Undoubtedly, having an upbeat personality coupled with the correct principles will make a huge difference in anyone’s life. Whether it is in their professional or personal lives, people choose to be around those with a positive mindset, those who are kind, pleasant to be with, and always open to learning from others.
Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to our podcast listeners, wherever you may be in the world today. This is your host, Steve Shallenberger. I am so excited to be together with you today. Thank you for listening in. It’s a privilege and an honor to be together with you. Just recently, I had the opportunity just a couple of weeks ago to have a superb podcast guest by the name of Bob Marquardt. Bob is the president of MTC, one of the most successful companies in the world. And at the end, I just asked if he had any advice that he might like to offer to employees that might be onboarding with his company – they have 10,000 employees – or for people in general. I love Bob’s concluding comments. And his advice was, “Have a positive personality and be eager to learn.” Well, I haven’t been able to get those words out of my mind because they are so powerful as an indicator of success and an individual’s capacity to make a difference.
And so, as I’ve reflected upon Bob’s comments, I realized this is such wise advice, and it applies to every single one of us, regardless of our age. And this is what has inspired this week’s podcast, a positive personality and eagerness to learn. That was his advice right there. Have a positive personality and an eagerness to learn. That’s like a huge magnet the people want to be around. That positive personality, when coupled with a life that is based on correct principles will rise to great heights in life and make a difference for good. Just think about your own life. Who do you most like being around? A positive personality or a grumpy and cross personality? For me, and perhaps you may feel the same, a positive personality and one that is eager to learn makes all the difference in the world. I know I would want to give this advice to our employees or to my children or grandchildren. So, this is really great sage advice. So, let’s just talk about this. How can you have a positive personality and be eager to learn? So, I’d like to recommend today in this podcast, six keys to a positive personality and an eagerness to learn.
Steve Shallenberger: Number one, is to start off your day with a positive routine. And this really helps you get started with a positive frame of mind. And there are a few things that you can do, and I’d like to just outline six things you can do to start off your day with a positive routine. These are things that you can do every day. Number one, is to get adequate rest, adequate sleep. Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” And one of the best ways to avoid this is to have the rest that you need. The second part of this one is to make your bed and it starts off your day with immediate success. It only takes 45 seconds to a minute to really make your bed right in that range. A third part of the routine to get your day jumpstarted is to drink water, and this will get your metabolism and body going. The brain is made up of 70% water, and so after being sleeping 6, 7, or 8 hours, your body becomes dehydrated. So, having servings of water and having up to 64 ounces of water during the day is great, but certainly 20 ounces in the morning. A fourth thing that one can do is to meditate, pray, and give thanks and express gratitude. So, these are just a few of the subparts of step one of how to start off your day with a positive routine. And when you give thanks and express gratitude and pray and ask for help, this kind of puts life in perspective and helps you get into having a positive personality, really. The next one is to exercise. Exercise affects your stamina and capacity and health in every way. And maybe the last thing you might consider in starting off your day with this routine is to review your schedule, now that you’ve got everything going and plan for the day, get to a place of peace. This kind of review gets you mentally and emotionally prepared for a great day. So, the first thing that you can do of these six things I want to recommend is starting off your day with a positive routine, just do it every single day. We actually did a Becoming Your Best podcast just on this, it is the Becoming Your Best Morning Routine is what we call it.
Okay, the second thing that you can do to have a positive personality and an eagerness to learn is to maintain a positive personal vision. So, have a personal vision and keep that front of mind. You really become what you think about. You’ve all heard of the little book called As a Man Thinketh So Is He. I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Sow a thought and you reap an action, sow an act and you reap a habit, sow a habit and you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny.” And where does it all start? It all starts with the thoughts that we hold in our minds. And one last one, from the friend and contemporary of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again, and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Now, this is what we’re talking about as making these grooves in your mind, these pathways in your mind of a positive attitude, a positive way forward. And so, just like you can have a dream, or a moon shot or a bucket list, likewise, you benefit enormously by having a vision list of who you desire to be and most assuredly will become. So, your written personal vision, which contains this positive vision could contain comments such as – and these are the type of words that you could use – “I am a positive, upbeat person even when things are a challenge”. Here’s another one – you can add all these together, and these are the type of things that are written down, and you review time and time again – “I persist until I succeed”; another one: “I am happy, I am healthy, I am terrific.” Okay, or “I am healthy, I am happy, I’m terrific.” Or “I can, I will, I’m going to”, right? “I am my best in adversity.” Here’s another one: “I radiate a positive light wherever I go.”, “I know the end game and have an eternal perspective, all will be okay.” So, that’s the second one. These are the types of things you can do to have a positive vision and it actually becomes part of your personality. And it takes 63 to 65 times to develop a new habit, and this is exactly what we’re talking about, every time you say these words, it creates a pathway a neuropathway in your mind. So, that’s number two.
