Mind Control: The Road to Success and Rewards

Fostering determination, desire and a great attitude in employees is what allows cashiers and middle managers to rise in senior management’s eyes.

Saturday is my “honey, I’ll do it today” day. To be candid, though, my wife is much better with home repairs than me. We tackled regrouting an entire bathroom and my task was to remove the old grout. It appeared pretty simple on the surface, but boy, was I wrong.

I’m more than a bit embarrassed to tell you I was sweating like an old war horse in mere minutes. In almost no time, I discovered my own mind was whispering all kinds of defeatist phrases to me, such as, “you might want to take a break” and, my favorite, “if you eat a little something it’ll give you some extra strength and energy.” Isn’t the mind supposed to be an ally? Why the negativity and not a few positive thoughts? It should have uttered just one word: ”wimp.”

If we are truthful, this type thing happens to all of us, and more frequently than we’d like to admit. There’s nothing wrong with it if we recognize and control it. While I labeled myself the smartest kid in the dumb row, I ended up with the valedictorian of the class working for me. I learned that having a great brain is one thing, controlling it is another.

For some of us a great work ethic comes naturally, especially if you’re among the very fortunate whose parents worked constantly with them and led by example. For most of us, though, a great work ethic is an acquired talent that often comes through desire and strong determination. Once discovered, it quickly becomes a life changing and exhilarating way of life that, when coupled with a great attitude, allows cashiers and middle managers to rise in senior management’s eyes. The best part is it’s never too late to acquire this skill.

Value of Training
For those fortunate enough to take part in training new and existing employees don’t overlook the importance of this often ignored area. It provides an exciting and rewarding avenue to explore for the development of future leaders.

My best advice for young employees is don’t listen when your inner self says, “really not feeling well, might be a good day to take a sick day.” Or, “only 15 minutes till the end of shift, let’s start kickin’ back.” Dismiss those negative thoughts and search out the positive.

The people who control their minds will ultimately control their destiny to the fullest and end up with the best paying and most rewarding jobs. Once you’re out of school, discipline and dedication beat smart and strong. Great attitudes always rule.

Once again, I’m in debt to my Hall of Fame mentor Bob Seng who, when hiring me, presented me a copy of the Edgar Guest poem he lived by.

“Someone said that it couldn’t be done, but he with a chuckle replied that ‘maybe it couldn’t,’ but he would be one who wouldn’t say so ‘till he’d tried. So he buckled right in, with a trace of a grin, if he worried he hid it, and he started to sing as he tackled that thing—it couldn’t be done, but he did it.”

Train yourself to recognize the voice—argue with it if you must—but never give into it. Seize the moment. Controlling one’s mind is an ever-present battle we all face, but hardly ever talk about. Be gracious in your victories and maybe once in awhile it’s OK to give in, especially if it involves ice cream and brownies.

Jim Callahan has more than 40 years experience as a convenience store and petroleum marketer. His Convenience Store Solutions blog appears regularly on CSDecisions.com. He can be reached at (678) 485-4773 or via e-mail at jfcallahan502@msn.com.

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