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Machen MacDonald: Stay STRONG to succeed

Setbacks, stumbling blocks and snafus are all part of the path of success. If there was nothing to overcome, then success would not feel as sweet. When we find ourselves reeling from a setback we must be STRONG so we can continue to progress.

Strong is what remains when we are out of excuses. It is what stays intact after we have weathered the storm or have been immersed in the crucible of the unbearable.

Business philosopher Jim Rohn tells us, “Don’t wish for it to be easier, wish you were better.”



Successful people follow a six step process that keeps them strong so they can maneuver though adversities and continue to advance toward their goals.

Here’s how we can remember to be STRONG for our own success:




S – Sit curiously with what is going on currently. Don’t project into the future and don’t regret the past. What happened has happened. We can’t undo it. The future has not happened yet, so don’t worry about it. The time is now and it is what it is. Be present with what is and sit with it. Notice the meaning we make up about the current situation and what that means about ourselves.

T – Take time to try on some different meanings. It’s our assignment of meaning that will propel us to our success or pull us down to tiresome failure. If we feel ourselves stuck in a slump, ask “What else the situation can mean?” Test, try, and triangulate new and different perspectives, and let’s not tether ourselves to our initial reaction. If we can think of different perspectives, we can thereby live different possibilities.

R – Recreate the future. Often times the only reason we feel hopeless and uninspired is because we have created an unwanted future for ourselves in our mind based on a limited meaning we adopted of a given situation in our life. By replaying that imagined future over and over, it can easily keep us stuck, unmotivated and absent from doing what we must do to break free. It can thereby become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The way to break free is to recreate our future. As we take time, from the step above, to find a new meaning of what has happened and where we find ourselves, it will redirect our future. Now with the new empowering perspective, run it out into the future. Let it become the compelling fuel that drives our actions today.

O – Omit and Obsess. Omit the thoughts and images we fear may occur and obsess on the thoughts and images that will lead to that which we want to bring about in our life. Unfortunately, it becomes somewhat habitual for many of us to have automatic negative thoughts (ants) when it comes to playing a bigger game or disrupting the status quo. It’s actually a part of what keeps us alive by helping us to avoid taking unnecessary risks and putting ourselves in harm’s way both physically and emotionally. It’s also part of what kills our dreams. When an ant sneaks in we must omit it as best and as fast as we can. Quickly replace it with the thought or image we do want and hold onto that so it will help inspire us to take the action necessary to bring it about in our experience.

N – Notice the Nudge of the Needle. If we want to nudge the needle on our gauge or scale of success, then let’s find the progress in our situation and in ourselves that we are somehow moving closer to what we want. If we look for the evidence of why things are not working or going our way, we will surely find it. If we look for the evidence we are making progress, we will surely find that as well. We need to use our focus wisely. If we focus on and feel we are making progress, we are. As we do this, we will perpetuate even more progress.

G – Go get into action by giving of yourself. It is said one of the quickest ways to snap out of a slump is to stop wallowing about our own condition and do something for someone else. Not only does it take our minds off of what we may be thinking is not going so well, it gets us to help another person and by doing so we dig ourselves out of our pit. It get’s us into action. Newton’s first law of motion tells us – every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. This works emotionally as well as physically.

You now have a six step process to remember you are STRONG in whatever adversity you face. Take this STRONG process into your week and let it pull you through to the other side of what you want for yourself.

Here’s to your continued success. Make it up, make it fun, and you’ll get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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