Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Alan Zimmerman, @Dr_Zimmerman. Alan Zimmerman, PhD has spoken to more than one million people around the world, giving them the tools they need to achieve their goals on and off the job. Dr. Zimmerman has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions in the fields of attitude, communication, and leadership. Most recently, the National Speakers Association awarded him its highest honor, the Speaker Hall of Fame. For more information, please visit www.DrZimmerman.com
SmallBizLady: Have you ever noticed that two people can experience the same event but react in totally different ways?
Alan Zimmerman: I sure have. And that reaction makes all the difference in the world. It’s a simple formula. It says E + A = O or Event plus Reaction equals Outcome.
You can’t change, prevent, or delete many of the “Events” that happen in life, but you do have control over your “Attitude.”
And that’s critical. Your attitude will give you the “Outcome” of celebration or desperation.
SmallBizLady: So what determines your “Attitude?”
Alan Zimmerman: There are three elements. The first element is BELIEF. If you have the right beliefs, and if you believe in the right things, you’ll be on the road to a life of celebration. Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it. They believe in the wrong things. Just look at people’s bumper strips, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Contrast that to a person who uses the power of BELIEF. Even though that person might have a challenging life, he or she continues to experience joy and peace of mind.
SmallBizLady: What else goes into your “Attitude?”
Alan Zimmerman: The second element is FOCUS. What do you choose to focus on? There’s always some good in a bad situation, and there’s always some bad in a good situation.
After all, we’re living on earth, not in heaven. An old ditty says it this way: “As you go through life, brother, Whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut, And not upon the hole!”
SmallBizLady: You mentioned three elements that go into Attitude. What’s the third element?
Alan Zimmerman: The third determining element is VISION. Whereas as focus deals with what you see in the present, vision deals with what you see in the future. Those who live lives of desperation only see doom and gloom in the future.
SmallBizLady: What is the Payoff Principle?
Alan Zimmerman: Everybody wants to be happier and more successful. Everybody wants bigger & better results on and off the job. The question is how. How does a person get the payoffs he or she wants?
Some people think the answer is found in a person’s attitude or passion. After all, there are lots of books that tell us that attitude is everything. But we all know people who have a great passionate attitude, but they aren’t going anywhere in particular.
SmallBizLady: How does it work?
Alan Zimmerman: When you find purpose in what you do, exhibit passion for the outcome, and master the process to make it happen, you produce the payoffs you want, need, & deserve. In effect, you become a Producer.
SmallBizLady: For most people, what gets in the way of their success and happiness?
Alan Zimmerman: One thing: they don’t know what they really, Really, REALLY want. They spend their entire lives thinking, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.” So their lives, careers, and relationships are oftentimes a mishmash of trial and error rather than a straight path to what will bring them the success and happiness they desperately desire. If you don’t know what you really want, your only other alternative is to settle for less, and that will depress you or defeat you.
SmallBizLady: What questions should one ask him/herself, to determine what they really want out of life?
Alan Zimmerman: To begin the process of discovering what you really want, write down these phrases: “Success is…Happiness is…and…The most satisfying #life would be…”
Over the course of the next ten days, take ten minutes each day to write down whatever answers come to mind.
SmallBizLady: Since attitude drives choices and behaviors, how does one change or improve their attitude?
Alan Zimmerman: It’s a very important question. But let me reframe the question just a bit.
It makes more sense to talk about Passion and Passion has three elements: Attitude, Persistence, and Character. After all, some people have a nice positive attitude, but they don’t have much to show for it because they lack persistence. And other people have may have a “winning” attitude but their behavior choices are anything but that of a winner, because they lack Character.
SmallBizLady: What’s a “Mind Binder?” And how can it/they be altered or eliminated?
Alan Zimmerman: Mind Binder is a negative comment we tell ourselves over and over again, binding our success and ensuring our failure. A person might say such things as: “I can’t remember names…I can’t stick to a diet…I can’t make a cold call…I can’t lose weight…I can’t save money…I can’t close that sale…I’ll never get ahead… or…My memory is slipping.”
Mind Binders are extremely dangerous to think or utter, because the more you do so, the more you will be stuck with its corresponding losing behavior. After all, you perform exactly as you tell self. You will never rise above your own self-talk.
SmallBizLady: What’s the role of risk in a successful life or career? And how does one move beyond their comfort zone?
Alan Zimmerman: It’s critical. If you want more of anything in your life…a bigger paycheck, a healthier body, a stronger marriage, whatever…it always requires leaving your comfort zone.
You can’t do what you’ve always done and expect greater levels of success and happiness. It just isn’t going to happen. What got you here won’t take you there. If you want bigger and better personal and professional payoffs, you’ve got to leave your comfort zone and take more risks. Constructive risks.
SmallBizLady: With demands at work and at home, I often hear others exclaim, “I’m exhausted and overwhelmed!” How does one achieve balance?
Alan Zimmerman: You need the three secrets of Purpose, Passion, and Process working for you to get the Payoff of balance, as well as hundreds of other payoffs.
First, purpose. You’ve got to define what’s most important to you and do those things.
Second, passion. Look at every use of your time at work and on the job.
Third, process. Get the skills you need to get the results you want.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz
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Great interview! I’m definitely guilty of frequently using “Mind Binders”… I wish I could figure out how to get rid of them. I suppose I just need to catch myself and stop myself from thinking them.
Melinda Emerson says
It takes practice, Molly. Don’t give up!
Naomi Dinsmore says
Hi Melinda and Alan,
What helps me to have a killer positive attitude is to embrace both positive and negative feelings. I never allow either to consume me and I practice getting comfort with both.
Of course, it’s great to feel positive, but negative feelings?… Not so much. When I experience negative emotions about self doubt/self belief I will almost go into a meditative type of state and I allow myself to be with the emotion and almost visualize it being chased out of my body.
I always feel better and continue to lead my day with clear thinking
Melinda Emerson says
Great points! I think we all try to veer away from negative feelings, but acknowledging them is key.