Published Monday, March 28, 2011 | 10 a.m.
Updated Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | 3:29 p.m.
When author Tim Sanders was a little boy, he learned how to become rich from his grandmother Billye. After helping a traveling laborer by hiring him to perform work around her farm, Billye turned to Sanders and proclaimed, “Today we are rich!” She stressed to him that being rich had little to do with money. Being rich has a lot to do with confidence; having the confidence to share with others, knowing that there will always be enough of what one needs.
In his new book, “Today We Are Rich,” www.twar.com, Sanders shares seven principles of confident living that have guided his life and led to his success. Following is a synopsis of Sander’s seven principles:
Feed your mind good stuff. Sanders advocates that you should be just as careful about what you put into your mind as you are about what you put into your mouth. His believes that if you feed your mind good stuff, your subconscious mind will learn good behavior and create beliefs in the conscious mind. The more positive these beliefs are, the more focused and purposeful both your thoughts and actions will become. We’ve all experienced the scenario of waking up in a good mood and breezing through the day successfully. Most of us have also experienced the opposite. Keeping a positive outlook can truly increase your performance and success.
Move the conversation forward. Too often we get polarized by bad news. We build up the conversation in our mind, playing it over and over. News itself is neither good or bad, but how we think of the news makes it so. Sanders suggests that we move the conversation forward instead of letting it go sideways (creating confusion) or letting it slide backward (creating negative thought). He defines a process of framing the conversation, facing the worst case, and then ending the conversation. I remember a time in my life when I would let bad news eat at me until I couldn’t sleep, or I worked myself into becoming physically ill. It’s just not worth it. Once you define the worst case and decide that you can live with it, you can end the conversation in your mind.
Exercise your gratitude muscle. We all have a lot to be thankful for, but sometimes, we just can’t see it. We forget that our gratitude muscle needs to be exercised regularly. Sanders reminds us that having an attitude of gratitude goes a long way toward happiness. He suggests starting each day with gratitude by scanning your memory bank from the previous day and reflecting upon people who somehow contributed to your life. Beginning your day with gratitude for these people will help you see all those around you who are contributing to your success – and you’ll recognize how much you have to be grateful for.
Give to be rich. Sanders defines giving as the wonder drug. No matter how bad things are, giving of your time and your money to those in need can invigorate you. Giving makes one focus on other people’s needs as well as your own assets. This redirects your thoughts to positive. A little time spent giving can lift your spirits up. During Christmas season 2009, I was struggling with the loss of my mother, who had passed the previous October. For some reason, I felt a need to cleanse my mind by serving others. I volunteered a day serving food at Catholic Charities’ dining hall. That small act helped my deal with my loss and helped me focus my energy on good things.
Prepare yourself. Sanders learned his lesson early about preparation. Most people don’t prepare as deeply as they should for things. There is a big difference in working hard and doing the hard work. Preparation isn’t easy; that is why so many do not prepare well. If you are willing to do the hard work, it will realize dividends. I know from my own experience that the more prepared I am for something, the more confident I am, and those around me can feel this confidence.
Balance your confidence. Sanders believes that one must learn to keep things in balance. This applies to virtually everything, including confidence. In the book, he describes ways that he has kept his confidence in check, starting with confidence in himself, trust in others, and faith in God. Confidence is never about you alone. It includes many others who have helped you gain confidence. Another area that Sanders describes is pursuing a purpose that is greater than oneself. He notes that the most confident people he has ever met are most often pursuing a purpose and not just their passion.
Promise made, promise kept. Sanders’ final principle is about keeping one’s promises. Many people live the life of unfinished work and broken promises, both to others and themselves. Sanders chooses to end the book with this point: Keep your promises. Fulfill your commitments. Sounds like great advice to me.
“Today We Are Rich,” is a “must-read” book. Each point applies not only to business, but also to life.
Until next time...