Mes Top 5 Ouvrages
Termes les plus recherchés
in Your Life and Work
Bestselling author of Eat That Frog!
& Christina Tracy Stein
More Praise for Kiss That Frog!
“ Brian Tracy gives us a road map ofhow we can turn negatives into
positives and live a healthy, rewarding, and contributing life.”
—Patricia Fripp, Past President, National Speakers Association, and
author of Get What You Want
“ This book shows you how to let go ofnegatives, find the positive in
every situation, and become an optimistic, high-performance person.”
—Jack Canfield, CEO, Jack Canfield Companies
“ Brian Tracy has done it again! Kiss That Frog! is a classic about
turning negatives into positives. Get ready fora life-changing read.”
—Pat Williams, Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic, and author of
“ This wonderful, uplifting book shows you how to release negatives
and become a completely positive person.”
—Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Swim
with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
“ Ifyour memories ofyesterday are greater than your dreams for
tomorrow, read this book and watch your life turn around, and
experience more joy and happiness as a result.”
—Todd Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Time Traps
“ For people who really and truly want to break free oftheir limitations
and move toward having the life oftheir dreams, this is the book to read!
Both thought provoking and inspiring—you owe it to yourselfto read
this book and utilize these great teachings!”
—John Assaraf, bestselling author and entrepreneurial coach
“ Another winner from Brian Tracy! It’s a handbook for personal
responsibility to achieve success. Read it. Implement what you learn.
Have confidence about your future.”
—Bill Bachrach, CSP, CPAE, author of Values-Based Financial
Planning and coauthor of High-Trust Leadership
“ Every decade or so, an absolute gemofwisdomappears in print. Brian
and Christina have cut and polished a priceless gift offering life¬
changing principles for success, regardless ofthe circumstances. They
make the profound simple and the inpossible doable.”
—Denis Waitley, author of Seeds of Greatness
OTHER BOOKS BY BRIAN TRACY
Eat That Frog!
Maxi mu m A ch i e v emen t
Advanced Selling Strategies
The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws ofBusiness Success
21 Secrets ofSelf-Made Millionaires
Create Your Own Future
Be a Sales Superstar
Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
Million Dollar Habits
Getting Rich Your Own Way
The Psychology of Selling
The Art ofClosing the Sale
The Way to Wealth
12 Great Ways to
Turn Negatives into Positives
in Your Life and Work
Christina Tracy Stein
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
a BK Life book
Kiss That Frog!
Copyright© 2012 by Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein
All rights reserved. No part ofthis publication may be reproduced,
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Hardcover print edition ISBN 978-1-60994-280-9
PDF e-book ISBN 978-1-60994-281 -6
IDPF e-book ISBN 978-1-60994-282-3
Copy editing: PeopleSpeak
Book design and composition: Beverly Butterfield, Girl ofthe West
Cover design: Leslie Waltzer
Author photos: Jason Wallis and MinaNeuberg
To my wife, Barbara, the light ofmy life, and to my wonderful children—
Christina, Michael, David, and Catherine—all ofwhomare living proof
ofthe high selTesteem, high self-confidence adults that people become
when they receive an unbroken flow ofunconditional love throughout
To my husband, Damon, who encourages me with his unconditional
love and support, and my three children, Julia, Will, and Scarlett, who
make every day an adventure full oflessons, laughter, and love.
CHRISTINA TRACY STEIN
Introduction The Frog and the Princess
1 Seven Truths About You
2 Imagine Your Handsome P rince
3 Look Your Frog in the Face
4 Clear the Pond ofUgly Frogs
5 Drain the Swamp
6 Change the Water in Your P ond
7 Look for the Beauty in Frogs
8 Leap Forward Confidently
9 Kiss Your Ugly Frogs Good-bye
10 Expect the Best ofYour Frog
11 Let Go ofThose Painful Frogs
12 Seven Keys to a Positive Personality
Conclusion Action Is Everything
About the Authors
The Frog and
You are here on this earth to do something wonderfiil with your life, to
experience happiness and joy, wonderful relationships, excellent health,
complete prosperity, and total fulfillment. So, why aren’t you living the
life ofyour dreams already?
