Life as we know it is all about limits. There are coupon limits, speed limits, and even weight limits. Our world is so inundated with putting restrictions on what we can and cannot do, that too often this trickles over into other aspects of our lives. I’m not saying that all limits are a bad thing; but what I am saying, is that too many times we place limits on ourselves that prohibit us from living the life we were meant to have.

How many times have we said, “Oh I can’t do that,” and it never fails that our neurological design goes into overdrive to prove our theory correct. We put that limitation on ourselves, and our brain starts programming the rest of the results to ensure that what we say becomes truth. It is almost as if that magic genie in a bottle says, “You say you cannot do this; your wish is my command.” What we find is that we cannot accomplish what we already told ourselves was impossible.

Now, I want you to rethink your ideology on this subject. What if you were to replace the word “can’t” with “can”? What do you think would happen? Well, first you must believe that you can actually be successful and rid yourself of what we touched upon in the last article – that four-letter word fear. I am a firm believer that limited thinking leads to limited lives.

I want you to think about any historical figure who has achieved greatness. You may have thought about Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Martin Luther King Jr.; no matter who you thought about, the one common denominator for any of these individuals boils down to the way they think. Their outlook on life is what made the difference in their own life, let alone the millions of others they were able to impact.

Yet going back to the limits we place in life, I find that what separates an individual from achieving success and abundance, versus a life of lacking the basic necessities, comes down to their mentality. As children, we were all familiar with the Little Engine Who Could and the key concept was, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” This is a great children’s story that seemingly gets left behind as we mature into adults.

As a child, we are taught to believe we can do great things, which is a life with no limits; but the older we get, the realities of life become known to us. You know what I mean – the ones that suggest a poor boy from the country cannot grow up to lead a country, or that a shy teenager cannot blossom into a public official with the ability to lead an entire state. The world around us is filled with such negativity, but then I am reminded of the phrase “thinking outside the box.”

That phrase is one that has been around forever, yet I believe is the most misunderstood sentence in our society. When we think outside the box, we are no longer thinking about those things that confine us to thinking inside the box. We take the limitations that society has put on us, and we break through those limitations. Yet we hear this phrase very sparingly to suggest that only a few are able to break the limits life has put on them. We put a limit on speaking about people breaking limits.

If this sounds like you, then welcome to a new level of achievement. You cannot solve an issue until you know what the problem is. If you are guilty of placing limitations on your life, this is the first step in breaking out of the box. This is how you go from having a good life to having a GREAT life.

What limitations are you restricting yourself with today? Maybe you’re restricting God and placing limits on Him. What if the miracles He has waiting for your life are being blocked because you are limiting Him and yourself? Find it hard to believe? People are guilty of this every day.

We have all seen the person who has everything going for them but for whatever reason, they just cannot get out of their own way. They become their own worst nightmare, preventing themselves from obtaining abundance in their life. Maybe this is you. I dare you to take the limitations off your thinking and enjoy the unlimited potential of everything life has to offer.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

We have all had something that we wanted to do but we were afraid. Why were we afraid? The reasons could be fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of the unknown. No matter the reason, there was one determining factor that stopped you in your tracks. It was fear. At some point in our lives we will all be paralyzed by this word, and we will either respond in one of two ways. We either give in to fear or we learn to squash it.

I think about the times my life has been altered by fear, and I know that many of you are just like me. Maybe there’s something that has been weighing on your mind, but something is stopping you from moving forward. That something is fear. The question becomes: How do we overcome our fears and face these demons to become the person we were meant to be?

Fear is a four-letter word that strikes terror in the hearts of billions across the world. What characteristic or action allows some to do what others cannot fathom? When we find this answer, it will enable us to overcome that four-letter word and will put us in a state of Utopia.

The dictionary defines fear as, “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” It is human nature to avoid danger, pain or even a threat. There are many “entrepreneurs” working regular jobs, receiving regular paychecks because of the fear of failure. The first major cause of fear stems from the word “failure” because who likes being deemed a loser? No one does. We worry about failure because society has taught us fear of ridicule.

How many people have you seen set out to achieve fame and glory only to come back with their tail between their legs? The failure part isn’t as hard as the ridicule part because, even though it is human nature to avoid dangers, pains and threats, it is also human nature to be the most vicious and vindictive when someone else fails.

