Let’s get to the important stuff. So, yeah, there’s adversity. We know it. We all live it. Challenges are a part of life. Okay, so how did I overcome the many bad experiences and traumas that happened to me? Well, it’s simple. I said, “No more.” Once when I was skiing Ruidoso, the southernmost ski resort in the U.S., I paused on the mountaintop overlooking the rugged New Mexico landscape. I thought, Okay, now this is a point in my life where I’m making a change. I want to set new goals, I want to achieve them, and I’m going to achieve them.” I hit my mind’s reset button that day. I was determined to drive toward a purpose. Before I could tackle goal-setting effectively, I needed to start recovering from blows to my self-esteem delivered by people with ill-intent and well-meaning, but ill-advised friends and family. Until we work on resolving the conflict between who we believe we are versus who other people have told us we are, it’s hard to actualize our goals. What blocks you from achieving your goals? Any limiting or negative beliefs. In my case, I had an ex, who had told me that I’d never amount to anything and that I had no hope of ever becoming an officer in the U.S. Army. Even some of my closest relatives told me when I was a teen that I was destined to be a loser in life. These kind of negative comments seep into our minds, eating away at our self-worth like a computer virus infects your data. You ultimately decide how you are going to respond to what happens in your own life. If you don’t accept that responsibility for your responses, then it’s a lot harder to live a successful and fulfilling life. Why? Because you leave yourself vulnerable to the doubters and the tough times. Instead, let your convictions guide your actions. If you believe in something wholeheartedly, you will get better at it, and your improvement will continue to encourage you to push forward in the direction of your goals and dreams. My life changed its trajectory only after I started writing down my goals. You see, I wasn’t just writing them down to look at them every now and then. The power came from committing them to paper and reading them every single day. I started with just 10 goals. Then I wrote down positive affirmations until I had a journal full of them. My journal took on a life of its own. In my mind, if I did these things, and believed in them, then my dreams would come true. The crazy thing — it worked. The power of suggestion is bigger force than you can imagine. The Blueprint Look at any really successful person. The common denominator is self-belief — even if it’s engineered and you don’t necessarily 100% believe yourself, you’ve got to tell yourself you can do it, whatever it is. When you repeat positive goals and affirmations to yourself over and over again, the mind begins to accept that those things are true. The reality is when life hits you, it can shake your confidence. But self-belief strengthens your resolve to keep on pushing forward. Doubt, on the other hand, is the “sauce of mediocrity.” You can’t afford to marinate in it. Delete the computer virus of excuses. Free your mind to believe. Stay in the fight,  Mark Green