Many people look for an edge in life to help them get ahead. They search outside themselves for some type of advantage. Yet, within you exists the most powerful asset you could hope for; your brain. Going through life without thinking puts you at a significant disadvantage.
Your brain controls your thoughts, which determine your attitude, which in turn guides your actions. The difference between successful people and those who struggle is their attitude. Your brain is the ultimate arbiter of what you accomplish in life.
Use your brain to assess your progress and determine the course of action necessary to achieve your goals. Actively thinking about what is occurring in your life and why, is a key to success. If you don’t understand cause and effect relationships, you won’t be able to take corrective action as needed.
When something doesn’t work out as intended, answer the following four questions: What happened? Why did it happen? What did you learn? What can you do to prevent it from happening again? This approach provides the most benefit from mistakes you make.
In order to realize different results, you must change what you are doing. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting something to change is one definition of insanity.
When you feel bummed out, annoyed, upset, angry, irritated, or any other negative emotion, use your brain to determine the cause of your feelings. Once you know this, you can formulate a strategy to deal with the cause. This is a more intelligent approach compared to either ignoring your emotions or waiting for your feelings to go away.
Unfortunately, too many people consider their attitude a response rather than a cause. They wait until things are good to feel happy. They will develop a positive attitude once they encounter positive circumstances. These people act as passengers rather than drivers. They are passive instead of proactive. Sadly, they are not taking advantage of even a fraction of their brain’s power.
Your brain gives you the ability to learn from the past. You can learn what works and what doesn’t. The obvious goal is to repeat what works and avoid what doesn’t. It’s a colossal waste of time to do the opposite.
Learning from the experience of others is far more efficient than learning from your own. Use your brain to research what has worked for those who are where you want to be. Emulating their approach is the intelligent thing to do.
Think before you act. This is especially true when you are angry or upset. Allow yourself enough time to calm down before deciding what action is appropriate. Decisions made while in emotional turmoil are often regretted. Avoiding problems takes much less effort than repairing damage caused by acting in haste.
Don’t live in a fog. Use your brain to pay attention to the direction you are heading. Is it where you want to go? If not, what needs to be done to get you back on track? Be honest about your circumstances. You do yourself a disservice by living in denial.
You’ve undoubtedly asked yourself, “what were they thinking?” in response to obviously stupid things other people do. Don’t be one of those people. Always be aware of your thoughts along with how they are impacting your life.
Your brain is a magnet. You attract what you think about. Monitor your thoughts to ensure you are thinking about only those situations you want in your life. People with a negative attitude think about what they don’t want which actually attracts that which they are looking to avoid.
Keep your brain engaged to constantly assess where you are and where you want to be. Change course as needed. Don’t let your most powerful asset be underutilized.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden