How To Be A Shark And Not A Goldfish

Goldfish wait to be fed. Sharks go out and find food.Every day you have to choose whether you are going to be a shark or a goldfish—whether you are going to wait to be fed or whether you are going to find food. Each day you make this choice with your beliefs, thoughts, and actions. The choice is yours.

Goldfish may give up, but sharks don’t. You believe you can influence your situation and your outcome by your positive thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Yes, it’s true that you can’t control the events in your life. You can’t control the fact that you were hit hard by a wave of change. You can’t control the fact that free food has dried up. You can’t control the actions of others. But you can control your positive thoughts and your positive responses to these events and challenges, and in turn this will determine the outcome.

This principle is summed up by the Positive Shark Formula: Events (E) + Positive Response (P) = Outcome (O).

Bad events happen to both goldfish and sharks, but their response is different. The fact is, bad events happen to everyone. Everyone is tested in the ocean. Life is going to deal everyone waves of adversity and change, but what matters most is how you respond. Everyone will experience waves of change throughout life. Some waves will be small and others will be so powerful they turn your world upside down. But regardless of the size of the wave, the key is how you face it. You can make a wave of change your enemy by resisting it, which is like trying to swim against it. Or you can embrace the change, make it your friend, learn from it, and ride the wave.

You trust that adversity is not the end, but the beginning of something better and greater. You tell yourself a positive story. Instead of defining your life as a horror story you define it as an inspirational tale. And instead of seeing yourself as a victim you assume the role of a fighter and an overcomer. You believe everything happens for a reason and in the midst of your challenge, like the one you are facing now, you ask the right questions. You ask:

  • What can I learn from this experience?
  • How can I grow wiser, stronger and better because of it?
  • What opportunities does it present?
  • What do I want?
  • What positive actions do I need to take?”

Knowing the answers is not important right now. The key is to keep these questions in the back of your mind and seek the answers. Trust that the answers will be revealed to you as you embrace change as something that will lead to good in the future. Most of us embark on a quest to find our destiny. But rather it is through challenges and change that our destiny finds us. It is during these times that we slow down, press the pause button of life, and ask the important questions I just shared with you.It’s almost as if the wave of change gives us the opportunity to start over.It’s as if the wave of change washed everything away and now you get a fresh start and the opportunity to decide what you really, really want. You ask the most important questions and this leads to life-changing answers, actions, and positive change.

Adversity is not the end but the beginning of something better. If you think the best days are behind you, they are. If you think the best days are ahead of you, they are. Accept the fresh start you have been given. Ride the wave of change.

Knowing this is not enough. You have to get to the part where knowing how to think and act must be what you really think and do. It is more than embracing change and responding to negativity with a positive perspective. It is also about staying positive in the chorus of negativity. There are many who will focus on what is impossible, what is negative and talk about scarcity. They will talk about the lack of everything and that you are not good enough to succeed. The answer to this is the power of belief.You have to believe in yourself, in your ability and believe that there is abundance. Your belief must be greater than all the negativity and doubt. You have to choose faith over fear. Faith is positive. Fear is negative. Your faith and belief in a positive future leads to powerful actions today. You need to believe in a world of abundance rather than a world of scarcity. And when you fail to get or do something, dig deep into yourself and bring this belief back into life. That will keep you going.

Expect success and it will find you. The only one who can limit your possibilities is you. Don’t let your past determine your future. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, be optimistic about where you are going.

Positive attitude must be enhanced by focus and action. There is no substitute to hard work.  Focus on what you truly want, then tune out the distractions. You can learn to do both. It is just a skill. You just need practice and you need to commit to it. The other thing you need to do is not to settle for being average, not to be satisfied with merely surviving. Each day you keep learning, growing and improving. You learn from others and model their success. Every day you choose to focus, work hard and not settle is a day that will lead to the best life that is possible.

So, the key lessons are:

  • Waves of change are constant in the ocean of life.
  • We need to embrace these waves of change and ride them by looking at how we can learn, grow and improve from them.
  • You need to stay positive despite all negativity around you.
  • You need to work hard, focus on what you really want and continue improving yourself without settling for being average.

– notes and reflections from the book, ” The Shark And The Goldfish” by Jon Gordon


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