The ridicule part goes both ways. If a person fails, they will be ridiculed, but what happens if a person succeeds and becomes “obsessed” with succeeding? People will ridicule the individual for being obsessed with achieving greatness. These people who ridicule are the very ones that will tell you not to work so much, that it is okay to call in sick even when you’re not; however, the truth of the matter is that these are people who have fallen prey to that word fear. These people have given up on their dreams, so now they want to encourage you to give up on yours.

Don’t fall for it. Keep pressing on. When things are going good, your friends know you and when things are going bad, you know your friends. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Whatever journey you feel your life tugging you towards, whatever direction it may be, do not stop moving forward. The more you press, forward the easier you will find your fears dissipating.

Another aspect of fear is the unknown. Anything new in life is going to create an unknown that can be either good or bad. This is no reason, though, not to live your life because every day a new dawn breaks, giving you the opportunity to start fresh.
If you have allowed fear to run your life, the great news is that you can stop it and start fresh right now. Do not wait for tomorrow because fear will creep back into your life, whether it is fear of failure, fear of ridicule, or that fear of the unknown. You cannot allow fear to determine your fate because it will rob you of the wonderful joys of life. Think about the fears in your life that you have been able to overcome throughout your life experiences. There were some things you probably thought you couldn’t do, but eventually you did.

Realize that the fears you have today can be overcome by taking the necessary actions and keeping on moving forward. Someone, somewhere, has been in your same predicament and they were able to rise to the top. So can you!
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

At the end of this month, I have the pleasure of celebrating fourteen years of marriage to my bride, Mindy. Fourteen years! That would be 13 ½ years longer than some people gave us when we said, “I do.” That’s right; people were betting against us, and why shouldn’t they? We were two young kids in what some referred to as “puppy love.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but by no means were these naysayers trying to paint a fuzzy picture for us and the turmoil they just knew we were destined to have.

After all, we did have a whirlwind romance in which history saw our first date on October 9, 2001, and I found myself down on bended knee within a month of that first date. The difference is I knew I loved Mindy the first time I laid my eyes upon her. In the beginning though, she unfortunately didn’t feel the same way.

My mom told me Mindy was just playing hard-to-get, and to be honest, I didn’t like this kind of playing. I mean seriously, who likes to be told “No” over and over again? No one does, and the fear of rejection is why so many people fail in life. I have learned so much from my wife which has helped me in the business world. The first lesson learned prior to getting my first date with her is that “PERSISTENCE BEATS RESISTANCE.”

I asked her out on a date once and she said “No.” I asked her twice, I asked her three times, I asked her four times, and the answer was still “No.” I found different ways to ask her out. Make that five times, six times, seven times, same response. With every resistance she was giving me I was beginning to feel the pressure. I loved her, she loved me, she just didn’t know it yet. Eighth through tenth time, it was always an adamant “No.”

Eventually upon asking for just one date on the thirteenth time, I was finally given the answer I wanted, “I’m going to church on Tuesday night. If you want to you can meet me there.” Did I want to? Was that even a question? Of course, I wanted to or I wouldn’t have risked being the fool twelve times over. I had finally worn her resistance down with my persistence. If I had not stayed on the trail like a bloodhound dog, I would not be blessed to have my beautiful wife today and our two blessings of Abigail and Johana.

Now, what you can learn from my past failures turned success is that too often we give up too easily. We face the slightest bit of resistance, and we decide that maybe that big account we wanted to win, well maybe it doesn’t matter as much as we thought it did. Or maybe that girl who has caught our eye, well maybe there’s some other fish in the sea for us. Now, if it is romance you are after, I highly suggest you pay attention to the amount of persistence you use because if you’re not careful, you may get a nicely crafted letter from the judge warning you to not persist so much.

In life though, we are going to face difficulties and those who don’t can be found in cemeteries. I can remember being a small child and my dad telling me, “Son, it’s not how many times you get knocked down, but what counts is the number of times you get back up.” What my dad was really saying was, “Son, persistence beats resistance.”

If you are up against a tough or difficult situation, do not give up. The best way to beat any kind of resistance is to counter it with Massive Action. The more action you take, the more traction you are going to be able to gain. When you get the action flowing, you will suddenly find yourself being able to knock down any barriers in your way. You will become unstoppable and whatever you set your desire upon, you can achieve. So the next time you face a struggle and think about giving up, I want you to ask yourself how your persistence is. If you are stubborn enough to keep going, you’ll eventually get what you want. For those of you who are wondering, I am the head of the household, but my wife is the neck because the neck is what turns the head.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

I want to say “Thank you” for the overwhelming support I have received from readers of these articles who have taken time to let me know my writings have been helping transform their lives. The journey we have had together has seen us focus on attitude, building a reading library, making an impact on the world, to even building self-discipline.

