Three Best Things
by Gary Lockwood

My two sons, Dan and Doug, were five and six years old. On their fist day of school, we started a new game. At dinner that evening, I asked, "Boys, what was the fun-est thing you did today"?

Watching their response, I could tell what they were thinking. "Oh-Oh; Daddy's on a new kick again". Regardless, Doug and Dan each told of something fun and interesting they did that day. I contributed by relating to them something weird and funny that had happened at my office that day (something weird was happening at my office almost every day, it seems).

We laughed at each other's stories and went on to enjoy a delightful dinner together.

The next evening, I again asked them, "Boys, what was the fun-est thing you did today"? This time, they each had one ready to tell. And I once again told them about something weird and funny that had happened at my office that day. As the first evening, we laughed and had a good time with this.

Each evening at dinner, I asked the same question. By the end of the first week, the boys could see that this was going to be a regular thing. They came to the dinner table already knowing what their evening's story would be.

In the weeks to follow, Doug and Dan each had at least one fun thing to tell and sometimes two or three. They even competed to see who had the fun-est story. Dan would say, "I want to go first. My story is better than Doug's".

After a while, it almost seemed that these boys were making fun things happen during the day, just so they could tell about it at dinner. We laughed a lot and enjoyed each story.

Where was their focus? That's right; on the positive things that were going on with them. During this time of their lives, do you suppose that Dan and Doug had any unpleasant things happening to them or around them? Of course they did! We all have negative events and negative people in our lives.

I just didn't want the negatives to be their primary focus. I wanted my sons to see past the unpleasantness around them and experience the positive.

How many times do you end your day stewing about?

  • The heavy traffic;
  • The report that didn't get finished;
  • People who haven't returned your calls;
  • Deals that are dragging on;
  • The computer's not working correctly
  • And on, and on, and on

I am not suggesting that you ignore the challenges in your life. I AM suggesting that you just not dwell there.

Successful entrepreneurs develop their positive attitudes because they feed on progress. At the end of each day, instead of recounting all the difficulties and all that remains undone, write your accomplishments. Write the three most positive, interesting things that happened to you this day (the fun-est things). You can literally end each day on a positive note by jotting down the three best things that happened this day.

These may be things that happened to you, people around you, events that just felt good to you, or just a sunny day. Some of the most rewarding things to capture are your own actions. Often, there is no one around to acknowledge your achievements, especially those little ones that happen in the course of the day. By focusing a few minutes on your accomplishments, you give yourself a little pat on the back and recognize progress, even when small. Having a positive attitude toward your business and toward life in general may be one of the most important characteristics of successful people. In my years of experience as a Business Coach, I have observed many successful entrepreneurs. With very few exceptions, those who are successful and happy have developed and maintained a positive outlook.

A positive attitude is not accidental. Successful entrepreneurs know how to create a positive attitude for themselves. They don't just wait for it to happen.

Start today. Write down or tell someone about the three best things that happened today. This recognition of the positive things in your life will restore your confidence and your sense of well-being. You will likely gain a new perspective, a higher energy level and increased creativity.

Start now. "What was the fun-est thing you did today"?

Gary Lockwood is increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of CEOs, business owners and professionals. For additional information email: and visit . The following newsletters are also available:
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Copyright 2002 by Gary Lockwood. All rights reserved.

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