Tim Sanders is a nice man. He's a confident love-cat roaming the stage, imparting his knowledge, seeming untroubled and unburdened if you've ever seen him present.
Would it be difficult for you to think Tim was not always the way he is now? I'm sure you would.
However, that is precisely where he has been. He spent some time in his "sideways years," as he put it.
In his book, "Today We Are Rich," he outlines seven concepts he learned from his Grandma, Billye. Those ideas helped him get back on track and to where he is now, and he shares them with us.
Principle 1: Feed Your Mind Good Stuff
Tim's first rule is that we should treat our brains like machines. When we put bad gas in a car, we don't get the performance we want, if we get any at all. We get the power if we give it high octane.
Feed your mind in the same manner you feed your body. As Sanders explains, when you absorb information, your mind gets to work, chewing on it, digesting it, and turning it into a concept. Nice ideas develop when good things enter your head.
Our ideas, according to Tim, have an influence on our physical health. When we have a negative idea, our subconscious becomes anxious and worried, and our bodies create cortisol, the stress hormone.
This hormone's production can lead to heart disease and intestinal problems over time. What are our options?
We must keep track of what we eat, just like we would with a food diet plan. So, for a few weeks, we should keep track of everything we read, listen to, or watch.
Keep track of the source, author, the tone of anything we think about, and how much time we spend on it. This is something we should do with everyone we spend time with.
After some time has passed, circle all negative or ineffective information and influences you've "consumed" and highlight all of the good or beneficial ones.
Are there too many circles? We need to cut these out, just as we need to cut out unhealthy meals and focus on the good that remains.
Tim advises us to read newspapers in a way that corresponds to our output and goals. Above all, he urges us to seek out and read good literature. (Can you tell me where we can find more of those? Yes, readitfor.me!) And it doesn't end there.
Instead of listening to "junk" radio on the way to work, listen to a decent audiobook and turn your commute into a learning experience.
Principle 2: Move the Conversation Forward
Tim claims that we spend a significant portion of our lives conversing with people. If the discussions continue, we will make progress.
Things get a little confusing when they move sideways, and you can probably imagine what happens if they go backward. Panic and pessimism. He proposes that we focus the information from our interactions by framing it in one of four ways:
- Good—either for ourselves or for our interests;
- Neutral—having no direct impact on us or our interests;
- Action—in response to the information we've received;
- Bad—data with a negative effect on us or our interests;
Tim advises us to keep useful knowledge in mind at all times. We should take direct advantage of it. Toss it out if it's neutral; it doesn't contribute anything to the equation.
Recognize the feeling that comes with it when it's negative, and learn from it. Of course, for those who can take action, go ahead and do it! We're reminded of the tried-and-true personal productivity tip of just touching a piece of paper on your desk twice.
The same concept, according to Tim, should be applied to information ingested. We need to keep the dialogue moving forward while remaining optimistic.
Tim advises that the secret to having great discussions is to portray our self-assurance by using the appropriate words in the right tone of voice.
We must purge "weak" words and phrases from our own lexicon. Yes is one of the most upbeat words we can utter. It, like its variants: completely, perfectly, and definitely, inspires agreement and support.
Principle 3: Exercise Your Gratitude Muscle
The difference between a thankful and an ungrateful person, according to Tim, is in their perception: one sees a life of beauty, while the other sees a life of misery.
So, how can we determine when it's appropriate to express gratitude? Easy. Whenever someone or something inspires you to think positively. When someone or something makes us happy.
The fact is that we don't deserve any of the things we've grown to anticipate, desire for, or yearn for. Asking oneself what others might think of our current circumstances is another method to create a thankfulness focus. Would they feel sorry for us or envious of us?
Tim offers some advice on how to strengthen our appreciation muscles. We must alter our regular routine. Shop in a variety of stores. Work in a different method. Change things up at work as well. Begin meetings at work by expressing thanks to the other participants, especially if we've worked together for a long period.
We may do the same thing on social media by focusing our status updates on appreciating people's efforts. We can convert our have to's into get to's if we adopt a thankful mindset.
Many individuals grumble because they "had to go to work today." At the same time, millions of jobless people would gladly accept any employment.
Principle 4: Give to Be Rich
Giving, according to Tim, is a miracle medication. Nothing can stand up to its healing abilities.
Giving necessitates a focus on both other people's needs and our own riches. This shifts our focus away from our flaws and onto our strengths. When we give to others, we also receive.
