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Are You Thinking The Right Way?

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Stop SignI have two simple questions to ask you.

1. What color and shape is a STOP sign?

2. What color and shape is a YIELD sign?

Pretty much everyone gets the first question right. Yes, a STOP sign is octagonal and red.

But most people get the second question wrong. They incorrectly think that a YIELD sign is triangular and yellow. Now the triangular part is correct.

But yield signs are red on the outside and white in the middle (with the word "YIELD" written in red).

In fact, while yield signs were originally yellow when they were introduced in the United States in 1954, they were changed to red over 30 years ago.

So, why do many of us still think yield signs are yellow?  There are a few reasons I think. To begin, some of us still remember back to the 1970s when they were yellow. And in some towns, the old yellow signs weren't replaced until the 1980s or 1990s. And many "clip arts" of yield signs still use the yellow color.

But the fact is, if you see a yield sign on the road today, it will be red on the outside and white in the middle.

The reason why we think it's yellow is because we often see things as they used to be.

And seeing things this way represents a problem.

The problem is this -- my guess is that right now, you are a regular entrepreneur. But, you wish to become an ultra successful entrepreneur.

But, if you see things as they used to be, you will see yourself as a regular entrepreneur.

And, to become successful, you need to see yourself as an ultra successful entrepreneur right NOW.

That's right, if you can't envision yourself being successful, you won't become successful. The power of your mind is that strong.

By reading this blog post, it tells me that you are feeding your mind with education about becoming a successful entrepreneur. I genuinely commend that. But I want to make sure you're taking it to the next level, and really committing your mind to believing that you can accomplish your dreams.

It's a lot like the little red engine that could.  If you continue to think you can do something, you will be able to do it.

So, in addition to feeding your mind with business education, spend time visualizing success in your mind. Think about what your life will look like when you have achieved the success you desire. Where will you be living? What car will you be driving? What will you wear to work? What will you be doing at work each day? And so on.

And as much as possible, don't just think about these things, but start achieving them. Dress NOW like you expect to dress when you have achieved success. Do the things at work each day that you see yourself doing as an ultra successful entrepreneur.

Earl Nightingale said, "The strangest secret is that we become what we think about most of the time."

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, "a man is what he thinks about all day long."

I think they were both right. So, make sure you think about what success looks like for you. And then keep thinking about it.


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Alina says

Shame you didn't post a YIELD sign, but chose to post the one most people knew about :)
Posted at 8:40 am
Dave Lavinsky says

I thought about posting the yield sign, but that would have given away the answer : )
Posted at 9:08 am
brianpowellexpress@gmail.com says

Yeah I've spent about 10 years defining my vision and trying to make it stick in my mind so that it just constantly thinks about it. The mind is sort of dumb like that. If you put reminders all over the place, so that it thinks you need to accomplish it, the brain will be thinking that you need to get that vision and everything in it and until you somehow make it think that it can stop thinking about your vision, it won't stop. I defined my vision in as few words as possible and posted it all over the place (I mean everywhere that I am, sometimes to the point that I everywhere I turn its right there), I also have my desktop background set to my dream home entrance and my screen saver is a slide show of my entire vision. I also quantified my vision by pricing everything from my yacht to my homes and even my helicopter. Then I took the amount of income I would need ajusted for inflation and multiplied it by 20. That number is the amount of assets I need to have the massive passive income I need. The hardest part was taking my vast and complex vision and making it into a simple idea that I can easily think about in its entirety without spending more than 30 mins visualizing. Now I got the whole thing in one simple idea and can project myself to any part of my vision at any moment. I can even pretend as if I were a kid and imagine myself there. The truth is that its already here, you just need to realize that its not manifested, but the process is taking place. The idea is like the seed to a redwood, but planting that seed was the hardest part of the process because you have to digg the hole to the subconscious, which is a pain in the $$$ to work with.
Posted at 9:43 am
Mark Winstein says

Dave, you got me with this one! Good point about modeling success in my thinking. That's one of those things I know I should do but don't always do. I'm going to put that practice back into my schedule. Thanks!
Posted at 9:43 am
manoj patel for Motivation says

Boy Dave, you got this one right on time. Just this morning I had one of these converstions, and it amazes me how your words serenaded in my conversation. I am going to pass this along. It is the power of the mind that dictates your destination. As also one's corrupted database (brain),that tends to lead us in the direction that we tend to go in.
Posted at 11:52 am
Mary W says

I would have put money down that yield signs were yellow! Interesting post indeed.
Posted at 4:47 pm
Will Conley says

Dave, I did a Google Image search to make sure you were right.

