To survive as a full-time author, I believe it’s necessary to develop a positive mental attitude (PMA) to get you through the humps and hurdles that every writer meets in today’s publishing paradigm. Say what you will, but nothing great has ever been achieved without PMA. I must admit, there’s a lot to keeping up a PMA these days. So much of a writer’s time and attention seems to be pulled in every direction, and I’ve found that negative thoughts can creep in on you when you least expect it. But if you keep up the good fight and learn to tame your mind by subjecting it to positive thoughts, then I believe the sky’s the limit.
One of my personal pacesetters and all-time mentors is Napoleon Hill, who once said, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” Amazing insight from a man born in the rugged mountains of Southwest Virginia in 1883 in a one room cabin!
So how do you develop a PMA to make life pay off on your own terms? The following thirty-nine building blocks were taken from Napoleon Hill’s book, Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement. Read on…
1. Recognize that your mental attitude is the only thing over which you—and only you— have complete control, and exercise that control.
2. Realize that every adversity, sorrow, setback, or defeat, whether or not you caused to happen, contains the seed of an equivalent benefit which you can nurture into a blessing that soars above the disaster that brought it.
3. Clear your mind of any influence which does not support a positive mental attitude.
4. Find out what you want most in life and go after it.
5. Select the person, who in your opinion, is the finest person in all the world, past or present. Make him or her your pacesetter for the rest of your life, emulating him or her in every way possible.
6. Determine what kind of resources you need, and set up a plan for acquiring them based on the idea of not too much, not too little.
7. Form a habit of saying or doing something every day which will make someone else feel better. (Also known as doing a random act of kindness). Remember, one good deed will keep old man gloom away!
8. Make yourself understand that what whips you isn’t defeat, but your mental attitude toward it. Train yourself to look for the seed of equivalent benefit in every disappointment you face.
9. Ascertain what you like best to do, and do it as a labor of love with your heart and soul. Don’t let boredom or brooding get you down!
10. Understand that often when you have searched in vain for a solution to a problem, you can find it by helping someone else solve his or her problem.
11. Take a complete inventory of every asset you possess. You’ll discover that your greatest asset is a sound mind with which you can shape your destiny.
12. Acknowledge that the space you occupy in this world is in exact ratio to the quantity and quality of the service you render for the benefit of others, plus the mental attitude in which you render it.
13. Break bad habits. Do this one at a time. Show yourself who is boss. If you need help, get it. Don’t let your pride master you!
14. Comprehend that no one can hurt your feelings, make you angry, or frighten you without your full cooperation and consent.
15. Perceive that self-pity is an insidious destroyer of self-reliance. Believe that you are the one person on whom you can and should depend on at all times.
16. Relate to every circumstance in your life as something that has happened for the best, for it may be that your saddest experience will bring you your greatest assets if you give time a chance to mellow your distress.
17. Divert an urge for control over others. Channel that energy into better control over yourself.
18. Occupy your mind with doing what you want to do so that no time will be left for it to stray to the things you do not want to do.
19. Attune your mind to attract the things and situations you desire by expressing in a daily prayer your gratitude for what you already have.
20. Demand a reasonable amount of dividends from life every day, instead of waiting to receive them.
21. Live in the style that suits your physical and spiritual requirements. Don’t waste time keeping up with the Joneses!
22. Refuse to heed anyone’s advice—unless that person is willing to give you satisfactory evidence of the soundness of his or her counsel.
23. Discern that personal power does not come from the possession of material things alone.
24. Exert yourself so that you keep your body in shape—your body like your mind—must be kept active to remain positive.
25. Reinforce the habit of tolerance, and keep an open mind on all subjects and toward all people no matter what their race or creed.
26. Admit that love is the best medication for your body and your soul. Love changes the entire chemistry of your body and conditions it for the expression of a positive mental attitude. By far, the best way to receive love is to give it!
27. Return every benefit you receive with one of equal or greater value.
28. Avoid the fear of old age by remembering that nothing is ever taken from you without being replaced by something of equal or greater value. Youth, for instance, is replaced by wisdom.
29. Trust that adequate solutions can be found for all your problems, but accept the fact that the solutions may not always be the ones you want.
30. Rely on the examples of others to remind you that any disadvantage can be overcome. Think Thomas Edison or Helen Keller.
31. Embrace any opportunity to learn how others see you, and use it to take inventory of yourself and look for things which need improvement. Do not fear criticism; encourage it.
32. Create a mastermind alliance with others to work actively together toward a common goal and purpose. Discuss your progress and insights and gain the benefit of a much wider range of experience.
33. Grasp the differences between wishing, hoping, desiring, and having a burning desire to achieve your goal. Only a burning desire gives you a driving motivation, and it can be fueled only by a positive mental attitude.
34. Abstain from negative conversations, especially gossip, or tearing apart other people’s reputations.
35. Discipline your mind to shape your destiny toward whatever purpose in life you have chosen.
36. Be yourself at all times.
37. Say nothing that does not reflect your positive mental attitude!
38. Believe in the existence of Infinite Intelligence, which makes it possible for you to draw on all the power you need to take possession of your own mind and direct it toward whatever you choose.
39. Believe in your ability to become free and self-determining, and put that belief to work by acting upon it. Do it now!
If you read over these building blocks at least once a week for six months, you will so thoroughly indoctrinate yourself with these habits and mind conditioners that your mental attitude will become and remain positive at all times. Good luck and best wishes for creating your new improved life! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Cheers and be well!