being aware of your thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively or having a poor attitude, stop yourself and deliberately change your thoughts to positive ones. It may seemed canned and forced at first (because it probably is), but do it anyway. If you do it enough, eventually your positive thoughts will naturally take over and the negative thoughts will creep in less and less. Don't give control to your negative thoughts!

Also, I said those around you don't choose your attitude for you, which is true. However, the people you put yourself around do have an affect on you, either to the positive or the negative. They do not choose for you, but they certainly can make it easier or more difficult to have a positive attitude. Surround yourself with positive people, and you are much more likely to have a positive attitude yourself. But surround yourself with negative people who complain and make excuses, and guess what? It will rub off on you as well. You become like those that you spend the most time with, so make sure you are spending your time with the right people.

If you have a naturally positive attitude, that's great! Keep it up and try to be an example for others, and try to rub off that attitude on others to help them develop that same kind of attitude. But if you struggle with keeping yourself positive, take the steps above to help you create the change you are looking for. Be aware of your thoughts, and be deliberate about changing them to positive ones. Purposefully surround yourself with others that have the attitude that you desire for yourself. It may take work, but the results and the benefits you will reap with your new found positive attitude will be well worth the effort!

The Power of Belief

We all know the classic story The Little Engine That Could from our childhood. The story has so many philosophical principals in it it's incredible; from persistence, to focus and drive, to the power of positive thinking. The principal I want to hit on right now is belief.

Belief is a huge factor in whether you have success in your goals or not. You must believe or there is no way you will put in your full effort. If in the back of your mind you are thinking "this will never work", you are going to struggle. After all, why would you work so hard on something when you "know" it will never work out anyway? Here are the key areas of belief you must have:

  1. Belief in yourself - You must believe in yourself if you have any hope in succeeding and reaching your goals. If you do not believe in yourself, that you can and will actually accomplish what you are set out to do, then you will never come close to what you are capable of. Without full belief in yourself you will constantly be in a struggle to take the steps that are necessary to climb to the top of your mountain because you will always be thinking that the effort is in vain because you don't actually think you will get to the top. This belief is the cornerstone to all of the others. If you don't believe in yourself it doesn't matter how great your belief is in the other areas, because you will simply never put in the full effort.
  2. Belief in possibility - Similar to belief in yourself, you have to believe in the possibilities out there, and that there is a ton of opportunity if you just go out and get it. If you don't believe there are possibilities, then again you will not put forth the effort.
  3. Belief in abundance - You also have to believe that there is abundant opportunity; that there is plenty to go around. If you don't, instead of seeking help and advise, you will try to go it alone and hoard information and opportunity. Success is a collaborative experience, and takes the efforts of many. Sure there are many "self-made" millionaires, but ask any of them and they will tell you they had a great team around them to get them to where they are. Without the belief that there is abundance and plenty to go around, you can't work together with others in an effective manner to get higher results.
  4. Belief in your "why" - You have to belief that your "why", your reason for achievement, is a worthy goal. Money alone will not fuel a belief enough to keep you going. Instead, think deeper about why you have the goals you have. Who do you want to impact? What kind of legacy to you want to leave? If money is a goal, don't think just about the money, but what will the money mean  to you? What will it help you accomplish as far as helping others? What will the money get you -and I don't mean material possessions; that's the same line of thinking as just the money itself - does it get you more time with your family? Does it help you be in a position to start the business you've always wanted to start? Does it give you freedom? Know what you are chasing, but you must also know why you are chasing it.
  5. Belief in your system - There are many ways to build wealth, especially with all of the modern conveniences and the way technology has changed how we do things and the opportunities it has created. But you need a system in place to be successful. Success isn't an accident. Success requires thought, planning and strategic action steps. You have to set up your system, whatever it is, and you have to believe it will work. This doesn't mean you can't tweak it along the way, but it does mean that you have to have faith that you are headed in the right direction, and that with adjustments along the way, it will work. Whether the system is one that was taught to you by a mentor, or something you've come up with from your own research, you have to believe that the efforts will pay off.
  6. Belief in others - Ok, I admit, this one can be hard because let's face it, people let us down. But you have to believe in others and believe they can help you or you will be trying to do everything on your own, and if you are doing that you are severely limiting your ceiling of success. You simply can't know or do it all, so you have to trust others to help you. This includes advisers, business partners, mentors and the like. Believe that there are people out there that do want to help you and see you become successful. Seek those people out, bring something to the table, and have faith you can help each other in your endeavors.

Action Creates Momentum

Have you ever had a time that you knew you should do something that you didn't want to do? Something that was hard, or even a little bit scary or outside of your comfort zone? What did you do? Did you break past those feelings and do it anyway? Or did you let the fear or other feelings get in your way and stop you?

We all have times when we have things we know we should do that we don't feel like doing for one reason or another. When those situations come up, you need to press on, stop thinking so much and just do it. When you push past those feelings and make yourself do it, you often get a great sense of satisfaction from following through on what you know you should be doing. You know you are taking steps towards your worthy goals. On the other hand, if you don't do it, you often feel worse than you did when you were worrying about doing it in the first place, because you know you aren't following through on what you need to do. The result can be a pattern that will either inspire and push you forward, or one that will be full of regret and hold you back. Make the conscious choice to step outside of your comfort zone and break through whatever else may be holding you back.

