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Focus on What You Can Control and Practice Positive Thinking
By John Barrows | November 16, 2016

There are many things we can’t control in our lives: the weather, what people think of us, the internal politics of a customer, and the most notable recent event – the outcome of the presidential election. This election has made me think hard about what I can and can’t control and how I let things affect me. I don’t care how you feel about the result of this election, if you live in the United States, I guarantee it influenced you emotionally, which then translated to your business and your personal life in some way. We all deal with frustration differently. Some of us turn to social media to vent our frustrations, some try to get more involved to make a difference, and some of us just drink heavily to dull the pain. After drinking heavily, I try to refocus my energy on what I know I can control.

Focus On What You Can Control

I know I can control my attitude. When I wake up in the morning I can decide what type of day I want to have and I can focus on all the positive things around me. If you don’t believe me or think this is easier said than done, I have a simple exercise for you to try. Tomorrow, walk around with a pen and paper and write down every little positive thing that happens to you no matter how small it might seem: someone opened the door for you, a good friend reached out to you that you haven’t heard from in a while, you got that parking spot close to the office, you hit a few green lights on the way to work, a baby smiled at you on the subway, it’s sunny out. Once you focus on the positive you’ll be amazed at how much good you see around you. It’s about changing your perspective.

I know I can control my effort. I can decide if I want to get up and make things happen or lay back and let things happen to me. I’d much rather make things happen. I can run the extra mile, make the extra cold call, read the extra blog post, stay the extra hour at work. This extra effort almost always translates to positive results.

Make a Positive Impact Today

I know I can control the way I treat people. This is a choice we all make every day and with every interaction we have. We can decide to treat people with respect and be a positive influence or we can treat people like crap and add to the negativity. There is too much negativity in the world today, which is why I try to be a positive influence on everyone I interact with. Make someone smile today, buy someone in line a cup of coffee, text someone you haven’t talked to in a while and let them know you’re thinking about them, call a customer just to thank them for their business. You never know what will happen when you make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Step Back for a Moment

I personally have shut down Facebook, turned off the news, and have avoided talking about the things I can’t control at this point. I recommend you do the same. Work your ass off, enjoy life, and treat people right. Make it Happen!

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