The first one, of course, is to start off your day with a positive routine gets you going. Number two, have that positive vision and number three, is to be good at prioritizing your time by doing what matters most. This really helps you to get control of your time and life even though there are many things that happen that we don’t have control over. I love the quote, “You either lead a life by design, or you will live a life by default.” So, even though there are many things that happen, based on our mental approach really has a great deal to do with the outcome, and prioritizing your time by focusing on doing what matters most is one of those. And I realized that one of the best ways to do what matters most is to do pre-week planning. In reality, this is an easy process. You just need to make it a habit. So, pre-week planning is just taking 20 to 30 minutes sometime during the weekend to prepare for the coming week. And so, here are just four quick steps that you can use of how to do what matters most and do this kind of preparation for the coming week. The first of these substeps is to review your personal vision and goals for the year, along with upcoming important events in the coming weeks and months. And as you see those important things you’re committed to that are important, write those into your weekly planning calendar. By the way, one of the very best resources or tools is the Becoming Your Best planner. And you can just get that through becomingyourbest.com the website. It’s a tool that thousands of hours have been put into to assist you to do this. It’s one of the least expensive investments you’ll make and one of the most important but you could do this yourself on a piece of paper, but having this weekly view in front of you is helpful. And so, that’s the first step. The second is to write down and consider five to seven of the most important roles you have in life. Such as – let’s just kind of go through some of those examples – personal, we all share a personal role, which is health and fitness. It’s financial, it’s mental, it’s emotional, it’s spiritual. So, what are you going to do this week under that role to be among your best? Or spouse or partner is another role. Family and friends could be another role. Work, definitely, or student might be it. And then civic and church could be another one. Those are examples, and then with those written down, the third thing you can do is just sit back and think what actions represent the most important thing I can do under each one of these roles. And you’re going to have 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 things come to mind, for each one of those roles that really make a difference, that move the needle. And this is where I love the quote, “Good, better best. Never let it rest. Until the good is better and the better is best.” And that’s what you’re really thinking about under each one of these roles. And last of all, under this one, is to plan out your week by deciding when is the best time to work on each of these actions that you’ve identified. And now you organized your week, leave plenty of holes in there between in your calendar, so as the surprises and emergencies come up. It’s okay, you can move things around with no challenge.
So, those are the first three: start off your day with a positive routine; number two, maintain a positive vision that’s printed that you review and talk about regularly. Number three, prioritize your time by doing pre-week planning. Number four – you may laugh at this, you’re not going to probably laugh at it – but it is just to smile. Psychological studies have often found that those who smile will also begin to feel happier, even if there are no other changes to their situation or environment. A smile may not necessarily take fewer muscles than frowning – I think it’s like one muscle difference – smiling still takes less of a toll on your body and on your mental health. And similarly, a small smile triggers the release of dopamine which activates certain parts of our immune system. And when the dopamine level rises, the number of natural killer cells and antibodies in the bloodstream increase as well. So, being happy is crucial for our body’s defense and our health. And I might add it is at the real root central nervous system to having a positive personality and being an engaged learner, right? Getting after it, you’re just eager to learn. So, I like smiling, that’s number four. Now, it’s interesting if you think about smiling if you hold up a smiley face to someone and ask them how that face makes them feel, what do you think the answer will be? Well, yeah, they’re going to feel happy. But then hold up a frowning face and ask them how it makes them feel. Well, across the board, I think you’re going to find the same response that it doesn’t make them feel very good. So, which do you most prefer being around? And this is the kind of person that you and I want to be, right? Because a smiling face affects you inside and radiates outwardly to all within your influence. Then, when bad things happen, you can say to yourself, “What a blessing!”, and then you can smile about it. And think of a reason why it is so. When challenges come, take a deep breath, keep things in perspective, trust your capacity to resolve the issue; if it’s an emergency, handle it and if it’s not, you can solve it. Calm your soul and be at peace, things will work out, and that is worth smiling about.
And number five of the six is to show respect to everybody that you meet. Okay? Having the mindset that you can learn from every person that you meet – and each person has infinite worth – helps you to gain from every interaction that you have with another person and to show respect. Be pleasant and kind to all people. Smile at them, avoid being grumpy. Nobody, and I mean, nobody likes a grump. Nobody likes people being mean to them or to other people. It simply doesn’t help and it’s not the description of a positive personality. So, don’t be a grump, mean or demeaning, don’t say anything negative about another person. Just be this positive personality, a problem solver, a digging in and finding out ways to do better. And that’s what people like being around, and that’s what organizations really crave to have is that kind of a person. Living the golden rule is a way to show respect. Do good and serve others. Okay. Well, there we have five out of the six: start off your day with a positive routine; number two is to have a positive vision about this; number three, prioritize your time by doing what matters most, preparing during the weekend; number four is smile; number five, show respect to everyone that you meet.
