9 Ways You Can Conquer the World

January 26th, 2014 by LaRae Quy
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My first FBI supervisor was a tall, affable guy named Bill who tended to assign the sticky cases to the newest agent on the squad—me. Bill handed me a dog-eared file that had obviously been kicked around for a few years. The case was so old that one of the witnesses had died! 

Mental Toughness - win the race

I started to complain but Bill held up his hand and said, “What I expect from you is an adventurous response.”

I had joined the FBI because I was seeking something unique and exciting, and the more I thought about Bill’s admonition, I realized that adventure can not only be found in  our experiences, it can also be found in the way we think.

An adventurous response is looking for the possibility in every situation, even when it doesn’t look all that great at first glance. Bill’s suggestion brought me to a closer understanding of the role of positive thinking in developing mental toughness. I was a new agent, but Bill understood that by focusing my attention on the positive aspects of my case, I would mature into the kind of person who looked at both life and work as an adventure.

When leaders have an adventurous response to life’s vicissitudes, they can conquer the world.

Here are 9 ways:

1. Start Early and Win the Morning

If it takes caffeine to get you started in the morning, go for a full cup. If you procrastinate in starting your day, what does that foretell about the way you’ll approach the rest of it? Eat a good breakfast, pray, read the Bible, workout—feed your mind, body, and soul first thing every morning. 

2. Surround Yourself with Successful People

Pick your friends with care—they create the environment in which you will either thrive or wilt. Give everyone the opportunity to be a friend, but share your dreams and goals only with those who value them as much as you do.

If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up and believe in you, you can conquer the world. No matter how many you have in your network, if you want to be truly successful you will need three types of people:

  • Those who are older and more successful to learn from
  • Those who are your contemporaries for encouragement
  • Those who are below you in experience to keep you energized

3. Believe and Act As If Everything Is a Gift

Instead of appearing like Pollyanna, think about it like this: Assuming everything is a gift is a great way of looking at the problems that will undoubtedly pop up in life and business. Choose an adventurous response by remaining positive so you are not intimidated by obstacles.

4. Write in a Journal

Goals, dreams, and ideas that are not written down are not real.

Journals can:

  • Force you to clarify what you want
  • Motivate you to take action
  • Filter the best opportunities
  • Help overcome resistance
  • Enable you to celebrate your progress

5. Engage in Mindfulness, Prayer, Meditation, or Yoga On a Daily Basis

Research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness are not just for individual health, but also for corporate bottom lines. Stress-reduction doesn’t just make us happier and healthier, it’s a proven competitive advantage for any business that wants one.

6. Ask Questions, Lots of Them, Always

Raising new questions, exploring possibilities, and regarding old problems from a new angle activates our imagination and stimulates our thinking. Continually ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my purpose on earth?
  • Where is my heart telling me to go?
  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I start doing?
  • What is my petri dish?

7. Try, Try, and Then Try Again

If you want to try something new, you will fail at first; if you don’t fail, then it wasn’t really anything new at all. Failure is a wonderfully clarifying process because if you fail and give up, then you’re heart wasn’t in it. Move on so you can get somewhere better.

If, however, you fail and do not accept defeat, keep at it until you find the secret to unlocking the potential, in both yourself and your obstacle.

8. Start At the End, and Then Don’t Stop There

Decide what you want to do, who you want to be, and where you want to end up. You cannot conquer the world setting average goals for yourself. Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time (click to tweet). 

Never start small where goals are concerned. Most people don’t set goals too high and miss; they set goals too low and hit (click to tweet). Your decisions will be better when your ultimate goal is ultimate success. 

9. Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Setting and achieving a goal isn’t the finish line for people who are successful. Achieving one goal is simply a launching pad for the next huge goal. 

When you become successful in one field, you will find that you have the skill set to be remarkably successful in other fields. Do not settle for running one race. Expect and plan to win a number of them.

Mental toughness is choosing how you respond to life’s circumstances rather than leaving things to chance. Once you do, you can conquer the world.

Any tips to offer on how people can conquer their world?

© 2013 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.

