Staying Positive in a Negative World Article by: Jim Rohrbach

You’re used to “the news” by now in the last few years: “This is a tough environment.” “Unemployment continues to rise.” “People are working harder than ever with less to show for it.” By regularly listening to the news, you may start to question whether the sky is actually falling. (Don’t worry — it isn’t.) High achievers know it’s critical to maintain a positive mental outlook, no matter what’s going on around them. So, how do you develop and maintain this attitude? Here are some ideas I use personally for staying positive in a negative world:

Mission Statement. The starting point of all high achievement is a clear sense of purpose. So your Mission Statement is like “your personal pledge of allegiance” — it describes who you are and what you are all about. The first thing I do with all of my clients is to have them develop a Mission Statement, then have them commit it to memory and recite it every morning. Why? Napoleon Hill, in his classic book Think and Grow Rich, stated, “Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” (To create your Mission Statement, go to

Affirmations. To become a “legend in your own time,” you must first be a legend in your own mind. One way to do this is to use Affirmations: repetition of positive statements in the present tense as if they are already a fact. A simple example is to affirm, “I am a top achiever!” Many people are reluctant to engage in using affirmations, perhaps in part because they have seen Stuart Smalley doing “Daily Affirmations” on the TV show Saturday Night Live — a hilarious parody done by comedian Al Franken that made using affirmations appear moronic. Yet Brian Tracy, a world leader in personal development training, says that he personally uses affirmations on a daily basis. So who are you gonna believe on this matter — Franken (no longer on the air) or Tracy?

Goals review. There’s a famous 20- year study of Harvard graduates that demonstrated the power of goal setting: Researchers found that only 3 percent of a graduating class had clearly written goals. Twenty years later they documented that this group of goal-setters had accumulated more wealth than the other 97 percent combined. This is not lost on high achievers, who commit clear goals to writing and review them regularly.

Visualization. One of the important skills taught to professional athletes is mentally picturing specific successful outcomes (e.g. the perfect golf swing) in a meditative state. So if this skill is being taught to millionaire athletes, why would it be any different for you? Visualize closing a big deal, seeing your name at the top of the organization chart, being congratulated by the
boss, etc.

Positive mental input. Take on the challenge of a “media fast” for a week – - shut off the TV, ignore the newspaper, avoid commercial radio, etc. Most media is designed to “addict” you to their programming without benefit to you. As an example, suppose you listen to talk radio in the morning — anybody from Rush Limbaugh to Howard Stern. Question: How much money has listening to them put in YOUR pocket? (Answer: NONE!) So I suggest you replace this negative input with reading success books, listening to motivational audio programs from Nightingale-Conant Corporation, and attending skill-building seminars. This will have a positive effect on your attitude AND your bottom line.

Physical exercise. High achievers understand the importance of staying in shape. Just like professional athletes, the ones who make it to the top know they must keep themselves fit. And a regular workout regimen has a multitude of benefits — it reduces stress, clears the mind, builds endurance, and provides that “look of a winner” for attracting and keeping business. It makes no difference what form of exercise you choose, just as long as you enjoy it enough to do it four to five times a week.

Positive support group. Unlike magnets, likes attract. So if you want to be a high achiever, start hanging out with them, not with the also-ran characters that hang around the water cooler — you’ll be guilty by association. One assignment I give my clients is to identify successful people in their company, then invite them to lunch to find out what they’re doing. Most high achievers are flattered by invitations to share their success stories.
One final word: If becoming a top producer was EASY, everyone would do it — and then it would be worth the equivalent of flippin’ burgers at your local fast-food joint. The people who use the ideas I’ve described here KNOW how to stay positive in a negative world … and they’re the ones you’ll see at the top.

Success Skills Coach Jim Rohrbach, “The Personal Fitness Trainer for Your Business,” coaches business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals on growing their clientele. He has helped hundreds of individuals to achieve their goals since he developed his first coaching program in 1982. To arrange a Free Consultation with Jim, go to