Read an Excerpt
Kiss That Frog!
12 Great Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work
By Brian Tracy Christina Tracy Stein
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2012 Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein
All right reserved.
Chapter One Seven Truths About You
Your natural state is to be happy, peaceful, joyous, and full of excitement at being alive. In this natural state you wake up each morning eager to start the day. You feel wonderful about yourself and your relationships with the people in your life. You enjoy your work and derive a great sense of satisfaction from making a contribution that makes a difference. Your primary goal should be to organize your life in such a way that this is how you feel most of the time.
As a fully functioning, fully mature adult, you should be doing things every day that move you toward the fulfillment of your potential. You should feel grateful for all your blessings in every area. If you are unhappy or dissatisfied in any part of your life, something is not right in your thoughts, feelings, or actions, and it needs to be corrected.
The starting point in un locking your full potential is to realize that you already are a prince or princess, deep down inside.
No matter where you are today, or what you have done or not done in the past, you need to accept seven essential truths about you as a person:
1. You are a thoroughly good and excellent person; valuable and worthwhile beyond measure. No one is better than you or more gifted than you.
Only when you doubt your essential goodness and value do you begin to question yourself. The inability to accept that you are a good person lies at the root of much of your discontent.
2. You are important, in many, many ways. To start with, you are important to yourself. Your personal universe revolves around you as an individual. You give meaning to everything that you see or hear. Nothing in your world has any significance except for the significance that you attribute to it.
You are also important to your parents. Your birth was a significant moment in their lives, and as you grew up, almost everything you did was meaningful to them. You are important to your own family, to your partner or spouse, your children, and the other members of your social circle. Some of the things you do or say have an enormous impact on them.
You are important to your company, your customers, your coworkers, and your community. The things you do or don't do can have a tremendous effect on the lives and work of others.
How important you feel largely determines the quality of your life. Happy, successful people feel important and valuable. Because they feel and act this way, it be comes true for them.
Unhappy, frustrated people feel unimportant and of little value. They feel frustrated and unworthy. They feel "I'm not good enough," and as a result they lash out at the world and engage in behaviors that hurt themselves and others.
They don't realize that they could be a prince or princess inside.
3. You have unlimited potential and the ability to create your life and your world as you desire. You could not use your entire potential if you lived one hundred lifetimes.
No matter what you have accomplished up to now, it is merely a hint of what is truly possible for you. And the more of your natural talents and abilities you develop in the present, the more of your potential you can develop in the future.
Your belief in your almost unlimited potential is the key to becoming everything you are truly capable of becoming.
4. You create your world in every respect by the way you think and the depth of your convictions. Your beliefs actually create your realities, and every belief you have about yourself you learned, starting in infancy. The amazing thing is that most of the negative or self-limiting beliefs and doubts that interfere with your happiness and success are not based on fact or reality at all.
When you begin to question your self-limiting beliefs and develop beliefs consistent with the incredible person you really are, your life will begin to change almost immediately.
5. You are always free to choose the content of your thoughts and the direction of your life. The one thing over which you have complete control is your inner life and your thinking. You can decide to think happy, fulfilling, up-lifting thoughts that lead to positive actions and results. Or you can, by default, end up choosing negative, self-limiting thoughts that trip you up and hold you back.
Your mind is like a garden: if you do not deliberately cultivate flowers, weeds will grow automatically without any effort on your part. If you do not deliberately plant and cultivate positive thoughts, negative thoughts will grow in their place.
This simple metaphor about the garden explains why so many people are unhappy and don't know why.
6. You are put on this earth with a great destiny: you are meant to do something wonderful with your life. You have a unique combination of talents, abilities, ideas, insights, and experiences that make you different from anyone who has ever lived. You are designed for success and engineered for greatness.
Your acceptance or nonacceptance of this point largely determines the size of the goals you set, your power of persistence in the face of adversity, the height of your achievements, and the whole direction of your life.
