Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 24, 2014

Mental Wellness: Making strides toward personal growth

Recently, I’ve been really into business and marketing podcasts. A handful of entrepreneurs have captivated my attention. They have grown their personal achievements, family time, and finances.

As I listen to these inspirational people it comes across as so easy, yet for most of us, we stay on our given path for most of our lives. Successful life shifters recognize life patterns and adapt to create an alternate future.


You are the sum

Over and over research shows that you were the sum of your five closest friends. They are the people whom you spend the most amount of time with, thus, you are most influenced. Also, we tend to mirror the emotions of people that we are around. As a result, we’ll usually achieve goals at a similar rate to our closest peers. Successful life shifters seek to increase the sum of their peers.


You can’t fail

In trying a life change, most people fear failure. Yet, successful life changers expect to fail, but they also expect to try again. Their mindset is not black and white. Instead, planning for success and giving it an attempt, then shifting focus is their improvement model. Successful life shifters reach goals by changing and shifting, rather than trying to do it right the first time. They are not paralyzed by perfection.


Thinking is overvalued

I can be a perfectionist, so I have to really challenge my fear of failure. Planning, thinking, and evaluating, are all words that get in the way of doing. At the core of what a successful life shifter does is that they actually do more. Planning and evaluation are essential parts of improving our quality, however, when they are the predominant “action” it stalls our personal progress.

Whether it is as a parent, spouse, business partner, or as a human, we all dream of shifting aspects of our lives. Successful life shifters build the sum of their peers, expect to fail, and take action before everything is in order. In seeking personal growth it’s important to build knowledge, but sometimes turning off the podcast and taking action is the best thing we can do to allow our mindset to truly begin to shift.

Joseph R. Sanok is a licensed counselor at Mental Wellness Counseling in Traverse City. He also blogs about personal growth and business at

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