Success is a Choice

Achieve your personal and professional goals and overcome adversity by programming yourself for success

by Donald J. Strankowski

So what does programming yourself for success have to do operating a successful business and achieving your personal and professional goals?  In one word—EVERYTHING!  Without a firm belief in yourself and the ability to program your mind for maximum achievement, all of your knowledge, skill, and expertise won’t mean a thing when it comes to achieving your goals, dreams and aspirations.  

Your mind pays attention to how you talk to yourself and programs itself accordingly.  If you think of yourself as a loser, unlucky, unfortunate, or a victim of circumstances, these are exactly the sorts of results you will get in most anything you try.  However, if you think like a winner always expecting the best, you can achieve your goals and aspirations at a rapid rate!  Much like a computer, you can program yourself for success (or failure) by simply controlling the type of information you are “downloading.”  

Success is Predictable

The bottom line to my research of highly successful men and women over the past 13 years is this: Success is predictable.

Success is not a series of random, haphazard events that one person gets a lot of and someone else gets very few of.  There is no “magic bullet” or “magic potion” that will give you the results you desire overnight.  There are however, some basic principles that have been tried and tested for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years.  Some of these principles and ideas may appear to be self-evident however, don’t dismiss them on that account.  The people who are the very best at what they do are brilliant on the basics. 

Successful people don’t look for shortcuts, fads or get-rich-quick schemes.  They don’t expect overnight results.  Successful people have a positive outlook, set goals, and are persistent.  They know that through careful planning, learning by their mistakes, and embarking on a commitment to life-long learning, they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to.     

The 3 Most Important Factors in Determining Your Level of Success

Before you can begin achieving your goals and aspirations, there are three things you need to consider and understand:

NUMBER ONE:  We attract into our life what we think about most often.

We are all “living magnets” and will attract into our lives the people, ideas, and circumstances that are consistent with our dominant thoughts.  Like attracts like. This is why it is so vitally important to stay focused on what you want to occur in life and what you want to accomplish.  By concentrating on the outcome you desire, you program your mind to keep you acting in a manner consistent with what you want.  You will begin to attract all the people, ideas, and information you will need to achieve your goals.  Some of the ideas and situations will be positive events; almost serendipitous in nature.  Other events may come packaged and problems and setbacks.  This sort of adversity is the “education and experience” we currently lack but need to accomplish our goals and objectives.  See each setback as a learning experience and use it to your advantage in the future.  This is a common characteristic of all highly-successful individuals. 

However, nature is neutral.  How you have programmed yourself to think can also work against you—if you allow it to.  If you stay focused and continually dwell on the possibility of negative outcomes, you will attract into your life exactly those sorts of consequences.  You will literally be programming your mind to keep you acting in a manner consistent with the outcome you are focusing on; in this case negative results.  Have you ever met a negative, successful person?  Probably not.  That’s because negative, cynical people only attract more of the same into their life.  It becomes a snowball effect where all the negativity can be a magnet for more negativity and failure.  So visualize what you want and stay focused on your goals and an encouraging outcome.  Put nature to work for you! 

NUMBER TWO: You must become a success in your own thinking long before you can achieve it in reality.

Your outside world reflects your inside world.  Your current levels of health, wealth, and prosperity are mirror reflections as to how you see yourself in each one of these areas.  If you want to the change the present circumstances in your life, you first need to go to work on the attitudes and beliefs that are giving you undesirable results and holding you back.

The only thing in life that we can truly control is our thinking.  You must discipline yourself to change your thinking in spite of any negative response that may feel normal and natural.  Employ the law of substitution which says that any destructive negative thought can automatically be substituted for a constructive positive thought.  We can change our thinking at will if we choose to do so. 

Changing our thought process can be very difficult.  It can be hard to keep focused on a positive outcome when the possibility of failure is right around the corner.  We often fall back into our old mode of negative thinking and have to fight hard to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Sometimes, our mind wants to keep us in the old groove of negative expectations if that’s what we’re used to thinking.  Negative thoughts can be like water flowing through a channel—they always follow a common path.  But if we can stay disciplined and focus on positive outcomes and expectations, over time, changing our thinking becomes easier and easier.  We can develop the habit of positive expectations.  We can automatically redirect our thoughts or “flow” into a different, more positive channel.  When we do this, we will attract more positive events into our life.  We develop a solid foundation of constructive expectations and experiences which in turn breeds even more positive results.      

NUMBER THREE: Only Present Thoughts Count.

Perhaps the most inspiring thing about changing how you think and choosing to become a success is that it’s only present thoughts that count. 

It doesn’t matter what you thought last week or what you will be thinking next month.  The only thing that matters in how you steer your course in life is what you are thinking at this present moment.  You are not bound by past mistakes, failures or setbacks.  You are not bound by future apprehensions either.  You can begin to make exciting changes in your life by changing your thinking right now!  It’s like driving a car.  How the car moves is not determined by how you drove it last week or how you will drive it two weeks in the future.  How the car moves is only dependent on how you are driving it at that particular moment in time.  It’s the same thing with you and I.  Our course in life, from this moment forward, depends only on how we choose to think starting today.

The starting point of all success, whether it is professional or personal, is the development of a success-oriented mind set.  You must become a success in your own thinking long before you can achieve it in your reality.  Your outside world reflects your inside world; your current life situation is a reflection of how you think and feel on the inside.  Both success and failure are the result of your outlook and attitude.  Program your mind with a firm belief that you can and will achieve your goals.  Think and act as if it were impossible to fail.  Success is not an accident.  Success is a choice!

Donald J. Strankowski Jr. is founder and president of Ascend Career and Life Strategies, a training and consulting firm for businesses, professionals, executives.  He works out of Boulder, Colorado and can be contacted at 303-245-7049, via email at [email protected], or on the web at
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