Ifyou want to know the reasons for your happiness or unhappiness,
success or lack ofsuccess, wins or losses, look in the nearest mirror. The
quality ofyour thinking about whomyou see in the mirror largely
determines the quality ofyour life. Ifyou change your thinking about
yourself you change your life—almost immediately.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
A Fairy Tale
Once upon a time, according to the fairy tale, a handsome prince was
turned into an ugly frog by a spitefol witch. Her curse could be broken
only ifhe was kissed by a princess, something the witch was sure
would never happen.
Once upon that same time, a beautifiil princess longed for a handsome
prince she could marry, but he hadn’t appeared in her life. One day,
while walking alone in the woods by a small lake, she saw an ugly frog
who was living in the woods. As the princess sat quietly by the water,
thinking about her situation and longing for a handsome prince to come
along, the frog hopped up to her and spoke.
He told her that he was actually a handsome prince, and ifshe would
just kiss him, he would turn into the prince that he had been before and
he would marry her and love her forever after.
The idea seemed absurd, but with great reluctance, she summoned up
her courage and character and kissed the frog right on the lips.
As he had promised, he immediately turned into a handsome prince.
He kept his word and married her, and they lived happily ever after.
The Moral of the Story
It seems that almost everyone has a block, or more than one, that holds
himor her back frombecoming a truly happy, healthy, joy fill person,
looking forward to each new day with excitement and anticipation.
What is the “ frog” in your life that you need to “ kiss” before you can
achieve all that is possible for you? What are the negative experiences
in your life that you need to embrace, deal with, and use to transform
yourselfinto the amazing person you are capable ofbecoming?
What We All Want
The great aimofhuman life is to enjoy happiness and peace ofrrrind.
Every normal person wants to enjoy and experience the positive
emotions oflove, pleasure, satisfaction, and fulfillment.
Perhaps the greatest discovery in psychology and individual
fulfillment is that the biggest obstacles that stand between you and an
extraordinary life are usually negative mental attitudes toward yourself
and others. Only when you learn to “ kiss that frog,” continually
making it a habit to seek and find something positive and worthwhile in
every person and experience, will you unlock your full potential for
In this book, based on five thousand talks and seminars with more
than five million people in fifty-eight countries (Brian), and many
thousands ofhours ofwork in counseling and psychology (Christina),
you will learn a series ofsimple but powerful methods and techniques
that you can use immediately to change fromnegative thinking to
positive thinking and turn every problemin your life into a benefit of
some kind. You will learn how to become a completely confident person
and release your full potential to live an extraordinary life.
These tools and strategies have worked for millions ofpeople all over
the world, and they will work for you. Let’s begin.
Your natural state is to be happy, peaceful, joyous, and foil ofexcitement
at being alive. In this natural state you wake up each morning eager to
start the day. You feel wonderful about yourselfand your relationships
with the people in your life. You enjoy your work and derive a great
sense ofsatisfaction frommaking a contribution that makes a difference.
Your primary goal should be to organize your life in such a way that
this is how you feel most ofthe time.
As a folly functioning, folly mature adult, you should be doing
things every day that move you toward the fulfillment ofyour potential.
You should feel grateful for all your blessings in every area. Ifyou are
unhappy or dissatisfied in any part ofyour life, something is not right in
your thoughts, feelings, or actions, and it needs to be corrected.
The starting point in unlocking your foil potential is to realize that
you already are a prince or princess, deep down inside.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
No matter where you are today, or what you have done or not done in
the past, you need to accept seven essential truths about you as a
1. You are a thoroughly good and excellent person ; valuable and
worthwhile beyond measure. No one is better than you or more gifted
Only when you doubt your essential goodness and value do you
begin to question yourself The inability to accept that you are a good
person lies at the root ofmuch ofyour discontent.
2. You are important, in many, many ways. To start with, you are
important to yourself Your personal universe revolves around you as
an individual. You give meaning to everything that you see or hear.
Nothing in your world has any significance except for the
significance that you attribute to it.
You are also important to your parents. Your birth was a significant
moment in their lives, and as you grew up, almost everything you did
was meaningful to them.
You are important to your own family, to your partner or spouse,
your children, and the other members ofyour social circle. Some ofthe
things you do or say have an enormous inpact on them.
