Whether you’re a high performer or striving to become one, you want to live a life that is so incredible that you feel joy and happiness every day. You’re tired of feeling stressed, unhappy, and uncomfortable. Adopt these powerful habits to feel incredible every day.
1. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
When we focus on the barrage of negative media coming at us all hours of the day, it’s easy to get caught up in the negativity that surrounds us. When you’re doing nothing but watching and reading news reports, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all that’s wrong with our world. It can lead you to think, “Look how bad everything is today.”You get into a funk, into a space it’s hard to get out of. And you can’t feel incredible when you’re in a space filled with negativity.
Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to stop dwelling on bad news? It’s not just you! There’s a scientific reason for it, and this phenomenon is called “negativity bias.”
Science tells us that it’s typical for us to focus more on the negative than the positive. It is the “bad things,” not the good ones, that grab our attention, stay in our memories and influence the decisions we make. Focusing on potential danger is an innate instinct that kept our cavepeople ancestors alive. This tendency to dwell on the negative more than the positive is simply one way our brains try to keep us safe.
•Understand “negativity bias.” Realize that your brain is hardwired to pay more attention to bad news than to good news.
•Be intentional about changing your thought process. As soon as a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive thought.
2. Focus on love, impact, faith, and energy
I want to share with you a powerful strategy for replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
What works for me, and for most people we coach and consult, is to focus on what I believe are the four key components of a high-performance life: love, impact, faith, and energy, expressed by the acronym LIFE. Focusing on these four elements sets the stage for you to live your best possible life and to feel incredible every day. In fact, we designed our Life Optimization process to help people increase lifelong financial independence and freedom while reducing stress and enhancing their quality of life.
By focusing on love, impact, faith, and energy, you can feel more energized and hopeful than ever before. So, what does this look like from a practical standpoint? When you realize you are feeling down about something, pause for a moment and replace those thoughts with positive thoughts—those related to love, impact, faith and energy.
L = Love
Maybe you’ve just read the newest update about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The moment you realize this subject is making you feel bad, focus instead on the people in your life whom you love. It starts with loving yourself, yes. But when you love someone else, you feel incredible. When you prioritize the most important relationships in your life, and you demonstrate your love to them, it strengthens one of the most important foundations of an incredible life.
•Translate thoughts of the people you love into concrete action. Maybe you’ve been so busy that you haven’t talked to your parents in a while. Call your mom and/or dad and talk to them, even if it’s for a few minutes. You will probably feel better afterward. They will, too. Now, that example won’t apply to everyone. If that isn’t something that will make you feel better, then call someone else.
•Feel loved by giving love to others. When I start my day and set priorities, it makes me feel incredible to plan on spending some one-on-one time with my wife. I feel better. I feel loved. And I feel loved because I’m giving love. It starts with giving something of yourself. The incredible life you want starts with giving of yourself to someone else.
I = Impact
To feel incredible, create a habit of doing something daily to increase your impact. This is something I began practicing in my life many, many years ago, and I have continued to develop it. It’s ridiculously simple. You just have to do something good for someone else every single day. What can you do that will make a positive impact in someone else’s life? Do not rest your head on your pillow to go to sleep until you’ve made someone else feel good, to help them.
Maybe you see someone trying to climb a flight of stairs while carrying a heavy box. Carry that box! Or maybe you call or text someone who’s having a hard time, just to encourage them and let them know you’re thinking of them. Or maybe you tell someone at the supermarket that they look great today, and you see them light because your positivity interrupted their own negative thoughts! (Your words matter—always.)
• Develop the habit of daily impact, focus on doing just one thing per day for someone else. Guess what? The minute you do it once, you’re going to do it all the time. You’re going to find yourself having a habit of daily impact over and over and over and over again, and you will feel incredible. Because you are doing this all the time, focused on demonstrating your love to others, you can’t get stuck in a funk.
•Turn your focus outward, to others. If you love your work but find yourself in a negative space, maybe dealing with setbacks in your progress, stop and ask yourself, “What do I love about my job? What can I do to help somebody else today?”Simply by distancing yourself from your own objectives, you will develop the positive mindset that enables you to exit that negative space and feel incredible again. As author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy says, “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”
F = Faith
Faith is simply believing in something bigger than yourself. Personally, my faith is in God, but this will be different for many people. Maybe to you, faith means spirituality, nature, or something else. Here’s the key component. When you place your faith in something beyond your own control, it leads you to find peace in your day, no matter how hectic and stressful it is. When we worry only about ourselves, it’s easy to become stressed—ego is something that stands in the way of happiness for many people, often high performers. They focus on what they deserve, what they need, and how they will get it. But when you are focusing on the object of your faith, your stress will evaporate, and you will feel incredible. With the object of your faith empowering you, it’s impossible to feel bad! This is a valuable —no, priceless —component of the high-performance life.
•Define what “faith” means to you. It’s difficult to place your faith at the feet of an entity or concept you haven’t identified clearly.
•Every day, consciously place your trust in the object of your faith. This will enable you to build the habit.
•Let go of the compulsion to try to control everything. When I do that, I feel incredible.
E = Energy
All of us, especially high performers, need to have ample physical, mental, and emotional energy to achieve all we want to do, both for others and ourselves. How can you feel incredible without energy? What are you doing to create more energy? This starts with eating well and exercising. Our bodies crave nutritious foods and movement.
Recently, I went to a concert after having a really stressful morning. I did my morning routine, prioritized the most important tasks for the day, and I practiced my spiritual start to my day through prayer. I did not exercise, though, so I already felt behind. But I did get a lot accomplished at work, and I made a positive impact on others, so the love was there. I felt empty because I hadn’t exercised. But because energy is one of my four main focal points in my life, I set out to get some movement in, even though the evening had already come.
When I got to the concert location, I parked far away so I’d have to walk a good distance to get to the concert and back to my car. Once we were seated, every time somebody who was with me had to get up to go somewhere, I went with them. I walked as much as I could while listening to the music. Did I look weird doing that? Maybe. But here’s the thing. My daily focus on energy, on movement, helps me feel incredible. It helps me feel accomplished at the end of the day.
•Focus on love, impact, faith, and energy every single day. Set priorities in each area, and hold yourself accountable to them. Accountability is a necessary ingredient of accomplishing goals.
•Make the choice to focus on these priorities. The choice is yours and yours alone to create happiness and joy in your life every day.
How do you handle stress? As you strive to reach the goals you’ve set, how do you feel incredible every day, in each of these four LIFE categories? What do you need to do to show more love to others? To practice a habit of daily impact? To place your faith in something bigger than yourself? And to move and get more energy? What’s the energy you put out into the world? Identify it because that’s what you will get back if you do it right.
If negative thoughts invade your mind and interrupt your good mood and progress, try replacing those thoughts, the moment you become aware of what’s happening. Focusing on love, impact, faith, and energy will fuel your high-performance life and make you feel incredible.