A long time ago, I sold World Book Encyclopedia, door to door.  If you tried to do this today, one would have multiple gunshot wounds.  Back in the day, you really could go door-to-door without the fear of being shot.

          One of my trainers told me a story about his best salesman.  He said that this gentleman was not educated at all.  In fact he was truly illiterate.  This man could not read, or write.  In order for him to go out and sell books, he had to be accompanied by someone who could write the orders for him.  So how is it so, that this illiterate man could become the number one salesman.

          The trainer continued the story by describing what this salesperson did during a presentation. He was very personable, and would engage the homeowner and conversation.  He found out some important information about the number of children, the age and goals the homeowner had for their children.  In other words, he was a really good listener.

          Armed with this information, he explained how these books, filled with pictures told a story of learning.  He spoke eloquently, about what you could learn by just looking at these pictures. He did this presentation with such enthusiasm, that most of the homeowners were transfixed by the infinite possibilities these encyclopedias would do for their children.

          By the end of the presentation, most of his prospective clients would purchase the encyclopedias based more on his enthusiasm, then on the content.

          There are basically two types of enthusiasm.  The most common type is listening or participating in a seminar and feeling wonderful during the event.  This type of enthusiasm is short-lived because while you are in the environment it feels really good but when removed from the event the feelings tends to diminish very quickly.

          The other type of enthusiasm stems from an inner drive that is stoked by positive reinforcement of events.  This type of enthusiasm can literally be cultivated by recapitulating positive events that happened during the course of the day.  By mentally exploring the positive aspects of the each day, one becomes adept at changing the normally negative based thinking process into a positive one.  Over a period of time, this positive reinforcement becomes normal.  At that point in time your thoughts are literally trained to conclude positive outcomes rather than negative ones.

          Remember, the most difficult thing that any person can achieve is to have control over his or her thinking process.  It’s not weeds we want to continually grow, it is the flowers.  Flowers take time, caring, persistence and determination in order for them to bloom but when they do they are beautiful and light up your life.  Let’s make flowers not weeds.



          I was asked to speak to a group of sixth graders on the topic of developing a positive mental attitude.  I was quite puzzled as to how to proceed with this topic to 11 and 12 years old. I was used to speaking to adults about the subject.

          While driving to the school, a flash of inspiration hit me and I knew exactly how to proceed.   Armed with this flash of inspiration, I found the classroom and entered. In front of me were 25 smiling faces waiting to soak up my brilliance.  I asked the teacher if she had a pitcher and to fill it up halfway with water. I then asked the kids what they saw. It was amazing to hear the response. The large majority of these 11 and 12-year-old stated that the jar was half full.  It is been my experience that when asked that question to adults, inevitably, they would picture the pitcher as being half empty.

          Isn’t it amazing that young adults recognize this concept faster than their older peers. The answer is that the older adults have more garbage or negative behavior and therefore are less likely to think out of choice rather than habit.  It is sobering to think that as we age our choices become less and less and our habits or negative energies purveyed our existence.  In order for the adult population to change this perception we must use persistence and determination.  For it is with these two characteristics that we can maintain a positive outlook.

          The lesson to be learned here is quite profound. As your thoughts go, so goes your life. Keeping your thoughts positive will keep your youthful energy and optimism.  Remember, you are only as good as your current, dominant thought.  If any of you have trained for an athletic event or some project that you will present in front of an audience, the more you practice the more proficient you will become.  It is crazy to think, that if you get out of bed in a bad mood, you are going to have a good day. It really defies the laws of nature.  Upon waking up in the morning, do you think of what’s good about the day or what’s going to go wrong? Each day, is a new day, for you to think positive and imagine that perfect outcome.  It may seem difficult at first but with practice it will become easier and easier. A positive attitude is so contagious that you’ll have the whole world following you.  Keep those vibes positive.