You are important to your company, your customers, your
coworkers, and your community. The things you do or don’t do can
have a tremendous effect on the lives and work ofothers.
How important you feel largely determines the quality ofyour life.
Happy, successful people feel important and valuable. Because they
feel and act this way, it becomes true for them
Unhappy, frustrated people feel unimportant and oflittle value.
They feel frustrated and unworthy. They feel “ I’mnot good enough,”
and as a result they lash out at the world and engage in behaviors that
hurt themselves and others.
They don’t realize that they could be a prince or princess inside.
3. You have unlimited potential and the ability to create your life and
your world as you desire. You could not use your entire potential if
you lived one hundred lifetimes.
No matter what you have accomplished up to now, it is merely a
hint ofwhat is truly possible for you. And the more ofyour natural
talents and abilities you develop in the present, the more ofyour
potential you can develop in the fiiture.
Your beliefin your almost unlimited potential is the key to
becoming everything you are truly capable ofbecoming.
4. You create your world in every respect by the way you think and the
depth ofyour convictions. Your beliefs actually create your realities,
and every beliefyou have about yourselfyou learned, starting in
infancy. The amazing thing is that most ofthe negative or selfrlimiting
beliefs and doubts that interfere with your happiness and success are
not based on feet or reality at all.
When you begin to question your self-limiting beliefs and develop
beliefe consistent with the incredible person you really are, your life
will begin to change almost immediately.
5. You are always free to choose the content ofyour thoughts and the
direction ofyour life. The one thing over which you have complete
control is your inner life and your thinking. You can decide to think
happy, fulfilling, uplifting thoughts that lead to positive actions and
results. Or you can, by default, end up choosing negative, selft
limiting thoughts that trip you up and hold you back.
Your mind is like a garden: ifyou do not deliberately cultivate
flowers, weeds will grow automatically without any effort on your
part. Ifyou do not deliberately plant and cultivate positive thoughts,
negative thoughts will grow in their place.
This simple metaphor about the garden explains why so many
people are unhappy and don’t know why.
6. You are put on this earth with a great destiny, you are meant to do
something wonderfiil with your life. You have a unique combination
oftalents, abilities, ideas, insights, and experiences that make you
different from anyone who has ever lived. You are designed for success
and engineered for greatness.
Your acceptance or nonacceptance ofthis point largely determines
the size ofthe goals you set, your power ofpersistence in the face of
adversity, the height ofyour achievements, and the whole direction of
7. There are no limits to what you can do, be, or have except the limits
you place on your own thinking and your own imagination. The
biggest enemies you will ever face are your own doubts and fears.
These are usually negative beliefs, not necessarily based on feet, that
you have accepted over the years until you no longer question them
As Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, “ What’s past is prologue.”
Everything that has happened to you in the past has been a
preparation for the wonderful life that lies ahead ofyou in the future.
Remember the rule: It doesn’t matter where you ’re coming from;
all that really matters is where you ’re going.
In the Gallery ofthe Academy in Florence, Italy, stands the David, by
Michelangelo, considered by many to be the most beautiful piece of
sculpture in the world.
It is said that later in his life, Michelangelo was once asked how he
was able to sculpt something so beautiful. He explained that he was
walking to his studio one morning and he happened to glance down a
side street to where a huge block ofmarble, brought down ffomthe
mountains some years ago, was lying, overgrown with grass and
He had walked this way many times, but this time, he stopped and
examined the huge block ofmarble, walking around it several times.
Suddenly, he realized that this was exactly what he had been seeking to
create the statue that had been commissioned. He had the block brought
to his studio, where he worked on it for almost four years to create the
As legend has it, he said later, “ I saw the David in the block of
marble at the very beginning. My sole job fromthen on was to remove
everything that was not the David, until only perfection was left.”
This Is Your Story
In the same sense, you may be like the David imprisoned in the marble.
The great goal ofyour life is to remove all those fears, doubts,
insecurities, negative emotions, and false beliefs that hold you back
until what remains is only the very best person you could possibly be.
Your job is to “ kiss that frog” and find the positive elements that
exist within every situation, to deliberately turn every negative into a
positive, and to unleash the “ handsome prince” in your own life.