This past week, I reflected on these articles and it led me to realize every single article comes down to one word – decision. Every second, of every minute, of every day, we must make a decision. When to get up, when to go to bed, what to eat, what to wear, these and many more are all questions that bombard our brain on a daily basis.

I have to question how we function and do not get overloaded with the millions of questions that arise daily. This thought process led me to the belief that our lives, as they turn out, are not because of bad things happening to good people or what some people deem as lucky breaks. Not at all.

I believe our lives turn out according to the decisions we make. A simple decision to sleep a little longer leads to having to rush to get to work, to having to put the pedal to the metal. The culmination of these decisions leads to a friendly meet-and-greet with a local police officer who kindly obliges with a complimentary piece of paper which impacts your bank account.

The next decision we make is to put blame on anyone and everything to justify the outcome of our initial decision. In life it is much easier to place blame on someone or something else than to realize the actual problem stems from the person staring back at us in the mirror. This may be a hard pill to swallow; we must be accountable for our actions and our decisions.

What separates a millionaire from a beggar? Believe it or not, decisions. Choosing to stay at a job you hate is a decision. Choosing to stay in an abusive relationship is a decision. Choosing to live in the body you hate is a decision. Neither the millionaire nor the beggar can buy more time, but both can choose how to spend it.

To make any kind of positive change in your life, you must think about the decisions you are making and how they are negatively impacting you and those around you. Experts say that humans are creatures of habit, both good and bad, but the reality is these habits we have formed are all from the decisions we have made.

When we think about the habits we have, they are all routines we have formulated in handling our lives. From the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, most of us are living with decisions that have become habits over time. If you want to make the most out of your life, if you want to change the direction your life is headed in, I urge you to give a second thought to the decisions you are making on a daily basis.

What decisions are you making today that you need to change in order to be successful tomorrow? You must take the time to think about this question so you can begin living the life you were always destined to have. I suggest you look at your goals and form them as a question.

If your goal is to make $100,000 extra this year, pose this goal as a question. Take out a piece of paper and write down, “How am I going to make an extra $100,000 this year?” The idea of this exercise is to come up with 20 answers to this question. It could be reading a book or it could be calling more clients. Regardless of the answers you write, you must really dig deep to find the answer. By the time you get to the 20th question, you will find your answer. The answer is normally the easiest decision that we overlook because we live a life of habit. Go ahead; write out your goals in a question and make the decision to find your answer to living the life you’ve always wanted.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Once you start making better decisions, you will start to notice a better way of life. Ultimately though, the first decision you must make is to start…today.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

Recently I was asked, “What separates those who have success versus those who seem to draw the short end of the stick in business?” My immediate knee-jerk reaction was to answer the individual by giving a short statement about hard work and a positive attitude. However, the more I thought about this question, the more I realized what is prevalent to someone who is successful.

This one ingredient can be used in various aspects of life and it comes down to the word “self-discipline.” The definition of self-discipline is, “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.”

The more I reflected upon this definition, it became apparent to me what separates someone from success, and failure boils down to the amount of self-discipline a person has. Think about the number of New Year’s resolutions that people write down at the beginning of the year. Yet, by this time of year, you find most people have already “abandoned” the resolutions they were so ambitious about months earlier.

Take someone who is focusing on their health and someone who lacks self-discipline; life is much easier for someone to sit back on the couch compared to getting their body in motion. I’ve written in the past about people waiting to go after their dreams. Why? Self-discipline or a lack thereof is what becomes the downfall of many people.

In the world of business it is not easy to have the ability to keep fighting when the odds are stacked against you. When the world has your back against the wall, one of the hardest feats known to man is picking yourself back up when life has beat you down. This proverbial “beat down” could be a job you were fired from, a promotion you were overlooked for, or even a person turning you down for a date. It took me asking my wife out 13 times before she reluctantly agreed to a first date!

We all face obstacles and struggles in our lives. If you have a heartbeat, you’re going to have problems. The answer to these problems lies in how we respond to these struggles. This is where having self-discipline comes into play. Having the ability to be in control of your feelings and your actions make the disappointing times a lot easier to handle, as opposed to when you feel out-of-balance with life.

