The Mysterious Link Between Success & Stress

By Brian Tracy

Successful people are those who continually think and talk about the things they want. Unsuccessful people are those who continually think and talk about the things they don’t want. When you think and talk about the things you want, you are calm, positive, purposeful and self-directed.

When you talk about the things you don’t want, you are angry, frustrated, disappointed, and depressed. And the choice is always up to you.

Make a List!

There is an old saying, “Feeling listless? Make a list!”  The starting point of eliminating stress in your life is for you to make a list of goals, of the things you want to accomplish in the next 12-24 months. The very act of making a list focuses your mind on the things you want and takes it immediately off of anything else. You cannot write down your goals and think of something else at the same time. One cancels out the other.

Organize your goals in order to get stress relief. Arrange them in order of priority and pick your most important goal. On a separate piece of paper, write your most important goal at the top of the page and then make a list of 10-20 things that you could do right now to begin moving toward your goal. Then, select one item on that list and start on it immediately.

This little exercise is so powerful that it will amaze you. The very act of writing out your goals, organizing them by priority, selecting your most important goal, making a plan to achieve it and taking action on your plan will cause your negative stress to disappear and will fill your life with the kind of positive stress that energizes you and drives you forward.

Focus and Concentration

2015-11-18-pixabay-dart-444201_640The antidote to stress is contained in the two words, “Focus” and “Concentration.”  When you focus on the most important thing that you could possibly be doing and concentrate all of your time and energy on doing that one thing and getting it completed, all your stress evaporates.

All your positive energy begins to work in a forward direction.

Here’s my simple formula for generating positive stress:  It is for you to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, and to stay with it until it is 100% complete.

In fact, sustained, concentrated effort on a high value task releases energy, enthusiasm and motivation in the direction of achieving that task or goal.

When you discipline yourself to work single-mindedly on a high value task and you stay at the task until it is complete, you actually get an endorphin “rush” that energizes you and gives you an overall sense of well-being and personal power.

Successful people have learned this little trick to keep themselves operating at the very peak of their potential. They insist on working on big tasks that really make a difference. As a result, their mental, emotional and physical energies are all harmonized and they feel terrific about themselves. They are positive, motivated and creative in everything they do.

Look for the Good

You turn stress into success by looking for the good in every situation. An attitude of positive expectations, constantly expecting something good or beneficial, even a valuable lesson, to be contained in every situation you face, is a major source of positive energy. And because of the Law of Substitution, you can’t be looking into a situation for something good and simultaneously feel negative for any reason.

The major forms of negative stress in your life revolve around blame, anger, resentment, envy, jealousy and other negative emotions that preoccupy the great majority of mankind. The wonderful discovery is that you can short-circuit or de-wire all these emotions by refusing to blame anyone for anything and instead accepting complete responsibility for everything you are and everything that happens to you. Repeat the words, “I am responsible, I am responsible” over and over to yourself whenever you face any problem or difficulty at all.

These words give you a tremendous sense of personal power and control. They make you feel that you are on top of your life and the situation rather than having the situation determining how you think and feel.

Don’t Worry!

Many people suffer stress because of worry. Worry is a sustained form of fear caused by indecision. Indecisiveness in any situation will translate into negative stress that trips you up and impairs your effectiveness. It will actually cause large parts of your brain to shut down and stop working for you in the attainment of your goals.

The very best technique I have ever learned to deal with worry is what one of my students called the “Worry Buster.”  The worry buster consists of four simple steps that you can use when you face any difficulty or problem at all that is bothering you.

First, define the worry situation or problem clearly, preferably in writing. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On one side of the piece of paper, write out a clear definition of exactly why it is you are worrying. Proper diagnosis is 50% of the cure. When you have a clear definition of exactly the situation that is causing you to experience worry or stress, you almost always begin to see steps that you could take immediately to resolve the problem.

The second step in the worry buster formula is for you to determine the worst possible outcome of your problem or situation. What is the very worst that could possibly happen?  Whatever it is, write it down on the right hand column next to your definition of the problem.

Most worry is caused by resistance, a refusal to face or to deal with the worst thing that could possibly occur if your worry situation were to happen. Once you have defined the worst possible outcome of the situation, much of your stress will disappear, and your mind will become calm and constructive again.

The third step in this formula is for you to resolve to accept the worst, should it occur. Just say to yourself, “Well, if it does happen, I’ll learn to live with it.”  Your decision to accept the worst, should it occur, eliminates the worry situation as a source of stress from your life.

The fourth step in the worry buster formula is for you to begin immediately to do everything you possibly can to make sure that the worst does not occur. Now you will begin thinking positively and creatively, looking for different things you can do, and actions you can take to minimize the worst possible outcome.

The only real cure for worry is always systematic, purposeful action on the achievement of a goal or the resolution of a problem. Get so busy working on your goals or your solutions that you simply don’t have time to worry at all. And suddenly, all the negative stress caused by the worry is transformed into positive stress that drives you forward toward achieving something you really want.

Turn Negative to Positive

Turning positive stress into negative stress is no mystery. Negative stress is caused by having no goals, procrastinating and putting off work on high value tasks, blaming other people for your problems, and worry about things that are vaguely defined or about things you can’t control anyway.

You turn negative stress into positive stress by setting clear, written goals and organizing them by priority. You organize every hour of every day so that you are always working on high value tasks. You motivate yourself to overcome procrastination by selecting the most valuable thing you could possibly be doing, and by setting in on that one task and staying with it until it is done.

You eliminate the negative stress caused by worry by defining the worst possible thing that could happen and then getting to work to minimize the worst possible outcome.

Overall, you become a high performance person by controlling your inner dialogue, by interpreting events to yourself in a positive way, and by always accepting complete responsibility for everything you are and everything that happens to you.

That is why I encourage you to read this very powerful letter MaryEllen wrote right here

This single letter can help save your life and that of a loved one.

2015-08-06 Brian TracyBrian Tracy is a best-selling author and world renowned success and business coach.

MaryEllen About MaryEllen

MaryEllen Tribby has helped thousands of people start a new business or grow their existing ones. MaryEllen is the Founder and CEO of, the world’s leading newsletter and website for the empowerment of the working mom. Prior to founding WMO, MaryEllen was Publisher & CEO of Early to Rise and President of Weiss Research where she added millions to their bottom lines in just a few months. She also ran divisions at Forbes, Times Mirror Magazines, and Crain’s New York Business. MaryEllen is the best-selling author of Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business into a Reality and co-author (with Michael Masterson) of Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions For Your Business.