Make a decision, right now, that you are going to unlock your fell
potential for success and happiness and become the extraordinary
person that lies deep within you. You are going to accomplish all the
wonderful things that you were put in this world to achieve. In the
pages ahead, you will learn how.
NOW DO THIS
Identify the negative or selfclimiting beliefs about your personal
abilities or your situation that might be holding you back. Then ask
yourself “ What ifthey weren’t true?”
What ifyou had all the talent and ability that you could ever need to
achieve almost anything in life? What ifyou had no limitations? What
goals would you set for yourselfifyou were guaranteed ofsuccess, and
what would you do differently starting today?
The princess did not start offdreaming about marrying whoever came
along. She began with a clear idea ofmeeting a handsome prince who
would be ideal for her in every respect. What is your handsome prince or
princess in your work or your personal life?
To become a truly happy and fulfilled person, you must start with a
clear definition ofthe ideal person you would like to be and the perfect
life you would like to live. What qualities and characteristics would
you have ifyou were the very best person you could possibly be?
Psychologists have described folly functioning, selfactualizing
people as genuinely happy, at peace with the world and themselves,
self-confident, positive, personable, relaxed, feeling that they are
fulfilling their full potential, grateful, energized, and generally
feeling terrific about life. Ifthis description is a good goal for you in
the months ahead, this book will show you how to become that kind of
Dreamno small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts ofmen.
WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
The Magic Wand Exercise
Practice the “ magic wand” exercise. As you think into the fixture,
imagine that you could wave a magic wand and make your life ideal in
the four critical areas that determine much ofyour happiness or
unhappiness: (1) income and career, (2) family and relationships, (3)
health and fitness, and (4) financial independence.
One ofthe most important behaviors ofsuccessfiil people is called
“ idealization.” In idealizing, you create a vision ofa perfect future for
yourselfin every area ofyour life. You practice “ no limit” thinking.
Imagine that you have all the time and money, all the friends and
contacts, all the education and experience, and all the talents and
abilities that you could possibly need to be, have, or do anything. If
this were your situation, what would you really want to do with your
When you combine idealization with the magic wand exercise, you
liberate your mind fromthe constraints ofday-to-day work and bill
paying. You practice what is called “ blue sky” thinking, a hallmark of
top people and peak performers in every area.
Design Your Perfect Future
Practice “ back-from-the-future” thinking. Project forward five years,
and look back to where you are today. Write down your answers to the
1. Ifyour job, career, or business were perfect in five years, how would it
look? How much would you be earning?
How would your situation be different fromwhat it is today?
Why aren’t you already living this life and enjoying your ideal
career and income?
2. Ifyour family and relationships, your home and lifestyle, were perfect
in five years, how would they look? And how would they be different
fromwhat they are today?
What is the first step that you could take to begin creating this
ideal home life?
3. Ifyour levels ofhealth and fitness were perfect in five years, how
would you look and feel? How much would you weigh? How much
would you exercise each day or week? What foods would you eat?
And especially, how would you be different physically fromthe
person you are today?
What is the first thing you could start doing, or stop doing, to
enjoy perfect health and fitness?
4. Finally, ifyour financial situation were perfect in five years, how much
would you be worth? How much would you have in the bank, and
how much would you be earning fromyour investments each month
and each year?
What is the first step you could take?
Plan Your Perfect Day
Often when Christina spends the day with her husband she asks him,
“ Ifthis were your perfect day, what would you do with it?” She asks the
same question ofherself Then they find a way to combine their two
Ifat the start they gave in to the feet that they would have to
compromise, they would be restricted in how they defined their perfect
days. But when each defines what would be perfection, their pictures are
In life, we often start offby thinking about all the restrictions and
limitations that must be taken into account. However, ifyou start offby
imagining that you have no limitations, you will be amazed at what you
come up with. The rule is this: Decide what’s ideal belbre you decide
Most ofall, what do you have to do, starting today, to prepare lbr the
ideal future that you desire?
NOW DO THIS
Dreambig. Start with a clear definition ofthe ideal person you would
like to be and the perfect life you would like to live.
Imagine that you have a magic wand to wave over your career, family
and relationships, health and fitness, and financial situation. How
would you make each ofthese perfect?
Practice “ no limit” thinking. Liberate your mind from day-to-day
challenges by practicing “ blue sky” thinking.