You may be asking yourself, “How does a person find self-discipline?” I narrow this response down to three things. The first is “Goal Setting” and making sure you are writing out your goals on a daily basis. Who has a better shot of hitting their goal – the person who writes their goal once in a New Year’s resolution or the person who writes their goal down every day? The obvious answer is the person continuously writing out their goals. If you’re not doing this, start today.

The second is “Time Management” and your ability to control the hours you have. Everyone has 168 hours per week. No one can create more time or less time, as we are all guaranteed the same hours. What’s important is what we do with the time we have. The biggest lie people repeat is they do not have enough time. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, then you’ll find an excuse.

I am a believer in the written to-do list. I learned this special skill-set from my wife who has helped educate and domesticate me in so many ways! This list is simple to do and takes what you want to get accomplished and assigns an importance to the tasks you want to complete. There will be days you hit it out on your to-do list, and other days it will look like you barely touched it. Regardless of the good or bad, keep making your daily list of what you want to get done.

The final word is “Persistence.” You must be obsessed or persistent in achieving self-discipline. In life, you’re going to face obstacles, but you’ve got to build self-discipline in your life to find success. There’s a quote I love that states, “Persistence beats resistance” and I point this out because if I wouldn’t have been persistent with my wife, we wouldn’t be married today.

I urge you to work on your self-discipline and create the life you’ve always wanted. Don’t abandon your dreams.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

To achieve anything in life worth having takes doing something the regular person is not inclined to do. Whether it is health, wealth, or reaching a particular goal, there is one key ingredient every person must have to be successful in business and in life. The term success means something as different to each person as our core values are unique to each individual. No matter the differences in the person, I believe you can find both success and bliss through a process I refer to as the “ABC” principle.

“A” stands for Action
“B” stands for Believe
“C” stands for Commitment

Action: This is where the magic happens when you want to achieve success. Too often people miscalculate the amount of effort needed to accomplish success in a particular area. People misjudge the necessary steps required in order to achieve their dreams and instead of re-evaluating what they should be doing differently, they keep doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. This is the definition of insanity.

To break through the barrier and generate the success you desire, you need to take what you think should be the necessary steps and multiply your effort. You understand me correctly in that too many people are doing just enough to get by. Too many people are staying busy enough to say they’re working towards their goals, towards their dreams, but in reality, not enough people are taking the necessary actions to achieve what they want.

When you know what you want, you must map out the actions you want to take and then think about the additional actions you are going to have to take for the speed bumps that will come along in life. As long as you have a heartbeat, there will be unforeseen obstacles that you didn’t expect.These distractions will pop up and you must be prepared to handle them. When these distractions occur you must rely upon the next step of the “ABC” principle.

Believe: Taking action is not enough to find success. You have to combine the right amount of effort with the belief process that you CAN achieve your goals. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.”

You must believe you will accomplish the goal, otherwise you are going to continue the failures of your past. Whether you realize it or not, we all follow through with this process. We either believe we will accomplish our goals or we believe we will not, but either way we believe something.

What is your belief system telling you about your goals? I have people tell me they believe they can achieve their hopes, their dreams, their goals, but then “reality” sets in. You know what I’m speaking of, that small voice of reason that begins to plant the seed of doubt in your mind. This small seed begins to grow and just like weeds choking a beautiful flower bed, the seeds of doubt have stifled your ability to believe in yourself. One way to continue believing in yourself is in the final stage of the “ABC” principle.

Commitment: This is the 3rd portion of the ABCs, and commitment is important to combine with the Action you take and the Belief you have in achieving success. Commitment is almost as important as taking action because even though action helps you achieve success, being committed to something is what helps you achieve your goals. In the beginning of any new hope, dream, or goal we all have a sense of belief we can achieve our heart’s desire. Yet over time these thoughts begin to wane, and this is why we must utilize the commitment towards our goal. I would rather be 100% committed to the wrong thing, than 50% committed to the right thing. When you make a decision to go after something you need to go all in, leave no stone unturned to make sure you hit your target.

When you utilize Action, when you Believe, when you have Commitment in your life, you will find a new utopia for your hopes, dreams and goals. There will be times you will need to re-evaluate all 3 stages but focusing in on these 3 words will help you be great in business and life. Take the necessary Actions, Believe in yourself, and make a Commitment so that your future self will thank you.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

What impact do you want to make on the world? It was an interesting question that was posed to me that has really got me thinking. If you ask this question to a ten year old, the answer is going to be more heroic than if you were to ask this same question to a thirty-year-old.

