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Jeff Keller’s Perspective
Jeff Keller is a motivational speaker, leader and writer about human motivation. Keller was a law school graduate who practiced law for a few years. But he felt unhappy with his life and decided to pursue his true calling of teaching self-improvement. Since then, he has worked within multiple organizations to help develop high achievers. Jeff’s articles have appeared in national and international publications, including: Selling Power, The Pryor Report Management Newsletter, The Toastmaster and The Chamber of Commerce Pacesetter. He is also a member of the National Speakers Association. Keller wrote this book to provide a clear outline of how you can advance your organization’s potential by improving your attitude.
Attitude Is Everything covers multiple lessons on attitude. These storyshots will provide a concise outline of each lesson. These lessons relate to how you can harness the power of your attitude to reach your life goals. As humans, we tend to focus on the negatives in life. This negative outlook impacts those you complain to as well as your own beliefs and subsequent actions. This negative mindset and activity prevents you from reaching your goals.
StoryShot #1: Our Thoughts Drive Our Circumstances
The foundation of this book is the reality that our thoughts dominate and drive our circumstances. Your attitude toward your life and the people around you is your window to the world. If you think you can do something, then you can. If you think you can’t, then you can’t. You’re right either way, as your attitude will impact your outcomes. It’s the classic self-fulfilling prophecy. So try to change your attitude to one that is more positive.
StoryShot #2: Your Attitude Is a Mental Filter
Keller defines attitude as the mental filter through which we experience the world. Some of us see the world through a filter of optimism, while others perceive the world through a filter of pessimism. Some people see the glass as half full and some as half empty. Keller believes you can control your attitude, so you should keep your view of the world clean and clear.
To illustrate this point, Keller compares attitudes to windows. Your window is your perspective on the world. We all start with a clean window when we are young. But with age, our window gets covered in dirt from everything life throws at us: criticism, ridicule, rejection and disappointment.
This dirt is what makes us doubt our capabilities. Doubt feeds negative attitudes. Our job is to keep our view of the world clean. In other words, try to keep a positive attitude. Use a filter of optimism instead of negativity. Instead of saying “I can’t,” you should be saying “I can.” Then, when your window is clean, you can finally see the world outside is full of positive opportunities.
If we can choose our attitude toward our circumstances, we can also choose all our reactions and responses. The example Keller gives is the mindset of Victor Frankl, an author and a concentration camp survivor. Frankl believed that those who were naturally more pessimistic often died in the concentration camps, while those who were optimistic were more likely to find the hope and strength to survive.
StoryShot #3: Positive Thoughts Attract Success
On a basic level, we are human magnets. If we think about positive things and outcomes, success will follow. We become what we think about.
Keller introduces the idea of “dominant thought.” Your dominant thoughts rule the day. If you continually think positively about a goal, you will take steps to move toward that goal. But with a negative attitude, you are never going to take that first step. If we are always thinking negatively, we will produce “negative” actions. These are actions that don’t move us toward our goals.
So you must exercise your positive thoughts. Think positive thoughts until it becomes a habit. Your beliefs brought you to where you are today. The way you think about things from this point on will determine your path forward.
Keller explains that one way to change your thinking is to become aware of what you say to yourself. You can also read positive literature daily and listen to motivational programs. Repetition is the key.
Keller also warns readers that expecting overnight success is a dangerous approach to embracing positive thoughts. We can be positive as often as possible, but that does not mean we should expect instant success.
StoryShot #4: Visualization Is a Skill We Learned From a Young Age
Visualization is something we use to understand our circumstances. You have used visualization from a young age, and you should continue to use it. Keller encourages readers to create mental movies in their minds, picturing every milestone toward the ultimate goal they want to achieve. You must also rid your mind of old mental images that remind you of negative factors, like failure and disappointment. If you are still failing, then you are still holding on to pictures of lower aspiration or failure. Keller tells the story of singer Celine Dion as an example. From the age of 5, she imagined herself singing in front of a vast audience and receiving multiple awards. She continued to hold onto these positive images throughout her life, and she ultimately accomplished living her dreams.
StoryShot #5: Do Whatever It Takes
Keller asks his readers whether they are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their objective. The key to getting what you want is this willingness to do whatever it takes. So make this commitment to yourself. Once you have supplied this commitment, you will then be determined to reach your goal. Positive events will also start happening once you have committed. People around you will start helping you to achieve your goal. It won’t be easy, but if you don’t give up, you can move mountains. Here, Keller provides the example of Benjamin Roll, who at age 74 finally passed the California bar exam. He never gave up on his goal and finally cleared the exam on his fourteenth attempt.
StoryShot #6: Find the Lesson in Problems
How you react when faced with problems and setbacks is vitally important. Generally, people start questioning themselves, their circumstances and their luck. After this initial disappointment, though, you have a choice to make. You either:
- Keep feeling miserable OR
- Learn a lesson from the setbacks and move on
You can either dwell on the negative or find the lesson in a problem. Often “problems” aren’t even real problems. Instead, they’re merely opportunities to take positive action. They allow you to improve and do better next time. Adversity encourages us to make the necessary changes in our lives and to tap into our hidden potential.