Decide what’s ideal before you decide what’s possible.
Design your ideal future so that you can begin to take complete control
Decide upon the one goal, that ifyou could achieve it within twenty-
four hours, would have the greatest positive impact on your life.
Resolve to take one action immediately to begin creating your ideal life.
Look Your Frog
in the Face
When the beautiful princess was asked to kiss that wet, slimy, cold,
ugly frog, she had a choice to make. She could continue in her current
situation, alone and unhappy, or she could summon up her courage and
take a chance with the frog, even though there were no guarantees.
All ofus have a frog that we need to kiss, sometimes several frogs.
The frogs in your life are negative people, situations, and past
experiences; current problems; and your doubts and selfrlimiting beliefs.
Some frogs are risks and commitments you have to make ifyou want to
get unstuck and move ahead.
Face the Facts
Sometimes, to kiss your frog, you are really deciding to embrace the
frog and accept that frogs can be slimy, cold, and ugly. Sometimes you are
kissing the frog good-bye and letting go ofa judgmental or guilt-
provoking frog. Sometimes you are choosing to change your
expectations and see the frog in a new way. Other times you may need to
kiss the frog on the forehead and forgive it. There are many ways to
eliminate frogs fromyour life.
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
The world ofpsychology has identified two types ofpersonalities:
the “ confronter” and the “ evader.” Not surprisingly, confronters,
people who face their fears, confront their reality, and deal honestly and
straightforwardly with the people and problems in their lives, are much
happier, more effective, and more self-confident than evaders.
Confronters acknowledge and lace the fear involved in confronting.
They take charge oftheir emotions. Evaders fear the unknown and lack
the trust in themselves that is necessary to move ahead.
Fortunately, you can become a more powerfiil and positive person by
resolving to “ look your frog in the face before you kiss it”—by making
it a habit to confront your situation honestly rather than to evade it or
deny that you have a problem in the first place.
In her counseling practice, Christina often deals with clients who are
constantly disappointed by frustrated expectations. One young woman
in her thirties would have her sessions after visiting her parents and
talk about how upset she was that they would put out only limited
effort to spend time with her when she made the effort to visit.
She discussed with Christina what she expected her parents to do
when she went for a visit and worked to change her expectations. Once
she decided that she would lower her expectations, she stopped being
disappointed and her feelings toward her parents improved. She
experienced her frog differently. By deliberately changing her
expectations, she changed how she felt and took control ofher emotions.
One ofthe truisms that everyone eventually learns is “People don’t
change.” Their basic personalities and attitudes solidify around the age
ofseventeen or eighteen and remain much the same for the rest oftheir
lives. For this reason, it is always an exercise in frustration to try to get
others to change.
This does not mean that people cannot develop new skills and
abilities and become more ofwhat they are truly capable ofbecoming,
but in the absence ofa real desire to change accompanied by hard work,
very little change ever takes place.
The main point is that you must never sacrifice your own happiness
or peace ofmind by wishing and hoping that someone will change from
what he or she has always been into someone else, someone who is more
suitable to you. It is probably never going to happen.
Deal with Reality
Denial, or the refusal to lace the truth or reality ofyour situation or of
another person, is a major source ofstress, anxiety, negative emotions,
and even physical and mental illness. The opposite ofdenial is
acceptance. When you accept that a person or situation, at home or at
work, is the way it is and is not going to change and act accordingly,
most ofthe stress generated by the situation lades away.
Separate Facts from Problems
Many negative emotions are triggered by an inappropriate overreaction
to an unexpected setback or difficulty. It is vital that you carefully
analyze a problemwhen it occurs to ensure that you thoroughly
understand it and what you can do to deal with it or resolve it. Here’s
how to begin.
First, make the distinction between a feet and a problem The
difference is simple. A feet is something that is unchangeable. Your age
is a feet. The weather is a feet. Certain things just are. They cannot be
altered. They are fects.
One ofthe keys to happiness is to resolve to never become upset or
angry about a feet. Just as you do not become angry at physical things,
like a piece offumiture because you bumped into it, you do not become
angry or upset about fects. You simply accept them and adjust your life
and activities around them
What, then, is a problem? A problem is something you can do
something about. A goal unachieved is a problemunsolved. An obstacle
in your path is a problemunsolved. You can focus your intelligence and
ability on solving problems and achieving goals. Problems are simply
challenges that you deal with as you go through life.