Sadly, somewhere between the lines of being a child and being forced into adulthood, we go from looking at life with a “no holds barred” mentality to one that stifles our inner-childhood dreams. Becoming the CEO of a company or the person who finds the cure for cancer succumbs to being a person worried at the dinner table because there is more month left than there is money.

We go from living a potential glorious life ahead of us where we can be anything we want to be, to living a life where we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. If this is you, then now is the time to make the change in your life necessary to be the person you were meant to be.

What’s the difference in your life now compared to when you were a child? Would the younger you be satisfied knowing the life you are living on a daily basis? If not, then why? I hear all kinds of answers as to why people cannot be the person they want to be because of varying reasons, but rest assured these responses are only excuses.

I knew a man growing up who decided he wanted to be a pastor and was going to live his childhood dream of bringing people closer to God. There were many naysayers who thought the man was ludicrous. How could he leave his comfy job to take up his cross and spread the word of Christ? He had put in nearly 20 years working for the local factory and he was nearing retirement age. This career move would be detrimental to his financial stability.

Other people, who had given up on their dreams, were trying to get the man to give up on his. After all, he was 55 years old and wasn’t getting any younger so why would he make the career move? Here’s where I want to challenge your thinking though. The average life expectancy of a person living in the United States is just over 78 years. Now do the math; if the person finally went after their passion at 55 years of age, and lived the average life expectancy, this means that person would spend 23 years living out their passion.

Many people get up day-in and day-out to go to jobs they really don’t like to only come home and complete the rat race they have burrowed themselves into. Does this sound familiar to you? I want you to take out a pen and piece of paper, you can even use the side margin on this article. At the top I want you to write down what impact you want to have on the world.

The answer you write down to this question is what you are passionate about and is what you need to aggressively go after in your lifetime. Below this answer I want you to calculate how many years you have left being able to live out this passion.
If you are someone reading this passage and are above the expected life expectancy, this article is for you too! We never know when our number is going to be called, and we should live each day as if it is our last because it may be. I have continuously heard people talking about living life with no regrets, but the more I think about the impact being made on the world, I have to question how many people are just lying when they say they have no regrets?

The time to start living your life needs to be today. We all have consciously said we would start something tomorrow only to find an obstacle or two get into our way. Before we know it, tomorrow has turned into next week, next week into next month, and next month into, “If I was only younger.”

We get one shot at life and there is only one person standing in the way of our dreams, of our passions. The person standing in the way of your dreams is you. What impact are you going to make on the world?
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

We are all familiar with the television commercial for the major credit card company asking you, “What’s in your wallet?” This actually got me thinking about the business world, and my question for you is, “What’s in your library?” The saying that “Knowledge is power” holds truth for the business world, and my question for you is, “What books are you reading?”

It is said that CEOs of companies are the most avid readers out there. In fact, I have read Internet statistics that suggest CEOs read an average of 60+ books per year. How does this number compare to what you are reading? If you want to be great in the world of business – and I know you do, otherwise you wouldn’t have made it to paragraph two of this article – you are going to have to start reading.

To survive in the business world, you must equip yourself with a special skill set or should I say skill sets if you are going to achieve success. I want you to think about your business and what skills need to be learned. You need the ability to effectively communicate with your customers and your employees. You need to be able to effectively grow as a leader, because we all know there are bosses and then there are leaders. Also, you must be able to work on your mindset to be able to positively impact all facets of your business.

If you are in the world of sales (by the way, all businesses are selling something), how many sales books have you read in the last year? It amazes me how many sales managers I see working for companies that have never picked up a sales book in their life! How are you going to be effective in your role? This makes me wonder how many times people are successful in their employment not because of what they are doing, but actually due to what I term “accidental success.”

Accidental success means you reached success but it was by no part on purpose. You accidentally achieved your results. The results you obtained were by mere luck, and the chips just happened to fall in your favor. What happens next week, next month, or even next year when you are not finding the lucky breaks? This is why you must build your reading library.

There is not one-size-fits-all for the business world. Just go to any book store and you will find countless books on business matters. There are different focus areas for growing your business and no matter which author you read, each book requires you to do one thing: read or listen to the audio book.

