Old TD Jakes preached on this on TBN a while back. It’s so true, isn’t it? Where focus goes, energy flows, and business grows. “Our happiness is in direct proportion to our level of gratitude,” someone said, once. Well, talk is cheap and money buys the whiskey, so how can we apply this to our lives – today, in the real world?

One of the things I have had to learn was to release things that I can do nothing about. No use getting all upset and angry about something one can’t change. And sometimes, it means just putting something on hold for a while, like a new website that is operating badly to put it nicely, and costing me and a lot of other people money until they get it fixed. Best thing to do is go and read a good book, take a nice walk in the woods, ride your bike, while the madding crowd get all flustered and hot under the collar. Or a relationship that has suffered from a mistake or a bad choice someone made (as long as it’s not a habit or a pattern) – why not let things cool off before you rush in to try and get revenge or fix it or explain?

Another lesson is the gratitude thing. Take yourself down to a hospital if you need a wake-up call about just how blessed you are – things could be a lot worse. In Hawaii last week  (picture) I saw a woman pushing her severely disabled child around in a special chair; I felt very sorry for her, and grateful that I’m not in her shoes. And best of all, she wasn’t playing the victim or feeling sorry for herself. If you’re reading this, you have sight, the time to read it, a computer, and, of course, the intellect and ability to read and understand it. Things could be a lot worse. “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” I’m particularly grateful for some of the things I prayed for and wished for and didn’t get.

What you read, the movies you watch, the people you associate with, and the business or job you have chosen also make a massive difference in what you’re focused on. I really admire doctors, but I would hate to be one, dealing with pain and suffering and unhappiness all day long. Same goes for policemen. You can read “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie and feel great, or you can watch the news and feel bad. You can mix with losers and parasites or with winners and champions – your choice. If your church spends time knocking other religions and making you feel guilty, you’re probably in the wrong church.

Most of all, helping others helps us feel better, and the better we feel, the more we can accomplish, the better our relationships, the healthier we are, and the higher the quality of people we attract into our lives. And as Zig Ziglar famously said, “You can get anything you want in life if you’re prepared to help enough other people to get what they want. And he wasn’t only talking about business and money, folks.

Of course your spouse, friends, and job have more of an impact than many other things, and we always have choices. No matter what your circumstances, you can focus on things you can change, on things you’re grateful for, help more people, associate with better people, absorb better information, and read the biographies of people who went though hell and won because of their winning attitudes. You can get better or you can get better. It’s never too late, don’t lose hope, and find people who encourage and help you to help yourself.

Robin Elliott  LeverageAdvantage.com