The Past and the Future
There are two time periods in your life: the past and the fixture. The
present is a single moment passing between the two. Into what category
oftime do we put facts, and into what category do we put problems?
The truth is that most facts that make you unhappy exist in the past.
Something that happened in the past is a feet. It is unchangeable. This is
important to understand because many people are miserable and
unhappy in the present because ofsomething that did not work out the
way they expected it to sometime in the past. But because it happened,
or didn’t happen, in the past, it is now an unchangeable feet. It does no
good to be upset about a feet.
A problem exists in the fixture. A problemis an issue that you can do
something about. This is an area where you can focus your intelligence
and ability into achieving a different result. A problem, the future, is
under your control, and its outcome is determined by what you do in the
A Rained-Out Picnic
Imagine that you run into a man at a social function and ask him, “ How
are you doing?” He replies with a sour look and says,“ I amdoing fine,
but I amstill really angry about what happened.”
A bit surprised, you ask, “ What happened?”
He says, “ Well, about five years ago, my family and I packed a picnic
basket on Saturday night so that we could go out and have a nice picnic
on Sunday. But on Sunday morning, it was overcast and it rained for the
whole day, so we had to cancel the picnic. And I’mstill mad.”
At about this time, you would probably be thinking, “ This person
needs a checkup fromthe neck up. He is not thinking rationally. How
could he still be angry about the feet that it rained five years ago?”
This may sound ridiculous, but many people today are still angry, upset,
and even dysfunctional in their relationships and work because ofapast
event that cannot be changed. They are still mad or sad today because of
a relationship that went sour years ago, an investment that lost money,
or a job that didn’t work out for whatever reason.
Instead ofaccepting the situation, they practice what is called
“ gunnysacking,” carrying it around with them, ready to pull it out and
show to anyone who expresses interest. (You often meet themat social
gatherings or sit next to themon airplanes.)
When Christina is working with clients who are struggling to let go
ofa past experience or setback, rather than pushing themto let go and
move past whatever pet frog they’ve become attached to, she asks “ How
does it serve you to hold on to this issue/excuse/feeling?” This is a
powerfiil question. We often hold on to a negative because it protects us
fromtaking a chance on something new, such as taking a risk in a
relationship or new business activity.
One ofthe hallmarks ofhappy, well-balanced people is that they look
past their problems, their ugly frogs, straight in the eye, accept them as
past events that cannot be changed, learn what they can from them, and
then get so busy working on their lives and work that they don’t have
any time to think about them
Analyze the Situation
One way that you can take control ofa negative situation is by
analyzing it carefiilly. You do this by asking questions. It is not
possible ft)r you to become or remain upset, angry, and out ofcontrol
when you are asking questions and seeking to understand the situation
or the change that has taken place.
Here are lour questions you can ask to take control ofany situation:
1. “What exactly happened? ” At this stage, be patient. Strive for
accuracy. Refose to attack or blame someone or something for what has
occurred. Instead, focus on clarity and understanding. Resolve to
remain calmand unemotional.
2. “How did it happen? ” Imagine that you are gathering evidence for a
third party; you are more concerned with accuracy than with
recrimination. Ask follow-up questions so that you thoroughly
understand the details.
3. “What can be done? ’’Take control ofyour thinking by focusing on
the fixture, on what can be done, rather than what has happened, which
cannot be changed. This makes you more positive and puts you in
control ofyour emotions and ofthe situation.
4. “What actions will we take now? ” Instead ofworrying or wallowing
in pity or remorse, get busy taking whatever actions you can to
resolve the situation and move forward.
Seek to Understand
Stephen Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,
said, “ Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Focus on
understanding the situation clearly before you make any judgment or
come to any conclusions.
Avoid the tendency to “ catastrophize,” to think or assume the very
worst in a difficult situation. Very few things are ever as bad as they first
Avoid the common mistake ofconfusing correlation with causation,
ofassuming that iftwo events occur at the same time, one ofthe events
caused the other. This thinking error can lead to your jumping to
conclusions—and to false conclusions at that. In many cases, two
events happening together are merely coincidence. Neither ofthe events
has anything to do with the other.
