Communication Skills

Success or Failure? You choose

What’s the difference between success and failure?

Susan Brink provides the keys in an insightful article she wrote for the Los Angeles Times, reprinted in The Arizona Republic. The article, Ex-con learns to cage his criminal impulses, explains how a former murderer decided that he wanted to be “an honorable man.” To do that, he had to stop thinking like a criminal and start thinking like an honorable man.

There you have it. Nothing sexy. Nothing fancy.

He changed his thinking. Ken Layton, the ex-con, says that once he made the decision, “I walked out of that little room, I seen the mirror. I said, ‘It’s you that does this (expletive). It ain’t your mother; it ain’t your father. It’s you.’ When I see that mirror, I realized I always blamed everybody else. But it was me…” He stopped thinking of blame and started thinking of acting like an honorable man. Responsible for his own actions. His own thoughts. His own results.

Ken Layton, with the help of others, worked on himself to change the way he viewed the world – his world. Layton had a goal. To be an honorable man. According to Brink’s article, he is doing quite well.

Reading the article got me thinking about thinking. Changing it, and the words we use, changes everything.

It’s making a negative phrase into something more positive, more respectful, more loving. It’s starting with easy, small stuff like instead of saying, no, that isn’t what I want, saying what you do want, instead of what you don’t: this is how I’d like it. It’s realizing that there is a more positive response after someone says thank you, than no problem. Maybe you choose to say you’re welcome or it’s my pleasure to help. It’s thinking about how we want others to think of us, and acting that way, so they can.

What we say to ourselves, and to others, separates the winners from the losers and success from failure.

What are you thinking about today? Blog with me!

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