My Dad was a volunteer in the South African Airforce in the Second World War. He was a gunner in a bomber. He enlisted at the age of 17. The average lifespan of a bomber gunner in combat was three minutes; my Dad went on 83 raids in 100 days. I grew up with war stories and an abiding interest in all things military.

Many years later, my Dad and other war heroes were presented with ceremonial daggers, pictures above with the book he wrote. When we immigrated from South Africa to Canada in 1997, Dad presented me with his ceremonial dagger, which he had had specially blessed by a priest. It hangs on the wall of my office in a place of honour – I see it every day.

This dagger is an “anchor” for me, and if you’re familiar with the teachings of Tony Robbins, you will know how useful anchors can be in your emotional life.  It reminds me of my Dad’s strength and courage, and it motivates me.

We can choose to focus things that distract and depress us, or things that help us, encourage us, focus us, and remind us to persevere. I also have pictures and images of Churchill and numerous other anchors in my office, but the dagger is special. In front of me below my computer screen I have me silver S.O. Lapel badges that I earned as a Student officer in my high school cadets, too.

What visual reminders do you build into your environment? Anything negative, I remove. Anything that brings me down or pulls my attention away from my specific objectives is not allowed in my home. Rika does the same – congruence and the alignment of our values, actions, and goals is very important to us. The same goes for people – we associate only with winners and those who share our values. How about you?

I was drafted into the South African Airforce at the age of 17, too, and I saw action at the age of eighteen. My Dad was my my role model throughout, even though I didn’t tell him at the time. His brave example was the wind beneath my wings.

Are the stories you tell yourself helping or hurting your progress? Is your environment – what you see, read, hear, watch, and whom you associate with on a regular basis – conducive to outstanding success? If not, change it – right away. You’ll be glad you did. Let’s make 2015 the best year of our lives so far – not because of what happens to us, but what we create and how we react to what happens to us and around us.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com