Business coach and entrepreneur Manuel Karkafiris points out that we choose success by choosing to think positively.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
— Henry Ford.
Have you ever jumped out of bed and knocked your toe only to watch your day spiral downwards from that point with one frustrating event after another?
We’ve all had those days but the good news is you have the power to change this course of events and it’s all in your mind.
Our mind is a powerful organ and if we use it right, the results can be amazing.
It’s called positive focus, or positive mindset. It simply involves consciously changing your focus to look for greatness in the things that we see and do, and this often involves looking for opportunities when things are looking bad.
SOL Results Director and founder Manuel Karkafiris said developing a positive mindset is a practice, just like creating any conditioned habit.
“I have seen people’s lives turn around because they begin to focus on the good things in their life rather than the negative in every situation,” Manuel said.
“What we focus on is what we get and what we feel. Therefore, if we focus on the things we need to make a situation better, we will find a way.”
To start developing a positive mindset:
- Begin asking ‘how’ and ‘what’ instead of ‘why is this happening to me’. For example, ask ‘what can I learn from this?’ or ‘how can I make this better right now?’. The questions you ask yourself can shift your focus rapidly.
- Review your belief systems, especially those about yourself. To build a strong belief about yourself look back at times when you achieved great things and you will learn that even in tough times you always manage well.
- Look at the emotions you are feeling most of the time. Positive emotions , such as love, happiness, peace and joy – tell us that we are in the place we want to be. Negative emotions – anger, fear, sadness and hurt – tell us we need to work on areas of our life to turn things around.
- Focus on what you want and where you want to go. Make visualising your goals a habit first thing in the morning and last thing at night and take action to bring these goals into your life.
- Read books, listen to CDs and attend seminars/workshops about Personal and Professional development and you will discover that you will be able to use your mind to its potential
- Write a list of everything you are grateful for in your life. For example, I am grateful for my family, my friends, my career etc.
- Ensure the people you spend time with have a positive attitude and have achieved more than you in life because it is only then that we can learn and condition new behaviours, beliefs and attitudes.
“The reality is that the people you hang around are who we become, whether that is our parents, teachers, family and friends,” Manuel said.
“Choose your peers with care, and if there is someone in your life who is negative, realise that you cannot change that person but you can be a positive influence. So be yourself, remain positive and unconsciously you may inspire them to increase their positivity. If the person remains negative, it is important to still love or like the person however you need to be aware of not allowing them to influence your thinking or mindset.
While having a positive attitude at all times may seem a little unrealistic, Manuel says there will still be days when you feel challenged by any number of situations.
“The key here is that you have a choice,” he said. “You can either choose to have a bad day, in which case you probably will, or you can choose to have a bad moment. This means you can shift quickly back into a positive emotional state, which in turn will shift you into positive thinking.”
To shift your focus in these situations slow your breath and take deep long breaths, go for a brisk walk if possible, or listen to empowering music.
Manuel said life isn’t about putting up with the hand you’ve been dealt.
“If this were true Oprah Winfrey would still be living in the ghetto and not as a billionaire. There may be evidence around us that shows we are having a tough time but it doesn’t mean we have to ‘live’ there. It pays to focus on how to move forward – in other words, focus on where you want to be and not where you are and you will be amazed how your life will positively transform.”
Manuel Karkafiris is a Director of SOL Results. He is a sought after Master Coach, Business Entrepreneur and Internationally Certified NLP Trainer. Find out more at solresults.com.
This article was first published in the September 2010 glossy edition of RISE magazine. See back issues here.