A lot of times when we are stuck in a place like this we get into the "I'll do it tomorrow" mindset. Well, I've got some news for you: tomorrow never comes! If you are making those excuses today, something is sure to come up tomorrow that will stop you as well. Don't put it off! Do it today, and you will build momentum for tomorrow.

I first met my real estate mentor Greg Pinneo at a real estate investment group meeting that I did not want to go to. It had been a long and rough day, and I wanted to get home to see my family. However, I knew my goal was to become more active in real estate investing, and that I needed to keep going to meetings to learn and network if I wanted that to happen. I had no idea that a special guest was coming or anything like that, but needless to say I'm so glad I went that evening, because it was the beginning of a whole new perspective and education that has made and will continue to make a huge difference in my life.

I'm also reminded of a story about Donald Trump, who, when he was at the lowest of lows and massively in debt, had a dinner party he was supposed to attend. He didn't want to go; He certainly didn't feel like going. But because he went he had a conversation with one of his bankers at the dinner, and that conversation was the beginning of his recovery. What would have happened if he did what he felt like doing instead of what he knew he should do? The entire Trump story could have ended right there, instead of being the huge success that he is.

So don't let your excuses or your fear stop you from taking steps forward. Take the steps and let the feelings of accomplishment and the small steps forward build momentum toward achieving your goals. Nothing can stop you except yourself.

Having a Wealth Mindset

I was reviewing some notes recently from a conference I went to a while back, and I ran across a key concept if you want to build wealth in your life. Mindset is one of the biggest, if the THE biggest factor in whether you succeed or not. You can have all the knowledge in the world, you can know exactly HOW to achieve what you want, but unless you have the right mindset to pursue it and see it through, it is worthless. Many people know how to be successful, but never do because they don't think in the right way. Here is a brief breakdown from my notes on the mindset of the Broke versus the mindset of the Wealth.
Broke mindset
  • Dreams
  • Want a better job
  • Saving money
  • Net Worth
  • Pay off debt
  • Buy and Hold
  • Appreciation
  • Look Rich
  • Use their own money
Wealthy mindset
  • Goals
  • Self employment
  • Invest
  • Cash flow
  • Arbitrage
  • Trade
  • Passive income
  • Look broke
  • Use other people's money
Look at the difference in the mindsets. It is night and day different, so as you would expect, so are the results. The one on the list that I would tend to disagree with is the "buy and hold" versus "trade", as there are many instances that buy and hold makes more sense than buying and selling, but depending on the situation either could be the best option (we will touch on this at a later blog post). That is why education and having the right team around you is so important as well; knowing what to do in any given situation to give yourself the best result. No situation is exactly the same, so you need to know how to respond to anything, or at least have a highly qualified group of people around you that does and that can advise you.

Look at the list and honestly assess your own mindset. Which one do you most align with? Where do you need to make some adjustments? After doing so, take action and deliberately change your mindset to reflect that of wealth instead, and I promise you will see the positive results in your business and your life.

Taking Personal Responsibility

When things are not going as planned, it is easy to try to blame everything around us. Whether it's our circumstances, the specific situation or the actions of someone else, we tend to want to look to something that is beyond ourselves. However, if you wish to continue to build toward higher achievement, it is a non-negotiable to take responsibility for yourself and your own circumstances. I don't care if someone else played a part in it or not, or if you have a difficult situation you are dealing with. The bottom line is that, when it's all said and done, at the end of the day you are ultimately responsible where you end up.

A big part of this is realizing that it's not what happens to you that has the final say in where you end up; it's what you do with it, or how you respond to it, that makes all the difference. Jack Canfield calls this "E+R=O", which stands for Event + Response = Outcome. Notice that it's not just Event = Outcome, it's the event plus your response to that event which yields the eventual outcome. Don't blame what happens to you for your lack of success or for the problems in your life. There are an incredible number of stories of people overcoming huge adversities to become successful. The difference between these people and those that never accomplish anything is that instead of using those events as an excuse like so many do, they use it to build their character and to mold them into better people. They use it as a spring board to success rather than a reason for not achieving it.

Wherever you are in your life journey right now, own up to the decisions you've made that got you to where you are. Also realize that it is never to late to make new decisions and get back on track to where you want to go. And always remember that life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride.

Encouraging Others - The Power of Words

I had an interaction at the end of the day today that really opened up my eyes to the power of encouragement. I work in a sales environment, and there is a group of newer sales agents that have been on the phones for only a couple of weeks. They are going through the normal learning curve you'd expect for anyone new on the phones or to a certain type of sales. About a week or so ago I started talking to them more and just throwing out statements to them to like "you'll get one today, I can feel it" or complementing them on a particular thing they said well. Keep in mind also I'm not their trainer or anyone "above" them. I'm one of them; a fellow sales agent. I was talking to one of them at the end of the day today, and over the last several days he had gotten a sale every day after having a period of not getting any. I was giving him congrats, and he made a comment back to me giving me credit for them. I was thrown off a bit and asked him how so. He brought it back to the encouragement he had heard from me, that it had helped him to be able to make those sales. Now, I'm not taking any credit for the sales that he made; and I'm not saying he gave me all the credit. He was the one on the phone that closed the sale. But somehow my words of encouragement, my consistent reminder that he had what it took to make it happen, had had an effect on him and, as he saw it, was at least part of the reason he has had a streak of sales.

Encouraging words go a long way in building people up. It's easy to get down, especially in a sales position where you face constant rejection. Whether you are a leader by title or a fellow co-worker, be encouraging to those around you. You never know what kind of an impact you may have.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action Commercial Real Estate