Tim Sanders is a well-known author, business expert and keynote speaker. His zeal for life and passion for positivity are evident in his speeches and his writings. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Tim and asked him how he continues to feed his body and soul with the positive food of life and how we can make a concerted effort to do the same… Here are his thoughts.
I think what people really connect with is the idea that human beings are, by design, good people. They give back and are honest in their dealings. People really respond to that. It drives everything that I talk about. Nine times out of ten, people are going to do the right thing in business. That allows us to be more trusting and allows us to free up our creativity and innovation. All of us have those inflated memories of those rare occasions that someone took advantage of us. We remember the wrong things and forget the right things. We, as individuals, consume a lot more media than our parents did. Much of the media is unedited, undigested. And as a result, the negative stuff always goes the furthest and gets distributed to more outlets. The more that we mindlessly consume, the more negative we feel. That feeds us with a false picture of who human beings are. In my personal coaching, we need to feed our mind the good stuff. We need to be as judicious about what we put in our heads as we are about what we put in our mouths. Great leaders find a balancing point between what is and what could be. You can’t do that if you are feeding your mind negative media. I encourage people to substitute mindless media time with thoughtful reading time with books. Feed your mind and you will have a better point of view about you, about the world.
I talk a lot about the breakfast of the mind. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. This is also extremely true for the mind. The first 30 to 45 minutes of the morning shapes your mood for the entire day. It shapes your chemical flow, your thinking. I recommend you try something new for the first half hour of your day. For 10 minutes, do gratitude exercises. These force me to account for two people in the previous work day that helped me or the company. I dial into their intention. Why did they do it? Well, either they care about me or they care about my mission. I then visualize someone in the coming day that is going to do it again. This changes my expectations. You’ll begin to notice things you hadn’t in the past. You’ll see people stepping out of the shadows. Gratitude as a thought process is a valuable thing. And then read. Books on personal development, on business… Take notes, study. This leaves little room for gossip, worry and envy. This satiates my media appetite.
We mentioned a quote we had read from Tim, “Positive thinking is possible during good or bad times through lifestyle design. Without it, you’ll likely move sideways or backwards when faced with economic, social or personal adversity.” We asked how, during difficult times – economic, personal, etc. – that he recommends someone stay positive and appropriately alter their lifestyle.
I have worked hard to reduce the amount of information sources that I rely on, especially when I am going through a difficult situation. I have created a mastermind group of people that I trust based on their intention towards me. If times are uncertain, maintain a positive attitude. You had better, because in business, this is the only time to leapfrog your competitors. Go find other businesses worse off than you and help them. It’s a liberating exercise. Some businesses think they are the only ones being affected. When they look outside themselves, they find there are other people to help. This provides a huge change in perspective. I always think of the quote from Denis Waitley, “I once had the blues because I had no shoes and then I went out on the street and met a man with no feet.” Perspective is critical, and giving is a wonder drug. Watch what you say and be responsible with what that creates. Culture is a conversation led by leaders about how things are going and how things are doing. Do you focus on the recession and inject economy into every conversation? When the culture stinks at work, it gets in the employees’ heads. When the leader is negative, it buys into the malaise. Then they reward the “chicken littles.” As leaders, we have to be much more responsible about how we lead the conversation at work. Don’t ask people how it’s going. Ask them what they are working on that’s exciting to them. Break down what is going right. If nothing is going right, then maybe you have to fire someone. When things are down, we tend to pick on customers, vendors, suppliers… When you have the “what have you done for me lately attitude,” you lose.
Remember, if money is tight, treat people tighter. Keep them happy. Treat them well at all costs.
Great lessons for all of us to heed. Thank you, Tim.
Check out Tim’s latest book, Today We Are Rich – Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, at www.timsanders.com.