This is a book for all ages. It is a great read for anyone, whether it is with your young children,
adolescents, or anyone looking for an easy, inspirational experience. The book is not long but it
is powerful in its simplicity. The ABCâs of Successful and Happy Living focuses on aspects of
our life that are relevant to any stage of life. The hope is that by reading this book, the principles
become part of your daily life and become ingrained in your character. This is the reason that it
is appropriate and helpful for everyone, regardless of age.
The book is a compilation of my life experiences and teachings. Growing up, I lived in extreme
poverty and the environment was not conducive to future success. I went on to receive my
Associateâs, Bachelorâs, Masterâs, and will soon receive my PhD. My father had a stroke when I
was nine and because I never had relationships with any of my other family members, there were
no positive role models in my life. There were many negative ones and thus began my journey
of trial and error as well as learning from everywhere I could.
All children need positive role models but many are left with the opposite. In writing this book, I
hope that in some way it will be a model and plan to success and happiness for those who are
starving for guidance. My life is a testimony of the reality that we all control our own destiny,
regardless of our situations or environments. It is not easy but the end result is much more
fulfilling when we overcome obstacles that were not supposed to be defeated. The book is also
geared toward anyone in any stage of life that needs affirmation that success and happiness is
always possible regardless of how impossible it may seem. If you are successful and happy, this
book can also serve as reassurance of what you are doing as well as motivation to stay on the
path. It is my desire that you enjoy this light read and it helps change you positively.
AttitudeâAttitude is a little thing that makes a big differenceâ Winston Churchill
What is it that determines our attitude? Is it genetic or is it environmental? Those answers may
never be known but what is known is that we have to control our attitude, not allow our attitude
to control us. We all have a locus of control, which is basically what controls us; do we or does
outside influences? An internal locus of control is where you know that you are in control of
your life not events beyond your control (external locus of control). Attitude is something that
will determine how far you go in life, many times much more than what you know or who you
know. This is a free way to improve every aspect of our life. By choosing to approach life with
a positive attitude, we choose to set ourselves up for success and happiness.
Our thoughts can greatly influence our mood and behavior. These thoughts ultimately can
determine our attitude. It is amazing how we can sabotage our lives. Why ponder the negative
aspects of what is going on in your life when such aspects are out of your control? Turning these
negative events into positive ones comes easier when we focus on the positive and the solution
rather than the negative problem. Attitude is a small change but it takes time to create a new
mindset. Avoid negative thoughts and remember you are in control of your mind. Control your
mind and take control of your life.
BraveâI learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is
not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.â Nelson Mandela
Being brave is defined in many different ways. A soldier who goes overseas to protect our
country is definitely considered to be brave just as a child dealing with an illness. Like many
attributes, braveness is associated with the individual circumstances. What is brave for one may
be an everyday occurrence for another.
As Mandela noted, being brave is the acceptance of fear and the ability to overcome fear. Fear is
a natural evolutionary response to stimuli that our body perceives as dangerous. This can be
walking in the forest and coming face to face with a bear or having a flat tire while going 70 mph
on the interstate. Another type of fear is not what our body creates but instead our mind. The
fear of rejection, the fear of failure, and even the fear of success. As will be noted throughout the
book, our mind is powerful and can be the reason we succeed or the reason we fail. Just as with
our body, our mind has a choice known as flight or fight. We can run away from the fear or we
can face it. If we choose to run, we choose to fail. If we choose to face it, we give ourselves a
chance to win. Being brave is not just about winning but is the willingness to face something
where our outcome is unknown. When we do this, we face our fear, not knowing what will
happen. In this we win because fear loses, thus the epitome of braveness.
ConfidenceâAs is our confidence, so is our capacity.â William Hazlitt
This book was written with the 26 (A-Z) subjects displayed without order of importance as they
are all pertinent and usually have correlational relationships. If there was a particular subject,
however, that would be ranked at the top, it would probably be this one: confidence.
Confidence is the staple to which all other areas flow. We have to believe in ourselves. Usually
confidence comes from past successful experiences. I urge you to think of confidence in a
different way. In all things be confident. Confidence is a way of life that needs to be ingrained
into your new mindset. Anyone can have confidence after they have succeeded. One thing all
great people have in common is their overwhelming confidence.
When you believe in yourself, this is where your confidence originates. One thing I have always
tried to do is not compare myself with others. Average people do not compare themselves to
anyone. Good people compare themselves to others. Great people compare themselves to
themselves. I always set out to be the best I can be whether it is blowing away the competition
or being average at something. If I were to compare myself to others growing up, I would have
stood out. Being the most successful of my poverty stricken neighborhood was not the goal I
had in mind. Being the best, most successful person I could be was and always will be the goal.
I was, am, and will be confident in my ability to do that.
Confidence is not to be confused with cockiness. Confidence is your ability to succeed and do
while cockiness is usually a defense mechanism for realized weaknesses. As we will discuss
later, being true with yourself will help you weed out false beliefs that stagnate your growth
while simultaneously getting you closer to true confidence. As the quote states, we are not
bound by what we cannot do but are bound by what we think we cannot do.
DeterminationâTo him who is determined it remains only an act.â Italian Proverb