On Thanksgiving Day my daughter, Dannielle and I did 11 miles together. This was our last long training run in preparation for the Kiawah half-marathon in a couple of weeks. I’m struggling with some injuries so this run was a little painful. I struggled but finished the 11 miles. After running over 40 half- marathons since 2008, I’ve learned this last long training run is critical. It’s not as important for stamina as it is for the belief it builds. I have to believe I can run a half-marathon. If I can run 11 miles, my mind and body know it can do 13.1 miles.
In 1903 James Allen wrote the book As a Man Thinketh. Allen advises, “Each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances.” Hall of Fame Speaker, author and radio personality, Earl Nightingale in his book, The Strangest Secret said the secret to success is, “We become what we think about. If we think positive thoughts we get positive results. If we think negative thoughts we get negative results.” In Mark 9:23 of the Bible Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Working with young men as a high school coach, the most important part of their development is getting them to believe in themselves and their team mates. Coach Joe does a great job working on our players physical and strategic abilities through his drills and teaching. I work on their mind and heart. We see our players not just as they are but as they can be. The boys are capable of doing everything coach Joe teaches if they have the right thinking. It is essential for them to think positive and believe they can.
It took most of the season for our freshman goal keeper to develop his skills and most important the belief in himself. In the State Tournament he played the best games of his young career. Our team captains had the courage to dream high. Their dream was to win a 3rd consecutive State Championship. It took the challenges and adversity of a tough regular season schedule to change their thinking so they truly believed winning the State Championship was possible. In the Championship game, after regulation and 2 overtimes we were tied. We lost 3-4 in the penalty kick shootout. It was a huge disappointment to get so close and fall short. We couldn’t have gotten that close without our Team Captains’ and players belief it was possible.
After healing from her surgery, this week Lynnda met with her oncologist. She will need to take a hormone blocker for the next five years as a precaution. Cancer cells thrive on estrogen. She won’t need chemotherapy or radiation. Surgery removed the cancer. The margins and PET scan are clear. Annual breast exams will still be required. The probability of reoccurrence is the same as having her entire breast removed. Lynnda kept a positive attitude through the entire process. The doctor did a great job of explaining everything. He said sometimes people who are anxious elect to do four weeks of radiation therapy even if it only lowers the risk of reoccurrence from the current 8% to 4%. This can reduce their anxiety. He was surprised by Lynnda’s positive attitude. Radiation wasn’t needed to help her.
Everything starts with how we think. Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or think you can’t you’re right.” We get to choose our attitude and how we think. I prefer to think we can. In 2018 Shale Crescent USA presented on a main stage panel at the World Petrochemcial Conference in Houston, Texas. A spot reserved for CEOs of large companies and respected thought leaders. The main stage can’t be bought. I told Mark, our chairman, “There is no way a small non-profit organization from Marietta, Ohio can get on Main Stage.” Mark said, “I believe in you.” He changed my thinking from we can’t to how can we. Ultimately through a unique series of events and persistence, we did.
The world has a serious plastic waste problem. A successful business friend from Africa told me when going home, he takes a water taxi from the airport across a bay to get downtown. Plastic waste is floating on the water. His boat had to stop twice while crossing the bay to clean plastic out of the propellers. My friend wants to change this. At Shale Crescent USA we work with a number of companies in the region who are turning plastic waste into useful products. They are taking tons of “waste” every hour out of the environment. Shale Crescent USA is helping them to expand. We set up a meeting next week between my friend and a company we know who has the technology to help him clean up the “waste”.
Some people think the only way to solve the plastic waste problem is to ban plastic. The problem is, this can’t be done without killing millions of people and it doesn’t deal with existing waste. Have you been to a hospital lately? Medical equipment, computers, gowns, gloves, masks and things like heart valves and knees are plastic. The successful companies we work with who turn plastic waste into products think differently. They don’t consider used plastic as waste. They think of it as a valuable commodity for feedstock, raw materials or fuel. “Waste” goes to a landfill and costs money to dispose. “Feedstock” is valuable creating possibilities and solutions. Changing how we think makes the difference.
The purpose of all these examples is to let you know, you control your success or failure through your thinking. You control your thoughts. Are yours positive or negative. Do you believe you can or do you believe you can’t? Choose success!
Greg Kozera, [email protected] is Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.