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Success-How is it Achieved? The Power of Positivity…Balanced with Negativity

Have you heard, “Champions are made, not Born”? There is also, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst”.


“Psychologists have suggested that conscientiousness is the single most important factor that will help a person to score a job because conscientious people not only achieve more, but deal with setbacks more effectively. Highly conscientious employees do a series of things better than the rest of us. While you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning, successful people have often already been to the gym, made breakfast and started on their daily to-do list”.1

25 Practical Success Habits2

  1. Wake up early, 2. Gratitude, 3. Smile, 4. Eat a healthy breakfast.
  2. Exercise, 6. Drink water with lemon, 7. Walk 10,000 steps.
  3. Vitamins and minerals, 9. Effective time management, 10. Daily goal setting, 11. Inspire yourself, 12. Save and invest, 13. Budget and track expenses, 14. Learn something new, 15. Organize, 16. Contribute to others, 17. Network, 18. Break through fears, 19. Take action, 20. Follow a plan, 21. Enjoy “me” time, 22. Implement positive thinking, 23. Read.
  4. Get ample rest, 25. Journal your thoughts.


University of Illinois psychologist Brent Roberts, “Even if there is a failure, they’re (successful people) going to have a plan to deal with that failure”.3

Oliver Burkeman4, “Those cheery slogans intended to lift the user’s mood by repeating them: “I am a lovable person!” “My life is filled with joy”? Psychologists at the University of Waterloo concluded that such statements make people with low self-esteem feel worse — not least because telling yourself you’re lovable is liable to provoke the grouchy internal counterargument that, really, you’re not”.

“Even goal setting, the ubiquitous motivational technique of managers everywhere, isn’t an undisputed boon. Fixating too vigorously on goals can distort an organization’s overall mission in a desperate effort to meet some overly narrow target, and research by several business-school professors suggests that employees consumed with goals are likelier to cut ethical corners”.

“Ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers understood the need to balance the positive with the negative, optimism with pessimism, a striving for success and security with an openness to failure and uncertainty, deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario. This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope. Besides, they noted, imagining that you might lose the relationships and possessions you currently enjoy increases your gratitude for having them now. Positive thinking, by contrast, always leans into the future, ignoring present pleasures”.

“From this perspective, the relentless cheer of positive thinking begins to seem less like an expression of joy and more like a stressful effort to stamp out any trace of negativity. You can try, if you insist, to follow the famous self-help advice to eliminate the word “failure” from your vocabulary — but then you’ll just have an inadequate vocabulary when failure strikes”.


The final determinant boils down to how it affects your life in its entirety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy5, strives to help you achieve this balance. Does your thinking and behavior (CBT) lead away from destruction and toward success? Counseling on Demand fields a team of counselors and therapists who are adept at CBT.

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  1. Almaz Rabb, 26 September, 2016 at 1:01 pm
  2. Robert Adams, author/ (Brent Roberts cited)
  3. IBID, Rabb
  4. Oliver Burkeman, The Power of Negative Thinking,, AUG. 4, 2012
  5. Matthew Hunt,


I am the Founder and CEO of Counseling On Demand with a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with over 25 years of experience in helping Individuals, Couples, Adolescents, and Families who struggle with a wide variety of Life's Challenges. I thus have developed an Array of Effective Counseling Tools and Evidenced-Based Interventions to help you towards Your Road to Better Mental Health and Wellness. You are Never Alone...I look forward to meeting with you or your family member soon!