And now for number six, be eager to learn. You won’t be the same in five years as you are now except for two things, the people that you meet and the books that you read. My friend Charlie “Tremendous” Jones shared that with me 35 years and I’ve never forgotten it, “Knowledge and education are one of the great equalizers and game-changers of life.” I love this quote by Og Mandino, who I had the privilege of meeting about 40 years ago. He said, “Take the attitude of a student. Never be too big to ask questions and never know too much to learn something new.” Thank you, Og. He is the author of The Greatest Salesman In The World, which is such an inspirational book. I also really appreciate that when someone is eager to learn, it is so refreshing, isn’t it? Eagerness to learn is part of a positive personality. It’s a quality to maintain your life if you will. I love the example of Pete Leighton. Now Pete is one of the associates for Synergy companies, he’s been with our firm for decades, we love working with Pete. Pete has been a technician, a supervisor, a leader and he’s a manager. And at 50 years old and a seasoned quality production manager and one of the top leaders in our company he is today taking college classes to become a certified electrician. I mean Pete is such an inspiration because he’s always learning. And this attitude of being eager to learn, for me, is a total inspiration. It’s what I want to do, and I know when I’m around people that want to do the very same thing, I want to help them more. I’d like to acknowledge this great quote from Jack Canfield, acknowledge that you need to learn and will benefit from new perspectives and understanding: “The more things you try, the more likely one of them will work. And the more books you read, the more likely one of them will have an answer to a question that could solve the major problems of your life.” Thanks, Jack, that’s a great perspective. Be humble about this, be humble about knowledge. I don’t know it all, and I want to learn. Surround yourself with people that inspire you and can lift you to new heights because of their interests, life experience, and their knowledge. You lift me and I lift you and we ascend together. This is a great process.
Here are just a few ideas that can help you and your eagerness to learn. One is to regularly examine your external environment. In other words, what are the threats and opportunities that are out there? And that’s just something that’s always good to be aware of, and take stock of how things are looking. Here’s another one: to read or listen to a book a month. This gets back to Jack Canfield’s comment about, the more books you read, the more likely one of them will have an answer to a question that could solve the major problems of your life. Same thing with listening to a podcast of interest, and TED Talk-type resources. So, for example, on this subject, Bob Marquardt inspired this podcast today, and I’m grateful for that. Hopefully, this is the type of podcast that you could invite a family member or employees to listen to, and then discuss, what do they think about this. So, these are examples. And then, definitely invest in your own mind with courses and conferences. This is something that Dave Clark, the CEO of our firm has been so keen on over the years, he’s done a great job of that. As a result, everybody within the organization has this inspiration to want to become their best and to keep learning. It’s what makes all of us better in what we do. And then, of course, another idea of being eager to learn is you can participate with a forum or a mastermind or a group of trusted associates. And in the spirit of confidentiality, bounce things off each other, share ideas, share challenges, share new ways to grow your business, and to maintain real growth.
Another tool I like and that we’ve used at Becoming Your Best quite a bit is the Continue-Start-Stop sheet. It’s a single sheet with three words on it. Continue: what kind of things do you want me to continue doing that work well? Start: what do you want me to start doing I’m not currently doing today that would work better? And then Stop: what kind of things don’t work, and that you would prefer I didn’t do and that they’d be better for our relationship if I didn’t do them? And then just ask for feedback. This is the eagerness to learn and to get other perspectives. Try to learn about your blind spots, although it’s not always comfortable, or even pleasant, but then you can make needed adjustments. And that’s what learning is all about. It’s becoming our best, right? And this is the spirit of good, better, best. And last, of all, leverage your exercise time and travel time to create your own university of learning. It’s during those kinds of times you can listen to TED Talks, podcasts, other inspirational messages that make a difference. Well, there you have it, my friends.
Thank you, Bob Marquardt, for the inspiration of this particular podcast today. Six things that you can do to have a positive personality and have an eagerness to learn. Number one, start off your day with a positive routine that puts you in the right frame of mind every day to get going. Reinforce this positive personality and being principled with correct principles by maintaining a positive vision. And of course, number three, prioritize your time by doing what matters most and preparing for the week during the weekend through pre-week planning. Number four, smile. Number five, show respect to everybody you meet. Oh, that is a true reflection of that, of being a light and being positive. And number six is to be eager to learn. It has been a delight being together with you today. We honor you, we admire you, thank you for engaging in this learning process together. This is Steve Shallenberger with Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, wishing you a great day.