Self-esteam, Attitude, Success and Ageing

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Thoughts are Things

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.
-Napoleon Hill

What is it about our thoughts that drive our actions?

I recall many years ago while still a student in business school and enrolled in an entrepreneurship course struggling with the idea of how to become a successful business man. I wrote a business plan for a restaurant and while I thought it was a master piece my professor was not impressed. In fact he failed me on the project and the course.

I was Crushed!

Walter Bagehot

From Quotes of the Day: "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
~ Walter Bagehot

There is little difference in people,
but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.
-W. Clement Stone


The children's book The Little Engine That Could is a great story about overcomming our own self-doubt by choosing to believe four simple words I THINK I CAN.

After all we must convince ourselves that we can accomplish all that we set out to achieve, but there is more. When we add the perspective of ageing to a positive self-image and measure the outcome we find attitude makes a difference in both quality of life and quantity of life. Nepolean Hill states it clearly, our attitude toward any situation in our life is solely our responsibility and absolutely under our own control.

Do we all feel like underdogs?

Having a Positive Attitude

I saw a bumper sticker the other day which read: "Bark Less and Wag More."


  • Adjust yourself to other peoples attitudes….get along peacefully
  • Condition your mind daily to remain positive under all circumstances
  • Learn to sell yourself to other people….get people to talk…be interested in their thoughts
  • Learn to laugh
  • Be grateful for everything in your life…success or failure
  • Do those things you can do
  • Turn negative into positive
  • There is benefit in all circumstance positive or negative
  • Look at life as a continuious educational experience
  • Work on your own self improvement
  • Express thanks twice daily for your ability to control your own mind…self determination
  • Be kind to others…express to others
  • Accept criticism and use it as an opportunity to better yourself
  • Do not accept anything from others you do not want
  • Reduce stress….do not worry about the things you can do nothing about and do something about those thing you can.
  • Keep your eye and mind on your goal
  • Do not feel sorry for yourself….find someone worse off than yourself and help them
  • Find a mentor
  • Develop a friendly voice

What Does All This Have to do With Ageing?

Research shows that self-esteem is generally low for adolescents and increases as we age through middle age and declines after retirement about age 60.

Many things influence our self image and we begin to develop self awareness very early in life building our identity through family, social connections, roles and experiences. About the time of adolescence we beginning an independent journey of connection as we embark on our career, starting a family and develop relationships as adults in our community defining who we are. As progress past middle age these relationships change and begin to disconnect. Our family dynamic changes as children grow and move on, careers and social activities wind down and we may find ourselves feeling isolated or alone.


Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours.
-Swedish Proverb

The Benefits of A Positive Attitude

  • Maintaining a positive attitude help you cope with life's changes with better results
  • Positive attitudes produce resiliency
  • Research shows positive people are less likely to become frail
  • Positive people stay connected
  • Positive people experience less stress

"The Rest of The Story

Undaunted by my failure in the class room, I set out to prove to myself, my parents and professor that I could accomplish my goal of creating a business. My best friend, brother and other friends joined me in our first venture. We found a closed restaurant, ironically acrodd the stree from the campus that was available and slated for a franchise. With help from my friends uncle we found financing and built the restaurant a Yogurt Stand and Healthy Deli over the course of the summer. A great learning experience requiring much sweat and toil. We opend the business just before the next school year and I sold my portion back to my friend for a tidy profit.

My proof that an idea and determination coupled with a positive attitude will produce astounding results. Developing a positive attitude produces fruit throughout life and improves you quality of life and often will add years to you life.

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