Failures also give us perspective. Failures teach us to be grateful when small, positive things happen. Keller uses the example of Napoleon, who is quoted as saying, “Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
StoryShot #7: Use Positive Self-Talk to Your Advantage
Words have immense power. Jeff Keller believes that words can build your future, destroy your opportunities, or maintain the status quo. Your choice of words will define your personality. Keller builds on the formula provided in the book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: T –> F –> A = R. Thoughts lead to Feelings, Feelings lead to Actions, and Actions lead to Results. Keller develops this concept into: Words –> Beliefs –> Actions –> Results. Since our Words ultimately lead to our Actions and Results, we must use our words carefully. If you use your words to put yourself down, this strengthens your pessimistic beliefs. Your beliefs become more negative, and this will stop you from taking positive action. So, you must use positive self-talk as often as possible and discuss your goals only with supportive people.
StoryShot #8: Exaggerate Your Happiness When Answering Questions
Keller explains that the question, “How are you?” is the one most frequently asked. It is a small question, but we answer this question so often that our response significantly impacts us. There are three ways you can reply to this question. Your response can either be positive, mediocre, or negative. We should always avoid negative answers as they drain energy from us and those around us.
That’s because our words affect our physiology. If your answer to “How are you?” is “horrible,” your posture and emotions will be horrible. So Keller believes that we should always reply to this question with either “terrific” or “great.” Simply saying these words will help boost your confidence and create a positive outlook. How we feel is often a subjective matter.
It’s fine to discuss your problems in an attempt to find solutions. Sharing your worries with friends and relatives can be a positive experience sometimes. That said, complaining about your back pain, headache or flu won’t provide you with a positive outlook. This type of complaint has no clear solution, so there’s little benefit to grumbling. Ranting or complaining doesn’t help the listener and won’t help you. Instead, focus on the positives. As an example, Keller quotes author and early American colonist William Penn: “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” Keller suggests picking up a pen and piece of paper and listing all the reasons you have to be grateful. This is a great response when you feel like complaining.
Complaining merely distracts you from taking the actions required to improve the situation.
StoryShot #10: Surround Yourself With Positivity
We are the average of all the people we spend time with. This is because the people we spend most of our time with greatly influence our thoughts and actions. They define our outlook and future.
Keller identifies two kinds of people in our lives: toxic people and nourishing people.
Toxic people dwell on the negative. They try to drag you down to their level. They tell you what you can’t do, and they suck all the positive energy out of you.
At the same time, nourishing people are positive and supportive. They are a joy to be around and make you feel better. So to nurture a positive attitude, you should stop spending time with toxic people and start spending more time with nourishing people.
Spending time with people who have no ambition will leak into your own beliefs and thoughts. This will put you on the path to failure. Who we surround ourselves with is what we become. So you need to surround yourself with positive people who have life goals and the ambition to achieve them.
StoryShot #11: Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you want to be successful, you must be willing to be uncomfortable. To achieve your goals, you have to step out of your comfort zone. The people who succeed are those who overcome obstacles along the way, and you have to stretch yourself to improve.
This advice might sound simple, but most people still back away from scary situations and avoid taking action. Yet sometimes, scary challenges help you move closer to your goals. So you occasionally have to face your fears.
Backing away from things you fear also has negative consequences. Backing away will only lower your self-esteem, making you feel powerless and frustrated. Realize that you are sabotaging your success by avoiding difficult situations.
Always adopt a can-do attitude as you prepare to take on tough challenges. Doing this will help give you the courage to take on challenges and overcome life’s obstacles. Repetition is vital because taking on one obstacle will make the next one easier to overcome.
StoryShot #12: Kick On After Failing
As well as taking on obstacles, we must be ready to fail. If you avoid failure, you can’t learn new skills. Those who are successful are those who have learned to fail their way to success. To succeed tomorrow, you must be willing to fail today.
After failure, you have to persevere. Learn from your failures and improve each time you fail. After one failure, work with double the enthusiasm on the next opportunity you have. Keller gives the example of TV talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael. She was fired eighteen times and couldn’t pay her credit card bills for twenty-six years. She lived on food stamps before she finally made it big in the industry.
Remember, there is no such thing as a failure until you completely give up. Before you give up, “failures” are just intermediate results that differ in measuring how successful you were and how they might re-direct you toward your goals.
StoryShot #13: Create a Network That Supports You
The last lesson in Jeff Keller’s book focuses on the importance of teamwork through networking. Networking accelerates your efforts and builds on your results. You want to create a network of people that can help you achieve your goals. Spend time being a good team member for others as well. If you are positive and ready to help people, you will receive help in return.
The more relationships you build, the greater your opportunities for success. You can’t succeed on a grand scale all by yourself. Others can help you generate new clients and business leads, solve problems, and provide valuable information and resources.
You should engage with the following key points from this lesson to ensure you are networking effectively:
- Develop a win-win attitude.
- Actively participate in groups and organizations.
- Serve others within your network—when you give, you will receive.
- Keep in touch with your peers.
- Become a good listener and treat every individual’s ideas as equally important.
- Meet different people and make new friends in your field.
- Remember to thank and congratulate people when they accomplish any of their goals.
Final Review and Analysis of Attitude is Everything
Your attitude has a significant impact on your likelihood of success in all parts of your life. Jeff Keller highlights that your thoughts, words and actions each have a unique impact on your success. In terms of thoughts, you should always flip negative thoughts into positive ones and visualize your success. Then use these positive thoughts to inspire positive responses and limit pointless complaining. Finally, start taking action so you can use failures as lessons and meet people who can help you in your journey.
Criticism and Rating
Regular readers of self-help literature may not find anything new in this book. To some others, the book may come off as new-age literature.
We rate this book 4.3 / 5.
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