The key to analyzing a situation is to continue to ask questions and
gather information. Sometimes, what appears to be a major setback or
problem turns out not to be as serious as you thought. Often, what
initially seems to be a problemis an opportunity to make a change,
which is often a blessing in disguise.
The practice ofacceptance rather than denial, ofconfronting rather
than evading, oflooking a frog in the lace rather than pretending that it
is not as unpleasant as it may be, are the hallmarks ofthe effective
person. People who respond positively and constructively to the
inevitable ups and downs oftheir work and personal lives are the most
respected in every organization.
The Worry Buster
One ofthe best ways to eliminate worry is to use the “ Worry Buster” on
any situation that causes you stress or anxiety. There are four steps to
using the Worry Buster method:
Step one: Define the worry situation clearly. What exactly are you
Many people are worrying about something vague. Their thinking is
confused. Like children in the night, they experience feelings ofanxiety
for reasons about which they are unclear. Or they do not have sufficient
information, which can cause themto overreact.
In medicine, it is said, “ Accurate diagnosis is halfthe cure.” The very
act ofdefining your worry situation clearly, in writing ifpossible, will
often suggest an immediate solution that eliminates the worry situation
Step two: Determine the worst possible outcome ofthis worry
situation. What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
Most negative emotions and worry situations are caused by denial.
People feel an enormous amount ofstress because they deny the reality
ofa situation. They do not want it to be true. They hope that by
ignoring it, it will go away or it will not be as serious. But this
When you identify the worst thing that could possibly happen as a
result ofthis problemsituation,you often find that the potential
outcome is not as bad as you thought. It may be the end ofa
relationship, but it won’ t kill you. It may be the loss ofa certain amount
ofmoney, but it won’t bankrupt you. Even ifit does bankrupt you, the
worry situation is a feet, not a problem, and has to be feced. You’ll earn
the money back at a later time, doing something different, in a different
way and a different place. Think positively.
Ifthe situation involves a health problem, resolve to confront it
squarely. Refuse to play games with yourself Do whatever you can to
resolve the problem, and then trust your health to the experts and to a
Step three: Resolve to accept the worst, should it occur. Since most
stress is caused by a refusal to identify and accept the worst possible
outcome, once you resolve to accept the worst, should it occur, your
stress disappears. You suddenly feel calmand at peace. When you
replace denial with acceptance, you take full mental and emotional
control ofthe situation.
Step four: Begin immediately to improve upon the worst. Do
everything that you possibly can to minimize the damage, control the
costs, and cut your losses. Become so busy taking action to resolve
your difficulties that you don’t have any time left to worry.
NOW DO THIS
Think ofa recent setback that you experienced and ask yourselfthe
ft)llowing four questions. Observe yourselfas you answer these
questions and see ifthe process changes your experience ofthe
What exactly happened?
How did it happen?
What can be done?
What actions will we take now?
Clear the Pond
of Ugly Frogs
Your goal in life is to be happy. Happiness and peace ofmind are the
ultimate aimofalmost all individuals. Your ability to achieve your own
happiness is the real measure ofhow successful you are as a human
The good news is that it has never been more possible for you to
achieve happiness and fulfillment in every part ofyour life than it is
today. We know more today about the reasons for happiness and
unhappiness than we have ever known before. We have learned more
about the functioning ofthe human brain relative to happiness, and to
all other functions, in the last few years than we ever knew before.
The truth is that all ofus attain the greatest success and happiness
possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their
When Brian was in his twenties, ambitious and eager to live a happy,
fulfilling life, he began to study the subject ofhappiness. After
thousands ofhours ofreading and research in the areas ofpsychology,
philosophy, religion, and success, he got an extraordinary insight into
the entire subject.
The Main Obstacle
He discovered that negative emotions, ugly frogs that squat in the back
ofyour mental pond, are the primary obstacles to enjoying the
happiness you truly desire. Negative emotions, fromwhatever source,
are the root causes ofalmost all the unhappiness, misery, and frustration
in life and work. Ifyou can eliminate negative emotions, you can
transformyour whole life!