7. There are no limits to what you can do, be, or have except the limits you place on your own thinking and your own imagination. The biggest enemies you will ever face are your own doubts and fears. These are usually negative beliefs, not necessarily based on fact, that you have accepted over the years until you no longer question them.
As Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, "What's past is prologue." Everything that has happened to you in the past has been a preparation for the wonderful life that lies ahead of you in the future.
Remember the rule: It doesn't matter where you're coming from; all that really matters is where you're going.
In the Gallery of the Academy in Florence, Italy, stands the David, by Michelangelo, considered by many to be the most beautiful piece of sculpture in the world.
It is said that later in his life, Michelangelo was once asked how he was able to sculpt something so beautiful. He explained that he was walking to his studio one morning and he happened to glance down a side street to where a huge block of marble, brought down from the mountains some years ago, was lying, overgrown with grass and bushes.
He had walked this way many times, but this time, he stopped and examined the huge block of marble, walking around it several times. Suddenly, he realized that this was exactly what he had been seeking to create the statue that had been commissioned. He had the block brought to his studio, where he worked on it for almost four years to create the David.
As legend has it, he said later, "I saw the David in the block of marble at the very beginning. My sole job from then on was to remove everything that was not the David, until only perfection was left."
This Is Your Story
In the same sense, you may be like the David imprisoned in the marble. The great goal of your life is to remove all those fears, doubts, insecurities, negative emotions, and false beliefs that hold you back until what remains is only the very best person you could possibly be.
Your job is to "kiss that frog" and find the positive elements that exist within every situation, to deliberately turn every negative into a positive, and to unleash the "handsome prince" in your own life.
Make a decision, right now, that you are going to unlock your full potential for success and happiness and become the extraordinary person that lies deep within you. You are going to accomplish all the wonderful things that you were put in this world to achieve. In the pages ahead, you will learn how.
NOW DO THIS
Identify the negative or self-limiting beliefs about your personal abilities or your situation that might be holding you back. Then ask yourself, "What if they weren't true?"
What if you had all the talent and ability that you could ever need to achieve almost anything in life? What if you had no limitations? What goals would you set for yourself if you were guaranteed of success, and what would you do differently starting today?
Chapter Two Imagine Your Handsome Prince
The princess did not start off dreaming about marrying whoever came along. She began with a clear idea of meeting a handsome prince who would be ideal for her in every respect. What is your handsome prince or princess in your work or your personal life?
To become a truly happy and fulfilled person, you must start with a clear definition of the ideal person you would like to be and the perfect life you would like to live. What qualities and characteristics would you have if you were the very best person you could possibly be?
Psychologists have described fully functioning, self-actualizing people as genuinely happy, at peace with the world and themselves, self-confident, positive, personable, relaxed, feeling that they are fulfilling their full potential, grateful, energized, and generally feeling terrific about life. If this description is a good goal for you in the months ahead, this book will show you how to be come that kind of person.
The Magic Wand Exercise
Practice the "magic wand" exercise. As you think into the future, imagine that you could wave a magic wand and make your life ideal in the four critical areas that determine much of your happiness or unhappiness: (1) income and career, (2) family and relationships, (3) health and fitness, and (4) financial independence.
One of the most important behaviors of successful people is called "idealization." In idealizing, you create a vision of a perfect future for yourself in every area of your life. You practice "no limit" thinking.
Imagine that you have all the time and money, all the friends and contacts, all the education and experience, and all the talents and abilities that you could possibly need to be, have, or do anything. If this were your situation, what would you really want to do with your life?
When you combine idealization with the magic wand exercise, you liberate your mind from the constraints of day-to-day work and bill paying. You practice what is called "blue sky" thinking, a hallmark of top people and peak performers in every area.
Design Your Perfect Future
Practice "back-from-the-future" thinking. Project forward five years, and look back to where you are today. Write down your answers to the following questions:
1. If your job, career, or business were perfect in five years, how would it look? How much would you be earning? How would your situation be different from what it is today?
