Everybody gets stuck in the mud sometimes. We all have felt overwhelmed by life’s challenges, especially in these tumultuous times we live in. We see banks failing, 401k values dropping like a rock and corporate corruption just to name a few. It affects all of us in one way or another. Sometimes a person might like to crawl into a safe place and hibernate until it all blows over.

But, we are humans and we are all connected by a thread of commonality. What one cell feels so does the whole organism. From this mud pit is where great people are born. When we rise up and break the chains of self defeating thoughts, like the ocean, our rising tide will lift all boats. It is our duty to be the eternal optimists. It is our right to believe that anything is possible and we can. Here are a few tips on keeping yourself pointed in the right direction during trying times and most importantly how to infect the people around you with belief in a bright future ahead.

Identify the challenges. Understanding the terrain and potential pitfalls is paramount. Know thy enemy. Look at the big picture from 30,000 feet. See the good and the bad for all that it is.

Think it and Ink it. Now that you have looked at your entire reality, write it down. See where there is room from improvement. Breaking big challenges into small details tends to make bigger issues appear smaller. This will help you tackle challenges in small bites.

Plan Your Attack. Now that you have your challenges broken into small pieces it is times to create your action plan. In case you were wondering, you will be doing a lot of writing. Keep it all and put it in a binder. This will be great to look at later to track your progress. This is history in making; your history. An action plan will need a heading. The heading is what your want your outcome to be. Follow the heading with a series of steps it will take you to get there. Put due by dates beside each step. This will create a sense of urgency and will propel your plan more quickly. Finally write a paragraph or two of why you want to achieve this goal.

Visualize the Outcome. Everything we do as humans involves some level of visualization. From building the Eiffel Tower to getting up and making ourselves a sandwich every achievement started as visualization. First a thought comes to us, then we think about it or visualize it and then we take action to manifest it. It is how the brain works. Visualization is one of the most powerful tools you can employ. Only visualize good! The blade of “as you think so shall you be” swings both ways. If you visualize bad thoughts you will experience GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. If you find yourself dwelling in the negative simply focus on your breathing and tell yourself “new thought” and block the negative thought until a positive one comes to you. If you do this enough you will find that the negative thoughts will come around less often.

C.A.N.I. --- Yes We Can. Have a commitment to Constant And Never-ending Improvement in all aspects of your life. This was a concept that Dr. Edwards Demming came up with. He was appointed by President Roosevelt to help re-build Japan after World War II. He also helped bring Chrysler back from the ashes in the late 70s and early 80s. You can see how a commitment to C.A.N.I. can change the world, it did for Japan; it is one of the top industrialized nations thanks to a commitment to constant and never-ending improvements. In fact, in Japan they have the Demming Awards ceremony which is broadcast every year in Japan on national television much like our Academy Awards. If you could just adopt one principle from this newsletter it would be C.A.N.I. Yes you can.

Assemble Your Crew. Group think works! Surround yourself with a crew of like minded people. Don’t have a crew? Find one. I would suggest meetup.com. There are millions of groups worldwide in every interest from astronomy to xylophones. If you have an interest you will find a group that supports it through meetings and proactive interaction. If you don’t find one you like, start your own and people will join yours.

Celebrate and Acknowledge. Whether you are a person of faith or have chosen a secular path, being thankful for what you have will only bring you more to be thankful for. Displaying thanks can be as simple as closing your eyes and being thankful to all that is for all that is. One form of thanks that has seemed to disappear along with the brick cell phone and the Ford Pinto has been writing. The Internet has replaced writing with emails, texts and eCards. While these all serve their purposes, actually sitting down, getting out a pen and writing a note or card to somebody is the best way to celebrate and acknowledge a person. So start writing cards and letters to people you are thankful to and even people you feel need a little encouragement. A little goes a long way. Give praise and acknowledgment to somebody who gave you great service, a family member, a friend you have not seen in ages, somebody you owe an apology to and don’t forget yourself. Leave little notes of thanks to yourself for a job well done.

Infect the Field. Whether you realize it our not, the fact that you got to this place on this very page is a step in the right direction. It means you cared enough about your world and the world around to read about the possibility of something better, brighter and more awesome. Your field of possibilities has been infected with light and I will bet after reading this you will infect the fields of those around you. Even if it is only a smile or a pat on the back accompanied by words of encouragement, you are part of the shift. And as the old saying goes, “Shift Happens”, or was that something else? I will let you decide for yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Thom King is the President of Steviva Brands, Inc. Steviva manufactures and distributes Stevia powder, Stevia blend, Stevia leaves and Yerba Mate. All of Steviva's product are all natural and have no calories or carbs. Subscribe to Mind, Body and Spirit is a weekly email publication which covers topics pertaining to a sharp and focused mind, motivation, healthy body and spiritual growth. It's free and you can cancel anytime. Go to steviva.com for more information. Thom's direct email is thom.king@steviva.com.