Can you think your way to success? Is it really possible?
Whether you call it positive thinking, a positive attitude, or a winning mindset, in regard to writing it’s the strategy of having a dream, creating a plan, projecting the positive results of that plan, and taking the necessary actions to accomplish your goal.
Part of positive thinking and projection is the importance of determining your true motivation. In other words, what is your purpose? Why do you want to succeed? And, what do you want to succeed at?
All this matters.
You need to know and be focused on what you want, what success means to you, and exactly what you want to succeed at. You also need to know your motivation, your purpose. Do you want to:
• Write as a hobby or just pass the time
• Earn a supplemental income to be able to buy the extras you can’t afford now
• Make a full-time living at writing and marketing – be able to support yourself
• Become rich
• Become successful in the writing world
• Become well-known
• Become a famous author
• Become a superstar
Will becoming a New York Times bestselling author be your pinnacle? Or, is your heart set on becoming a multi-millionaire, or a billionaire? Maybe you simply want to be a career author, getting contracts for your work on a regular basis. Only you know what success means to you.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is the perfect example of knowing what you want, along with being a perfect example of positive thinking and perseverance. It took the authors 144 attempts to land a publisher.
One hundred and forty-four submissions. What if they gave up after 25, 50 or 100 rejections?
Co-authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen had a positive mindset and clear vision. They had focus and determination. They knew exactly what they wanted – for Chicken Soup for the Soul to be a New York Times best seller. In fact, according to Canfield, the number one reason for being stuck and not realizing your potential or goals is the lack of clarity.
Canfield and Hansen fulfilled their dream with positive thinking, clarity, and perseverance.
This strategy of a positive mindset and positive projection is nothing new. In 1953, Norman Vincent Peale made the psychological term ‘think positive’ popular via his book, The Power of Positive Thinking. And, in 1958, Napoleon Hill, using Andrew Carnegie as inspiration, wrote Think and Grow Rich.
And, this new-fangled way of thinking has roots much earlier than that. According to Wikipedia, early influences of positive thinking came from religious and philosophical sources. The ancient Greeks, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, developed their own form of self-realization. Early Judaism and Christianity also had doctrine subscribing to seeking happiness. (2)
Making a stronger and much more fine-tuned resurgence, and referred to as the scientific realm of positive psychology, today more and more people are being made aware of the positive mindset strategy, especially through sources such as The Secret.
Adding to this, super successful people like Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Louise L. Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Tony Robbins enthusiastically proclaim the benefits. Harnessing this ‘mind power’ can lead to success, better health, wealth, and even happiness. This is the premise behind the strategy.
So, what strategies can YOU use to create and nurture positive thinking?
Hill wrote, “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination; Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.” (3)
Seven Steps to Writing Success
Based on Hill’s quote, the first step is to answer the questions raised earlier. What do you want to succeed at and why? Take time and think carefully about these questions. Determine exactly what success is to you. Imagine it and see it clearly.
- Put your vision into words and other visuals. Write it out in detail and make it readily visible. Read it every day . . . envision it every day.
2. Canfield and Hansen put projection notes all over the place, even in the bathroom. This is a visualization technique and you can also use images or objects to help with your projection.
You can use Post-Its, you can type or write your goals out in big letters on a sheet of paper and paste it somewhere that you’ll see it throughout the day. By your computer should work. You might put it in a plastic sheet protector – it’ll last longer.
3. Create a realistic writing and marketing plan. Again, you will need to make it detailed. List the steps needed to go from point A to point B?
TIP: Include learning the ropes as part of your plan. Learn the craft of writing and learn and test marketing strategies to find those that will work for you.
4. Give yourself a timeline. Don’t leave your success plan open-ended. State when you will achieve the success you want. It may be six months, it may be a year, just be sure to be realistic. Make it doable. This will help keep you on track.
5. Don’t just talk-the-talk. You must walk-the-walk. This means do the work. Take the action steps necessary to attain your objective. Go into it realistically, knowing it will take time and effort.
6. Keep positive. Reign yourself in when needed. No matter how positive you are, there will be times when negativity rears its head. Simply stop it in its tracks. Push negative thoughts aside and replace them with positive thoughts and affirmations. Let positive thinking permeate all your thoughts and actions.
7. Keep focused and persevere. Nothing in life is guaranteed to go smoothly, so expect the unexpected. Know where you’re heading, envision where you want to be, and ride through any obstacles that may come your way.
What are your thoughts on the power of positive thinking?
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Let’s get your idea off the launch pad or your outline into a publishable story today!