A little time spent helping others may frequently boost us back up when we are burned out or discouraged.
Tim suggests that instead of taking a break, we take a giving break. Help a colleague, and he assures us we'll have plenty of fresh energy the next day to get back on track.
But give for the sake of giving. Tim cautions us that we are investors when we donate and expect a return.
We are self-promoters when we contribute and want public praise in return. We are generous when we give only for the sake of giving.
We should evaluate ourselves to determine if we can benefit others rather than screening possible receivers for their usefulness.
Principle 5: Prepare Yourself
"If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first forty-five minutes sharpening my ax," Abraham Lincoln is believed to have stated. According to Tim Sanders, information can rapidly take you to success like a freshly sharpened ax.
So, how do we go about acquiring knowledge? Tim advises that to become clever, we must read more than we ever imagined. We'll have to think about what we've read and break it down into digestible chunks. (Readitfor.me can help you.)
We should read novels relevant to the environment we are in and the people, places, and things that make up the industry we work in or the position we play in life.
We should take notes as if we were still in college when reading literature. Everywhere we travel, we should bring literature with us.
Tim suggests that the second method to become clever is to network and collaborate with others to expand our knowledge base. We should discuss the books we're reading and exchange the information we've gathered.
Transform ordinary water-cooler discussions into brainstorming sessions. Make a list of books that we would suggest to others. Tim's third strategy is what he refers to as "mentoring."
This is the act of being a mentor to someone else while also having our own mentor. Teaching is always a good method to learn. So, if you want to advance, seek out guidance.
Principle 6: Balance Your Confidence
Tim feels that self-assurance is never about ourselves. Total confidence involves faith in oneself, other people in one's life, and something larger than oneself. When we have all three of these beliefs, we will have a well-balanced sense of self-assurance, which will help us to persevere in the face of adversity.
Confidence in Self
People with confidence feel self-efficacy or the idea that they can do the task at hand. We get the faith and perseverance to finish the job when we view ourselves capable of doing it.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all have a self-image. Others may try to influence how we view ourselves, but it is ultimately our decision.
It is up to us whether we reach our full potential.
Confidence in Others
Confidence in others necessitates a high level of trust, as well as a willingness to relinquish control over a situation.
To have more faith in another person, we must make a conscious effort to be objective about our mental image of them. Even when we face personal failures, our confidence rises when we trust our team.
We are not alone because of our teammates. We may delegate some power, delay certain duties, and eventually let go as our trust in our team grows.
Confidence in Your Faith
The world operates according to a set of rules. So, suppose we are running a business or selling a product and providing a valuable service or product. In that case, we should have trust that the market will reward our efforts in the long run.
So, how can we know what our higher mission is?
Tim advises that we begin with our gifts, including talents, inclinations, abilities, natural skills, and intuition. Everyone gets a chance to participate and contribute. We must question ourselves why we do what we do.
What impact does this have on others? We will have a sense of personal integrity if we are committed to a goal. We'll feel linked to something bigger than ourselves, and we'll feel more powerful due to that relationship.
Principle 7: Promise Made, Promise Kept
Our final principle, according to Tim, is to honor our promises. Make good on our promises. We'll have a feeling of personal triumph each time we do so.
Finishing anything, especially in the face of hardship, boosts our self-esteem and broadens our horizons. If we make commitments and then violate them, Tim says, we will mislead others about the type of person we are.
Many promises go unfulfilled because they are dismissed as mere chatter. The majority of the commitments we don't keep are due to a lack of commitment on our own.
Because of their unanticipated difficulties, they are abandoned. So, when we're ready to give up emotionally, we should grit our teeth and take one more stride forward, one more try, one more day.
It's often a bad idea to make a promise as a first response to a problem. Instead, before acting, we should ask a few questions to better understand the issue. And, if we don't think we'll be able to deliver, we should always say no, explaining why.
Tim's final words of advice: once we make a pledge, we should keep track of it. Otherwise, it may fall between the cracks.
We need to be transparent about the delivery schedule and set reasonable expectations. As soon as we confirm our pledge and place the delivery deadline on our calendar, we can begin planning. Finally, give the promise's goods directly to the person who made it.
We will earn friends and influence others if we are prepared to follow our promise, no matter how useless or difficult it may appear. We'll persuade the naysayers and turn our opponents into supporters. Smart, nice people succeed.