EO Thrive: Tips from Peter Thomas

By Peter H. Thomas, EO Chairman Emeritus

It is hard to be positive about business when so much of what we hear about these days is negative— rising unemployment, falling revenues and hardship dominate the daily headlines. In my opinion, now is the perfect time to focus on the positive and turn bad news into good news.

The global economic downturn, which has touched all of us in some way, presents a perfect opportunity to do this. While we may be suffering—some more than others—we have a prime opportunity to rethink what’s important and determine the true meaning of success. From there, we can focus on how to best achieve success in our personal or professional lives.

Where do we start? It all starts with the Five Foundations. The Five Foundations have supported me tremendously throughout my life. It is what I called my “operator’s manual,” and serves as the theme in my latest book, Be Great: The Five Foundations of an Extraordinary Life. It’s a collection of stories and advice from a variety of sources who reached their goals by being true to themselves and following the foundations. Here are some of the steps they took to success in work and life:

  • Sticking to your VALUES is critical. Write down the things that are most important to you, and when it’s time to make a decision, take a close look at your values. You will be amazed at how much easier your decision making will be.  
  • FOCUS on your goals. Do not let anything distract you from what you want to achieve. You must do this without compromising your values.
  • VISUALIZE what success looks like. Define what success means to you and have a clear picture of it in your mind. Post that picture to a bulletin board or a computer screen to serve as a constant reminder.
  • No one can do it alone, so turn to those who INSPIRE you. Let your heroes be your mentors by asking yourself, “What would they do?” 
  • Take the time to REFLECT. We are often so busy forging ahead that we don’t take the time to look back and enjoy our wins or learn from our mistakes. Take the time to reflect, and you’ll find success can be more easily achieved. If you feel the pressures of life or business weighing you down, follow the Five Foundations and focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Remember, your success will only be limited by how big you dream.

Peter H. Thomas is a successful Canadian entrepreneur, author, public speaker and educator in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and values-based living. He is also a founding member of EO.

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