There are hundreds of books written on the power of positive thinking and how your attitude shapes your results in both your personal and professional worlds. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs say that positive thinking played a major role in their successes.
While the idea that positive thinking can influence what happens to you is often regarded as a mere psychological hack that has no concrete effects, there’s actually plenty of evidence that a positive attitude can boost profits.
Reaching Out To Others
Clarke Allen, CEO of Clarke Allen Inc. and the author of The Inevitable Box: A Quest for Relevance, experienced the power of having a positive attitude firsthand after his event and meeting planning company faltered during the 2009 recession. After reaching out for professional and spiritual guidance, Allen learned the importance of making an effort to help others without having an ulterior motive of self-benefit.
“Clients and competitors are drawn to my sincere desire to be someone who is helpful and positive along with my skill and expertise at my craft,” Allen says. “I find meaning in giving of myself and letting go of the voice that says I must be perfect, I must never trust others, or I must be better than everyone in everything I do.”
Since 2010, Allen's company has experienced a complete turnaround. “I'm enjoying a new-found passion for my work and my life as an entrepreneur. I now choose to live with gratitude,” Allen explains.
In fact, it was this experience that led Allen to pen his book as a way to share his journey and pass on his most valuable lessons to others. “There's no more positive ambition for me," he says, "than helping others find freedom from the boxes they have built that entrap them.”
Helping Customers Think Positive
Michael Vigeant, CEO and President of GreatBlue Research, Inc.
(formerly The Center for Research), was diagnosed with cancer at age 12. He never thought he’d be the CEO of a leading research company, let alone know that working through his diagnosis would be the key to his success. Today, at age 39, Vigeant is a nationally-recognized specialist in the design and implementation of a variety of research methodologies. "I understand optimism and positive thinking is the reason I am alive and successful today," said Vigeant. And he uses that same philosophy to help his customers achieve amazing results.
A utility company client that GreatBlue Research, Inc. provides customer satisfaction numbers for showed the benefits of how the company handled a significant rate increase due to some external factors. "Rather than just taking the negative abuse from the customers, they went to customers and promoted the positive benefits of energy conservation,” explains Vigeant. The company offered customers tips on reducing their consumption and information on programs that could offset the rate increase.
“They took a negative, put a positive spin on it and promoted programs that were already available to the customer,” Vigeant says. “When we looked at their customer satisfaction numbers in a year where they should have received very low marks, their overall result stayed within the margin of error. The rating that increased drastically was communication, which boosted their overall numbers."
Get Inspired By Cancer Survivors
Joy Huber, a stage-four cancer survivor and the author and founder of Cancer with JOY, turned one of life’s most devastating circumstances into a career—and a zest for life. Diagnosed with stage-four cancer at age 33, Huber refused to let her diagnosis get her down. She underwent 18 chemotherapy treatments and multiple surgical procedures over three years as part of her cancer treatment.
A situation that could have easily led someone else to the depths of despair brought out a different response—and a new life—in Huber. Today, Huber helps hospitals, churches, companies, the government, non-profits, colleges, associations and individuals by teaching others how to transform fear into happiness with resources, support, and encouragement. She is an international speaker who inspires other cancer-stricken individuals with her motto that “No one's happy that they have cancer. But you can have cancer and still be happy!"
“Since my name is Joy," Huber says, "it's so great how this gives a unique and positive take on a very difficult thing that one in two men and one in three women will personally face in their lives.”
Allen, Vigeant and Huber are proof that facing life’s difficult challenges with a positive outlook will not only help you rise above them but can fuel greater levels of success. And while re-shaping your attitude and your approach to your circumstances won’t automatically make things happen for you, it will give you the ability to see the opportunities that lie in every challenge—and the drive to push forward and turn those opportunities into something you can be proud of.
Angela Stringfellow is a freelance writer, social media strategist and complete content marketing junkie obsessed with all things Web, the written word and marketing.
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Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy Clarke Allen, GreatBlue Research, Cancer with JOY