A friend recently suggested that I read the book “The Greatest Miracle In the World,” by Og Mandino. If you haven’t read it, you should, it’s short, but powerful. The book confirmed what I have always believed to be true. We all have the power to be happy and successful no matter what our circumstances or how much money we have!
According to Mandino there are five simple laws for happiness and success:
- Count your blessings. Gratitude is powerful. Start and end your day listing all the things you’re grateful for. It can be anything; the scent of a flower, sunshine, a beautiful sunset, a kind word, a stranger letting you out in traffic, talking to a friend, your kids, your husband, walking the dog or snuggling with your cat.
Count your blessings. Be grateful for your health and the things you are able to do. Even if you’re ill or infirm, there’s always something to be grateful for, your doctors, the support and prayers of others, or that you survived a serious illness. You’ll be amazed at how much you have to be grateful for, regardless of your circumstances. Gratitude can set the tone for the start and end of your day.
- Proclaim your rarity. I think this one can be difficult for many. We often don’t recognize how special we are. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer said that God is in all of us and I agree. We are all special and we all have gifts, we just need to realize it and embrace it.
I remember when I was very young, my grandmother used to tell me that we are all special and good at something, we just need to discover what it is. At the time I remember thinking that I would never figure it out. And truth be told, it took me a while, but I did finally realize that what I had always considered to be my weaknesses were actually my strengths. I am stubborn, sensitive, and an introvert, which has helped me throughout my life, to be tenacious, empathetic, and a good listener.
Be proud of yourself and embrace your quirks and your gifts! This is what makes us as individuals special, and makes the world a better and more interesting place. Embrace who you are and use your talents to make a difference not just in your life, but also in the lives of others.
- Go another mile. Do more than necessary and take pride in what you do, no matter how trivial or menial. When you do more at work you will be noticed and eventually get that promotion or raise, or maybe even a better job. Be persistent, keep going and don’t give up. You alone have the power to make whatever it is you do important and gratifying.
I once heard Robin Sharma tell a story about a Men’s room attendant that he met in a South African airport. This man took great pride in what he did and went the extra mile. He greeted the men, at the door as they entered, with a huge smile and welcomed them to his office. His “office” was spotless and the floor and faucets gleamed. He made everyone feel welcome to not just the Men’s room but to his country. He definitely went over and beyond what was expected and I would imagine that he received more tips than would an attendant who wasn’t as pleasant or didn’t take such pride in their work. Money is a by-product of success!
Go the extra mile and be persistent. Napoleon Hill tells a story about a gold miner who tolled for a very long time without hitting gold. Being discouraged he sold his mining rights and equipment to someone else. That person dug three more feet and hit the mother load! Often when we feel the most discouraged that’s the time when we should be working even harder. Don’t give up, you never know, you may be only three feet away from success!
- Use wisely your power of choice. We’re all faced with choices every day. We even have the ability to choose our thoughts, beliefs and actions. No, it isn’t always easy, but by being aware of what you’re thinking and questioning what you believe, you can change how you feel and what you think.
You can choose to see the good in a bad situation and find new opportunities, or you can dwell on what’s bad and get sucked into what I like to refer to as “the black hole of despair,” which can be all consuming and paralyzing. Given the choice, which would you rather choose? If you actually work on this you will feel empowered and more in control!
Choose wisely when making a decision. Think about all aspects of what you’re about to do. How does it affect you and the people you love or depending on what it is, maybe even people you don’t know? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?
Ask yourself what price you’re willing to pay, because we all have to pay a price for everything we do. There’s always a trade off. For instance, you’re offered the job of a lifetime, but the price you pay would mean staying away from home for extended periods of time. If you have young children, maybe not seeing them would be too high a price to pay. But, if you’re single, or your family can travel with you then you might consider it an amazing opportunity.
- Do all things with love. If you do all things with love you can never go wrong. Showing love is being totally present when speaking with someone, making them know how important and valued they are. It’s doing your work with love and taking pride in what you do, no matter what it is.
It’s also about loving yourself, which some can find to be difficult. Listen to the things you say to yourself. Do you ever tell yourself, “I’m not good enough?” “I’m not pretty enough.” “I’m not smart enough.” What would you say to a friend who said those things? Talk to yourself as you would your best friend. Treat yourself and everyone you know with love.
What do these five steps have in common? A change in attitude! When you’re grateful, realize how special you are, go that extra mile, choose wisely and do all things with love, you’re creating an abundance attitude. And when you cultivate an abundance attitude you will see and appreciate the riches and opportunities already in your life, and will be happy and successful beyond measure!