Vail Valley: Avoid atrophy for greater success |

Vail Valley: Avoid atrophy for greater success

My family has recently gone through a series of health issues, from broken bones to surgeries. And as broken bones begin the healing process or while bodies mend themselves through rest, there is a certain amount of atrophy or muscle loss that comes with that recovery time.

In the pursuit of new business, sustaining customers, finding a job, or building new relationships it is easy to allow our mental and emotional muscles to experience a little atrophy as well. This happens when we slow down or even stop the pursuit of our goals and dreams.

We make excuses and blame the economy, the government, the media, and anyone else we can point a finger towards. What we need to remember is that when we point a finger at anyone else, there are usually three fingers pointing directly back at us.

Many of the e-mails and correspondence I receive, or clients I coach, ask me how they can stay motivated, inspired, and upbeat to avoid that atrophy, even in the face of adversity. For me, my faith has a lot to do with it. But I also encourage people to surrounding themselves with positive people, books and materials, and then practice all the time, just like an athlete or actor/actress would.

When you are not with a customer or in a sales situation, call up friends and associates and practice a new presentation using GoToMeeting, Skype, or Webex. Engage others who are interviewing for work and ask if you can help role-play or prepare them for their next interview. As much as this helps them, it also keeps you sharp and on top of your game. Even if your online presentation is nothing more than a conversation with a friend, it will help you stay current with useful technologies.

Whether you are employed, in transition, or you own a business, here are five ways to avoid atrophy and improve your chances for success:

• Look for the good in everything – Too often people look for the bad like there is a reward for it.

• Increase activity levels – Resolve to do more each day and watch your mental muscles grow.

• Find the most positive person you know and seek a weekly mentoring call or coffee meeting.

• Practice, practice, practice, so when you find yourself in front of a prospective client or employer you are on the very top of your game

• Give your time to charitable organizations – There is no better way to become inspired than by being an inspiration and help to others, and if you have some time now, why not?

Let me know how you plan on working out your mind and what you do to avoid atrophy while improving your chances of success at and make it a better than good week!

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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