The opportunities

Change is always in our midst.

The choice on when to change our attitude is a personal one. When we’ve made that choice, there are five “opportunities” that Maxwell points out around us, that make this decision a success.

I will rewrite parts of it for easy recall.

1. The friend

We need one another.  Few people are successful unless a lot of people want them to be.  Change has a tendency to intimidate us.  Add to that intimidation the realisation that we have a long way to go before proper attitudes are established.

To help overcome this feeling of inadequacy, you need the help of a friend.

The real friend is the one who does not take advantage of that relationship.  Remember, we can never do anything for others that will not have some eventual benefits for ourselves.  There is a law of life that will, in time, return good for good.  Therefore, enlisting someone’s help will not only assist you, but it will also give a friend a blessing in return.

2. The associate

There are two keys to determine who we are: (1) who we perceive ourselves to be and (2) who we associate with.

Birds of a feather do flock together.  From friends, we acquire many of our thoughts, mannerisms, and characteristics.  Changing an attitude from negative to positive often requires changing friendships.  It is no accident that kids with good grades run around with other kids with good grades.

Many times people blame circumstances for their problems.  But usually it is the crowd we run with, not the circumstances we encounter, that makes the difference in our lives.  Good circumstances with bad friends result in defeat.  Bad circumstances with good friends result in victory.

When people who you “trust” pull you down because they have their own agenda or their own ghosts of the past to live with in order to survive, they are not good associates. They are bad people who will let you hang yourselves to dry when they don’t need you anymore.

3. The model

Communicators say that 90% of what we learn is visual, 9% is audio, and 1% comes through the other senses.  Our dependence on the eyes to learn, no doubt, is at least partially a result of television in our culture.  Visual messages last longer than those we just hear.  You could select someone to follow who would give you a constant visualisation of what you want to become.  Making a single decision to alter an attitude is not enough.  To achieve the kind of life you want, you must act, walk, talk, and conduct yourself as the ideal person that you visualise yourself to be.

Our children and the youth, more often than not, have parents as their role model.  We start them young – as the posters say it.  The apple, after all, does not fall far from the tree.  What we become, what our children become, what the nation becomes – is a reflection of who leads and how we influence our children as well.  The future started yesterday.

4. The mistake

The first instant an idea is conceived is a moment of decision.  When an opportunity of growth is opened to you, what do you tell yourself? In that moment, you choose between success and failure.

You cannot control all circumstances.  You cannot always make right decisions that bring right results.  But you can always learn from your mistakes.

We are all human and mistakes will always be the best teacher. Acknowledging that we are wrong is the lesson learned. And there is no shame in that. Pride, after all, can be swallowed without loss.

5. The experience

It takes five positive experiences to overcome one negative situation.  When faced with the possibility of failure, our tendency is to sit back and be anxious.  Fear is nature’s warning signal to get busy.  We overcome it by a successful action.

Nothing intimidates us more than constant exposure to failure.  Nothing motivates us more than constant exposure to success.  People change more quickly if they are continually given situations in which they can be successful.

We need to value other people’s worth. No one wants to work in a continuously negative environment. It is not only inhumane but tiring as well. No one wins a war. We are all losers.

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