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Chris Lytle

By: Chris Lytle, Content Developer

Sarah and I are on a two-hour drive to a vacation cottage we’ve rented in Michigan.

Our three cats are along for the ride.

We’re making great time on I-94.

Until . . .


We hit the mother of all potholes. We watch as the tire pressure indicator drops from 32 to 24 to 4 to zero psi in a few seconds.

The first thing I say to her is, “Well, this is inconvenient.”

Because, that’s all it is.

“Inconvenient” is a fine way to describe things you don’t like, but which aren’t disastrous.

We hit a pothole. There is no collision. There are no injuries.

I learned to think this way from the late Larry Wilson, the sales and leadership guru.

I was watching one of his videos and he said,

“Personal power is having access to and control over the energies and emotions required to optimize and maximize your performance.”

Then, he told his audience,

“Most people never think about what they think about. Have you ever thought about that?”

What a question. It stopped me in my tracks.

Too often, we think about the event. In this case, the flat tire.

Then, we think about how we feel.

But, what causes the feeling is what we think about the event. And, then, what we say about the event to ourselves.

I could have thought and said, “Well, that ruins the first day of our vacation.” I might have gotten mad about having a flat tire.

But, saying: “This is inconvenient” put things in perspective and I felt neutral about the flat tire. I wasn’t happy about it, but I wasn’t mad either.

Truth is, we have a late model Cadillac ATS. We can drive up to another 50 miles on a flat tire.

So, we drive to a GMC dealership in Benton Harbor and pay $175 for a new tire.

No biggie. Just a minor inconvenience.

Larry Wilson taught me to think about things like flat tires, late flights and cancelled appointments as . . .


I believe that idea has added years to my life. Because I’ve learned to think about what I think about, I don’t get angry about the small stuff anymore.

Start thinking about what you think about.

It’s pretty important.

Chris Lytle is the author of The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve and The Accidental Sales Manager: How to Take Control and Lead Your Team to Record Profits. Because sales managers are pulled in so many directions, Chris built this resource for you.

Reprinted by permission

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