8 Steps To Turn Your Life Around

The book "Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life" by Brian Tracy is directed towards helping you look differently at your life. It will push you to dream big with an actual plan that will put those dreams into action.It is a step-by-step plan for developing and applying mental power to professional and personal challenges. The central message is Mental images shape the physical world.

Lets look at the 8 steps:

1. Alter Your Mental Landscape  - Move from Negative to Positive
Mental images are powerful. Your self-concept shapes your interactions with the world and your beliefs shape your worldview. Rejection and criticism damage your self-esteem. Develop healthy self-image, be positive and stay away from people who pull you down. Positive thoughts boost your energy, creativity, health and happiness. In contrast, negative mental images destabilize you. They diminish your confidence and energy. Lose negative “self-talk,”  and you will loosen the tight grip of failure and despair. Use the following tools to stay positive:
Embrace the “Law of Substitution” – You can’t retain two competing thoughts simultaneously. Like a sports coach, you have the power to yank your negative, poorly performing “players” from the field and insert positive thinkers. Change your lineup and watch your score skyrocket.
Use the “Law of Habit” – When you consistently repeat a deed or a thought, that image or action forms a self-fulfilling habit. Therefore, a consistent diet of positive thinking feeds on itself.
Eliminate the causes of bad feelings – Avoid rationalizing negative emotions. Ditch overdependence on others’ opinions. Move on from past setbacks. Stop making excuses.
Relinquish anger – Forgive those who have mistreated you in the past. Picking at scabs prevents you from completely healing.
• Seek the good in every situation – No matter how grim the loss or defeat, look for its positive side. A valuable insight, a new business contact or a solid foundation for future endeavors are some of the hidden bonuses in professional setbacks.
• Use “personal, positive and present tense” statements in written affirmations – For example, tell yourself, “I am an outstanding sales executive. I enjoy my job.” This self-talk will boost your confidence and enthusiasm.
• Use visualization exercises and dreams – Those who succeed continually visualize their goals in full color and minute detail.

2. Dreams, Goals, Action
Michelangelo’s David began when the artist developed a detailed vision of how the statue should look and chiseled the stone until his vision emerged from within it.
1. Imagine – Create a mental image of your ideal status in all facets of your life, including finances, health, profession and emotional wellbeing.
2. Write a mission statement – State your goals and describe yourself as if you have already accomplished these goals. Use the present tense. That grammatical choice will have a great impact on your subconscious mind.
3. Identify your target – Create well-defined goals that actualize your dream. Set milestones and specific deadlines. Your chances of success improve when you write your goals.
4. Create a written “action plan” – Organize and write a “to-do” list for your goals. The list should also outline your priorities.
5. Begin the project – Do something that will launch the project. A plan without action is like a pool without water.
6. Make a daily commitment – Each day, work on a portion of your project. Daily action provides momentum.
7. Persevere and work hard  - Michelangelo worked for two years just to produce a rough form of his masterpiece. He labored for another 24 months polishing the marble. Before you begin, make a promise to outlast difficulties that appear along the way. Then, keep the faith.

3. Hard Work 
You can acquire all of the tools and knowledge you need to succeed.
• Don’t become complacent – Professional growth stalls when you fall into the rut of complacency, habit and comfort.
• Don’t be ignorant or fearful – You’ll find yourself tangled in self-doubt and paralysis. Avoid a downward spiral by constantly upgrading your skills and knowledge.
• Accept responsibility – Your choices, growth and failures are up to you. Don’t make excuses for your shortcomings. Don’t be a victim – be victorious.
• Expect the best – Life is a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Through positive thinking, you have the power to write your own script and take center stage.

4. Excellence
A mental commitment to excellence can change your life. Build a solid foundation by doing the following:
• Take small steps – Minor changes yield major changes over the long term. A three percent improvement in your professional performance will catapult you to the upper echelon of the office pool.
• Concentrate on “key result areas” – These are the major functions of your work assignment. Every job has mandatory tasks and absolute requirements. Identify and target those chores.
• Establish your benchmarks – Find and use a measuring stick with which you can assess your progress.
• Take stock of your talents – In what areas do you excel? Where is your performance edge? How are you unique? Identify and optimize your strengths.
• Find your passion – Increase your chances of success by selecting assignments, industries and tasks that tap into your deepest interests and let you use your skills.

5. Network
Develop connections and learn to work with others. A network of relationships is one of your most important assets in both business and life. Your connections mirror your inner world; carefully select and cultivate friends and associates who reflect your highest aspirations and potential. Try the following:
• Target new peer groups – As your inner world shifts and improves, select peers who reflect your new code of behavior and ethics.
• Get involved – Join community groups. Write down the names of the top players in your region. Collect names from the media, conversations and committee meetings. Try to build a list of 100 leaders and patiently set out to meet those individuals. Seek mentors.
• Hit the nonprofit circuit – Community service is an ideal forum for networking. When you donate time to a nonprofit organization, you’ll work closely with major leaders and local decision makers.

7. Keep Learning
With more than 18 billion brain cells, you have the brainpower of a genius. You have the potential to acquire and retain vast amounts of information – and the facts and ideas in your brain are valuable. Generate wealth with your brain by following these suggestions:
• Constantly upgrade your performance and education – Even small changes can yield large dividends.
• Don’t be a know-it-all – The “intellectual trap” is a dangerous one. If you think you know it all and have “been there, done that,” you are probably clueless about the gaps in your knowledge. Be willing to learn more in your area of expertise.
• Start a daily reading program – Constantly read journals, books and other information in your field. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour every day for reading.

8. Convert Problems into Opportunities
Problems aren’t barriers. In fact, you gain a competitive edge when you view problems as gateways to greater opportunities. Three questions can help you convert hurdles into stepladders:
1. What kind of problem do you face? – Take time to explore the problem in writing. Be specific and include important details.
2. What secondary or related problems are attached to the main challenge? – The old wives’ tale is true: Difficulties rarely arrive alone. Identify “cluster problems.”
3. What is the cause and where is the cure? – After you have located a problem’s core, begin looking for the most straightforward solution.

Use the 20-solutions strategy to solve problems, overcome obstacles and create new answers. Write down your problem or goal. For example, if your low salary is the problem, write that at the top of a blank page. Solve that problem by writing down 20 solutions to your income woes. Be specific. Don’t stop after the first answers easily flow from your pen. Pick one of the 20 solutions and develop an action plan for putting that idea into practice. Repeat this process for five days and develop 100 ideas for boosting your income. Within a year, you will generate a list of more than 5,000 solutions.