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Being Positive Isn’t Enough

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We’ve all been told that the positive people are happier.  That we should strive to see the positive in every life event. Ok, I don’t concede any of this, but I don’t honestly believe that by walking around making positive affirmations my life will become the blissful existence I would like it to be.

Being positive won’t get me the home I want in Southern Italy, it won’t get me my next promotion at work, the body I want, the friendships I want or create the love that I want with my family. No, I don’t live in a fairy tale and I suspect you are much like me.

Positive thinking without a concrete plan, goal or desire is like a dog chasing its tail. Without a plan we spin in circles, or worse, let the tides take us where they will. I can tell you from my own experience that I have managed to accomplish and acquire the things I wanted mainly out of sheer bullish determination. You see, I’m not a genius. I am hard working, but more than that I have set goals and pursued them with dogged determination.

An example might help. About 10 years ago, my parents came to visit Victor and me in East Timor. At the time I had a 9 month old baby (Alexander) and was newly pregnant (Natasha). I had also just ordered the books for my masters in Business Administration study from Herriot Watt University (distance education). I was very excited about my new challenge and my dad asked me the following, “Can you get your money back?” Well, I was enraged. My parents aren’t perfect and neither am I, but this little slight of the tongue set me into a dogged determination drive to prove him wrong.

Four years later, I wrote my last MBA exam. I did it! I stuck to my guns – I studied through two pregnancies, worked full time for an organization that required moves to 4 Continents (East Timor, Africa, Middle East, North America) and travelled to write exams in Darwin, New York, Cairo, and Beirut. I sacrificed along the way, but I never wavered from finishing. My goal post was clear – to get the MBA. Sure, sometime I lost a little momentum. But, in the end it was a final push with 3 exams being written in 2 days that saw me through.

I say this not to brag about how great that accomplishment was, but rather to demonstrate that no amount of being positive was going to get me to do the study and work I needed to do to meet my goal. What got me there was a very big WHY? To prove my father wrong – sorry Dad. You see, if your why isn’t big enough it’s hard to meet your goals.

No matter what you want in life, spend a few moments thinking about why you want it. Write down what you want and why you want it then keep this close at hand and refer back to it often.

Do you want to lose 10 pounds/kilos to be thin and sexy or do you want to be healthy so you can live the life you want full of energy and vitality. Do you want the house in Italy so you can boast or so you can enjoy your retirement by the sea enjoying the beautiful view, eating great seafood and sipping fantastic wine?

What ever your want, if your why isn’t big enough it will be hard to maintain your momentum, enthusiasm and commitment to achieving it.

You see if your reason for wanting something is burning to the core, you will find a way to achieve it.  I know you will, I have seen many others achieve what others didn’t think possible.  They achieved because they believed they could and set out to do so no matter what.

In summary, being positive is a very important element of success, but being positive without taking action will leave you wondering why life didn’t work out the way you wanted.

Decide today, why you want to be healthy and happy. You’re worth it and you can have everything you desire if you are willing to decide at your core and then choose your actions to get you there.

(Note from Victor: Yes – I remember the times very well. For the last couple of years of Allison’s study we hardly saw her. If she was at home I had to take the kids and keep them out of the house – so Allison could study. Occasionally she would appear out the study – demand to be fed and then disappear again. Challenging times indeed.) Back to Allison, Victor’s comment is true, but boy did we celebrate and wasn’t everyone ecstatic when I finished!!!

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