Friday, January 28, 2005

Dwell on success, rather than failure

Dwell on success, rather than failure

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Thursday, January 27, 2005 11:30 PM

My big brother, Donald, is an instructor in Silva Mind Control, a method people use to better themselves. Whenever he hears anything negative from his students (“I can’t do it” or “I screwed it up again”), he would always say “cancel, cancel.” What he meant was cancel out those negative thoughts. Cancel out the negative words that affect your ability to succeed.

I can’t help addicts under treatment at Nazareth House as long as they keep thinking and behaving in negative ways. The new intake is a walking negative. He’s a loser, a guy who regularly feasts on failure. He’s a broken man who does not believe he can get well. As long as this negative thinking continues, it is most difficult to rehabilitate such a person.

The reason is that he keeps looking back while you are prodding him to look ahead at better times. The truth is all of us have our share of failures, of embarrassing moments we regret ever happened. These negative experiences have had an impact on our lives. We all have moments when we hear those voices of negativity talking to us in our head and telling us that we could very well fail, be laughed at or perhaps get embarrassed.

It is amazing how one mistake can cancel out the good feelings we get when we have 10 successes. Failure tends to shake us up more negatively than does success lift us.

Much of this is because of the past “programming.” We tend to better remember the hurt of the past than we do the good feeling of success. I remember one woman who got absolutely devastated because she graduated second in the class, even if she missed first place by the tiniest of margins. Instead of rejoicing over her success, she focused on her failure to come out on the very top.

Often we refuse to even try because we listen too much to those negative voices in our head that keep reminding us of our past mistakes. By doing so, we become our own worst enemy.

Sure, we should learn from our mistakes and failures. But we must also keep our successes in mind. They might not be great successes at this time, but they are nevertheless experiences we can look back on to gain a greater measure of self-confidence.

The great fighter Muhammad Ali was the guest speaker at a convention I attended in Montreal, Canada, years ago. He was very inspirational when he spoke to us who were involved in rehabilitating drug addicts. He told us to believe in ourselves, in our mission and in our abilities. Ali once said, “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.” He surely did.

We all have dreams. Dreams that energize us and push us to rise to greater heights than we might ever have thought possible. We must not dwell on our mistakes. To do so, we run the risk of giving up before we even begin. We need to learn at least as much from our success as we do from our mistakes.


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