 

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11 Responses to “9 Ways You Can Conquer the World”

  1. LaRae,

    I love the statement, “What I expect from you is an adventurous response.” Immediately I thought of times I’ve done that successfully and blogged about it, and about times I have not done that. VERY powerful!

  2. Alli Polin says:

    Excellent! The adventure starts with our way of thinking… not only our doing! Positivity, resilience, mental toughness all enable us to think creativity and be strong in heart, mind, body and spirt.

    So funny, when I read “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” it hits home. I’m always thinking about what’s next to the point that turning off at night can be hard! However, it’s also a gift because I’m not stressing over the roadblocks but imagining and creating what’s next.

    Love this article, LaRae!!

  3. Diana says:

    LaRae:

    I find truly enriching your teachings.

    Cannot wait for the next one..

    Congratulations and grateful thanks.

    Diana

  4. Terri Klass says:

    Loved the post, LaRae and especially loved your point about surrounding yourself with successful people. I am a believer in connecting with people who are positive and bring me up instead of bringing me down. It is difficult to move away from toxic folks sometimes, yet it is essential to protect ourselves against them. I once collaborated with an individual who was negative and definitely a control freak. After we completed our final presentation, I never reached out to her again and in fact didn’t respond to her requests. My self-worth was at stake.

    Thanks LaRae!

    • LaRae Quy says:

      I agree, Terri. There are lots of toxic folks out there but I do my best to move out of their way. I don’t need their influence in my life.

      Great story, and thanks for sharing. I’ve also had people in my life with whom I never hope to meet again because of their negativity…as you say, our self-worth is at stake!

  5. Bill says:

    LaRae,

    I really enjoyed reading this post. It’s a great reminder that our goals are not a destination point, but rather a journey.

    Maybe this is why I struggle to see myself ever fully retiring. Too many stones to still turnover.

    • LaRae Quy says:

      Bill, I think “retirement” is an unhealthy word in many people’s minds. We may move from our current job commitment, but most of us would lay down and die if we didn’t feel they still had a journey ahead to look forward to.

      Good for you…turn over those stones! It is an amazing journey!

  6. Al Gonzalez says:

    Great post LaRae. These are all very helpful in many, many ways. Asking questions and always thinking about tomorrow hit home for me. Fleetwood Mac really nailed it all those years ago!

    On asking questions, the tone and choice of words is critical, as we can express frustration and make others look/feel bad with the types of questions we ask. Thoughtful questions can be very helpful especially when dealing with difficult topics and can be worded in ways in which we don’t come across as being critical.

    I learned about this art from one of my direct reports who always knew how to capture the sentiment of what the team was feeling but not telling me. He would always ask questions like:

    Al, the plan sounds very thorough. How should we handle the issue of getting approval from 6 different stakeholders in different parts of the organization?

    As you know, this kind of question could be asked in a derogatory tone and with critical words, like:

    Al, the plan is flawed. How are we ever going to get buy in from all those people. Just cause you deal with them all the time, does not mean we do!

    Penny for your thoughts.

    Al

    • LaRae Quy says:

      Great comment, Al. The manner in which we ask questions of both others and ourselves are two very different, albeit important, considerations.

      In the post, I mentioned the importance of always asking questions of ourselves. What is in our petri dish? We should always have one, one where the answers are not clear and are still in the process of being discovered.

      Your question has more to do with how we ask questions of others. However, there are many similarities between the two…we need to be gentle and sensitive in tone and language – both with others and ourselves. I think it comes down to the attitude behind the question. If asked with humbleness, and a genuine empathy for the person on the receiving end, it’s not about pointing fingers or trying for the “gotcha” moment.

      The way in which we form our questions and the words we use are incredibly important. Too often, we’re so wrapped up in our world that we do not take the time to imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of that question.

      Loved the input! 

  7. Jon Mertz says:

    LaRae,

    Many great points here and we need to start with summoning our internal strength and courage and then engage with community…. we don’t have to do this alone. The combination of the two create the right mindset and support to solve problems and create solutions. Great points outlined to embrace, always. Thanks!

    Jon

    • LaRae Quy says:

      You hit it on the head, Jon. It’s our mindset that really has the power over how we move forward. And using mental toughness to engage with our community leads to success when overcoming obstacles.

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