Why aren't you already living this life and enjoying your ideal career and income?
2. If your family and relationships, your home and lifestyle, were perfect in five years, how would they look? And how would they be different from what they are today?
What is the first step that you could take to begin creating this ideal home life?
3. If your levels of health and fitness were perfect in five years, how would you look and feel? How much would you weigh? How much would you exercise each day or week? What foods would you eat? And especially, how would you be different physically from the person you are today?
What is the first thing you could start doing, or stop doing, to enjoy perfect health and fitness?
4. Finally, if your financial situation were perfect in five years, how much would you be worth? How much would you have in the bank, and how much would you be earning from your investments each month and each year?
What is the first step you could take?
Plan Your Perfect Day
Often when Christina spends the day with her husband she asks him, "If this were your perfect day, what would you do with it?" She asks the same question of herself. Then they find a way to combine their two perfect days.
If at the start they gave in to the fact that they would have to compromise, they would be restricted in how they defined their perfect days. But when each defines what would be perfection, their pictures are completely different.
In life, we often start off by thinking about all the restrictions and limitations that must be taken into account. However, if you start off by imagining that you have no limitations, you will be amazed at what you come up with. The rule is this: Decide what's ideal before you decide what's possible.
Most of all, what do you have to do, starting today, to prepare for the ideal future that you desire?
NOW DO THIS
Dream big. Start with a clear definition of the ideal person you would like to be and the perfect life you would like to live.
Imagine that you have a magic wand to wave over your career, family and relationships, health and fitness, and financial situation. How would you make each of these perfect?
Practice "no limit" thinking. Liberate your mind from day-to-day challenges by practicing "blue sky" thinking.
Decide what's ideal before you decide what's possible.
Design your ideal future so that you can begin to take complete control of your life.
Decide upon the one goal, that if you could achieve it within twenty-four hours, would have the greatest positive impact on your life.
Resolve to take one action immediately to begin creating your ideal life.
Chapter Three Look Your Frog in the Face
When the beautiful princess was asked to kiss that wet, slimy, cold, ugly frog, she had a choice to make. She could continue in her current situation, alone and unhappy, or she could summon up her courage and take a chance with the frog, even though there were no guarantees.
All of us have a frog that we need to kiss, sometimes several frogs. The frogs in your life are negative people, situations, and past experiences; current problems; and your doubts and self-limiting beliefs. Some frogs are risks and commitments you have to make if you want to get unstuck and move ahead.
Face the Facts
Sometimes, to kiss your frog, you are really deciding to embrace the frog and accept that frogs can be slimy, cold, and ugly. Sometimes you are kissing the frog good-bye and letting go of a judgmental or guilt-provoking frog. Sometimes you are choosing to change your expectations and see the frog in a new way. Other times you may need to kiss the frog on the forehead and forgive it. There are many ways to eliminate frogs from your life.
The world of psychology has identified two types of personalities: the "confronter" and the "evader." Not surprisingly, confronters, people who face their fears, confront their reality, and deal honestly and straightforwardly with the people and problems in their lives, are much happier, more effective, and more self-confident than evaders.
Confronters acknowledge and face the fear involved in confronting. They take charge of their emotions. Evaders fear the unknown and lack the trust in themselves that is necessary to move ahead.
Fortunately, you can become a more powerful and positive person by resolving to "look your frog in the face before you kiss it"—by making it a habit to confront your situation honestly rather than to evade it or deny that you have a problem in the first place.
In her counseling practice, Christina often deals with clients who are constantly disappointed by frustrated expectations. One young woman in her thirties would have her sessions after visiting her parents and talk about how upset she was that they would put out only limited effort to spend time with her when she made the effort to visit.
Excerpted from Kiss That Frog! by Brian Tracy Christina Tracy Stein Copyright © 2012 by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein. Excerpted by permission of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.