He also learned that the mind is like a vacuum. It will not remain
empty for very long. When you eliminate negative emotions, your mind
will refill naturally with positive emotions ofhappiness, joy,
excitement, love, and peace. When you get rid ofthe weeds, flowers will
Sometimes, a single new idea or insight that leads to your
interpreting a past event differently can liberate you so completely that
you will never be the same in that area. Forever after, you will be a
Negatives Sometimes Turn into Positives
For example, you could get fired froma job and be angry at your
employer for the injustice ofit all. Then you find a new and better job
that is much more suited to your special talents and abilities, you work
with people you really enjoy, and the job pays for more than you could
have ever earned at the previous job. In retrospect, you realize that your
previous employer did you a huge favor by firing you, and instead of
being angry, you think back with gratitude.
One ofthe most helpful habits you can develop is choosing to seek
the valuable lesson in everything that happens to you, especially
negative experiences. When you have an unexpected setback or
temporary lailure (a cold, slimy frog), decide that, since you have
complete control ofyour thoughts, you will seek the lesson or benefit
that you can gain fromthe situation. Very often, you can gain insights,
ideas, confidence, and new opportunities. What is the most valuable
lesson contained in your biggest difficulty or problemright now?
Take Control of Your mind
To become the best person you can possibly be, you need to start at the
beginning. The Law ofControl says that you feel happy about yourself
to the degree to which you feel you are in control ofyour own life, and
you feel unhappy to the degree to which you feel you are not in control
or are controlled by external circumstances or people.
You have either an internal locus ofcontrol, where you feel in charge
ofyour own life, or you have an external locus ofcontrol, where you feel
that you are controlled by circumstances and people—your boss, your
bills, your health—that you can do nothing about. Psychologists today
agree that the presence or absence ofa sense ofcontrol is the critical
fector in stress or lack ofstress, happiness or unhappiness, and almost
every human malady, mental and emotional.
The feet is that you have complete control over only one thing—your
mind. You can control the thoughts you think. As "Victor Frankl,
survivor ofthe Auschwitz concentration camp, said, “ The last ofthe
human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of
circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Your single focus must then be the elimination ofnegative emotions
ofall kinds. Fortunately, negative emotions can be eliminated and
removed by using a series ofproven methods and techniques, many of
which can act in seconds, which you will learn in the pages ahead.
NOW DO THIS
Starting today, begin paying attention to your thoughts when
situations upset you, frustrate you, or invoke negative feelings. Take a
deep breath and make the decision not to feed them In Emotional
Intelligence, Daniel Goleman talks about a process that some people
refer to as “ emotional snowballing.” The negative emotion starts off
small, but the more energy and attention you give it, the greater it
becomes. Choose to dwell on positive thoughts and feelings and starve
the negative ones. Remember, you are in control ofyour thoughts!
Program Yourself to Be Optimistic
Where do your emotions come from? Which comes first, the thought or
the feeling? The feet is that thought precedes feeling, and feeling
precedes decision and action. First you think a thought or take in new
information. You then interpret that thought as being either positive or
negative. Your interpretation then generates the appropriate emotion.
The emotion then triggers an action or a reaction on your part.
Put another way, you determine your emotional life and much ofwhat
happens to you by the way you choose to think about an event or
experience. You are the one who gives meaning to each part ofyour life
—no one else.
The way that most people think is based on the stimulus-response
model ofbehavioral psychology. A particular stimulus or event can
trigger a particular response or reaction almost instantly. Much ofyour
thinking and feeling is automatic and instinctive, where you simply
react as you have done over and over in the past.
However, the best thinkers, the happiest and most successful people,
think and respond differently fromaverage people. Instead of
immediately responding to a stimulus, the most effective people take the
time to think about what is happening and the best way to respond. In
those moments ofthought between the stimulus and the response, the
quality ofindividual life is determined.
The Power of Thoughtfulness
When you develop the habit ofthinking in a positive and constructive
way about the events in your life before you respond, you will make
better choices and decisions and take more constructive actions than
those who simply react with little thought about the consequences.
When you look back over your life, you will see that many ofyour
mistakes that caused unhappiness and griefwere the result ofnot having
given the subject enough thought before you acted.
The Law of Substitution
The Law ofSubstitution says that you can hold only one thought in
your mind at a time, positiv
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