High Hopes

Think Happy Thoughts

1. Change your body language. Use straight posture, take bigger steps and walk faster. "You need to straighten out your body before you straighten out your head," says Mercer.

2. Think of solutions, not problems. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't. Focus on how you want to grow your business, not on how you might fail. "You can only have one thought in your head at a time," says Mercer. "So make sure that one thought zooms in on solutions and what you want in your life."

3. Speak in a cheerful voice. People feel better emotionally when they use a sparkling tone.

4. Use upbeat words; avoid upsetting words. Instead of saying "I'm overworked," say "I'm ambitious." When you feel "tired," say you're "recharging." Don't use the word "hyper"; replace it with "I'm very alert."

5. Avoid emotional vampires. "It's hard to stop people from stepping on you if you keep lying down under their feet," says Mercer. "If entrepreneurs feel someone is trying to suck the enthusiasm out of them, they have to realize they're letting them do it."

6. Stop using the words "try" and "but." According to Mercer, research proves that underachievers use those words eight times a day, while high achievers use them only once a day.

7. Be an exemplary role model for everyone round you. How? Follow the first six tips and you're well on your way.

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: High Hopes.

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