You were right.

I was stunned.

Another example. Ever heard of seers? Shamans? Aboriginal peoples were known to have shamans that could literally SEE a new thing before the regular folks could see it. The shamans or seers would then describe the new unseen thing, until the regular folks could see it.

One instance has an aboriginal shaman seeing a European ship on the horizon coming closer and closer to the shore. The shaman would point right at it. The regular folk could not see it, because it did not conform to what they understood. Then he would describe it.

Like magic, they would gradually be able to see the approaching ship. (Imagine their reaction!)

All because of the seer. Because of the shaman.

Whether apocryphal or historically accurate, the foregoing parable illustrates a phenomenon I believe to be true: That sometimes the imagination precedes the senses.

Sometimes a thing must be imagined first, and then experienced.

Insert religious overtones here.

Contemporary culture has many types of seers - working in many different occupations. Most seers are part-time seers.

In this blog post, you are acting the part of the seer, in a very real way.

So you have my congratulations, Dave.

Posted at 12:48 am
garmin forerunner 205 says

Hi and thanks for another interesting article it absolutely was a thrill to look at. Tom Brenard
Posted at 6:36 am
Ramu says

I definitely agree that visualizing success is important. I have found it has worked for me. I have also read that sports psychologists emphasize visualizing an activity. However, my question is, what should one focus on:
- the skills necessary for success (presenting, communicating, completing an accounting statement)
or
- the benefits of success (cars, house, etc.)

It seems to me that visualizing the skills necessary for success (ie: talking to a customer, convincing an investor, organizing a project...) is as important as working on a project with a customer.
Posted at 2:14 pm
Cara says

Great little post - gave me something to think about. And I still can't believe I was wrong about the yield sign! :)
Posted at 11:53 am
Sonia says

You know, I have had many dreams in my life!! One of my dreams when I was younger was to own an income tax office where I could at the same time help other people by translating and filling out paperwork. I now have my office where I do all of this. I achieved this goal eight years ago. I started at my home, then moved to an office. But this is not all that I want. Now I have an opportunity to have more!! More business, more money, and be more important. And you know this has always been my dream, to be someone very important. I know I will get to be that !! By reading this really is helping me. Like one said above it is really hard to find and dig inside our soul, but I know I can do it. I have something really strong that will help me envision and help me dig, they are my 4 children. Starting with 16 years old and ending in 5 years old. Thank our LORD and you guys for allowing me to read this and start opening and digging inside myself!!!
Posted at 10:14 am
Darrin says

Very good exercise. I need to get back to...better yet, create a NEW daily routine with regards to visualing the outcomes I DESIRE along my journey!
Posted at 10:12 am
Robert says

Thank you. Enjoyed your thoughts!
Posted at 10:39 am
yanz says

hi my name is Ryan... thanks ... nice info... bravo for us...
Posted at 10:23 pm
Heather says

the perfect way to start my morning- like a good friend gently pointing out what you knew but did not really think was important. I have heard the words and read the text many times, but for some reason this blog made a difference. I have been focusing so much on the roadblocks to my success - and no matter how many times I have heard that you should not focus on them, I have - I temporarily lost sight of what I was going for. The roadblocks became the focus of my energy, and I realize I need to look past them to the success just on the horizon. Thank you!
Posted at 10:50 am
Brenda L. Cain says

This was pretty interesting. I would have like to see the Yield sign too. I cannot recall seeing it any other way except yellow. Now I am purposely looking for Yield signs. As for visualization, I am implementing this more and more for my own life and business. I tend to do that really well for partnering with others. Its my turn now. Have to live my life on purpose. Thanks again for the info.
Posted at 5:29 pm
Daniel Waller says

I have always believed the logic of see it,believe it and achieve it as a positive way of thinking. As I read your blog, I found myself infused with hope that I'm headed in the right direction in life. I just want to thank you for writing this blog and being creative at the same time. You invoke ones brain to work overtime to solve some interesting questions in a way that we learned something new. So I thankyou and urge you to keep up the good work...Daniel
Posted at 10:40 pm

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