Personally, I love the feel of having the book in my hands with a pen by my side ready to jot down notes and “a-ha” moments I have while reading the author’s words. Many times I am able to take one idea and morph it into something that fits with my personality. Before long, I am building a strategy from many people’s thinking (books) and am becoming a better business leader.

Now that I have these ideas in my mind and I have written my notes, the next step I take is to put them into action. This particular activity is the hardest part, because it actually requires you to do something. This is also the most rewarding, because you are able to see the impact reading has on you, your employees and most importantly, your customers.

As your library begins to expand you will notice your business intelligence level start to change as well. Certain things that didn’t make sense before will suddenly make perfect sense, and you will be able to better judge the direction you need to go with your business. The more knowledge you gain and the more you apply the principles learned, the more “lucky breaks” you will find yourself “catching.” Think about the impact this will have on your life.

When you see a book, I don’t want you to see it as the price tag someone says it should cost. I want you to see the book for the amount of money it can bring you when you apply the knowledge you gain to your business. A $30 book investment could easily amount to $1,000,000 in sales if you use what you learn. Start today, build your library, and change the world of business as you know it.
By: D. A. Slinkard
Athens Now is pleased to welcome D.A. Slinkard, manager of the Athens Staples store, to our crew of contributing writers

“Attitude IS Everything,” we are told. This is such an important business mantra that is used often in the workplace, but ultimately could and should be the approach to how we live our lives every day. What these three words mean holds a different connotation for you than it does me. When you think about these words, I want you to visualize what comes to mind. Whether these images that float in your mind are positive or negative can dictate how you view the world around you.

For myself, I am not the kind of guy where the “glass is half-full” nor is the “glass half-empty.” For me I like to think that my cup overflows with the emotional effects that my attitude has on the world around me on an everyday basis. Let’s face it, the world is full of negativity in which the running joke is the evening news beginning by telling you “Good Evening,” and then proceeding for the next 30 minutes telling you why it’s not.

How we respond to events that happen to us, even if we think they are beyond our control, is actually well within our grasp. If you want to know how your day is going to turn out, then ask yourself one simple question. How is my attitude going to be today?

In the world of business, I see all kinds of attitudes. I see good ones, I see bad ones, and I see ones that I will never soon forget. To make the biggest impact upon yourself, your loved ones, your friends, your neighbors, but most importantly your customers, you must maintain a positive attitude even when the world around you suggests otherwise.

I have found the overall satisfaction of my customers increasing when my attitude exhibits an overwhelmingly positive approach. The saying that “misery loves company” holds no weight in my life, nor should it in yours. If you tend to be the negative person in the room, might I suggest you make some subtle changes. I recommend that you commit yourself to only thinking positively, and withstand any negative thinking that might cross your mind.

I understand that in life it is so much easier to be negative. Negativity requires so much less effort than what it takes to be positive. To my knowledge, there is no medication out there that is designed to make you hate life. There’s plenty out there for you to enjoy life, but none exist to bring you down from your emotional high.

I oftentimes get complimented on my attitude, and from a business perspective I relish in this. When customers notice my positive attitude, I realize they are not receiving this same energy level down the street. Your positive attitude can set you apart from your competition. When your customers feel uplifted by your daily approach, they will want to do business with you. Before you can get to this point though, you are going to have to work on your mindset.

We have all overcome obstacles that have stood in our way. Personally, my father died when I was 15 years old and my mom abandoned me less than 2 years later. I could have been negative. I should have dropped out of high school, gotten mixed up in drugs or become a statistic you read about in the paper. I should have never graduated high school, let alone college. I did, though. All because of my attitude.

Do not get me wrong; there were many lonely nights I found myself crying out to God just asking, “Why me?” For several years I took the victim mentality that I “had it so rough,” but then I realized there are people out there who have it worse than I do. This helped change my way of thinking. Being able to reflect upon the obstacles others faced helped me to realize what I was going through was easy compared to what others were facing.

As you are reading this, I want you to realize that the way you conduct business and your life needs to change today. You can make a difference to your customers, and I urge you to let your positiveness shine through to them. No matter what your definition of attitude has been, I want you to start today by realizing that Attitude IS Everything. Go be the difference you want in the world.

Athens Now is pleased to welcome D.A. Slinkard, manager of the Athens Staples store, to our crew of contributing writers.
By: D. A. Slinkard