We all do it. Every New Year, men and women, young and old, make pledges to change their ways. We resolve to spend more time with our family, to be more patient with our coworkers, to save more money or break bad habits. By far, the most popular is the resolution to lose weight. No one wants to start a program only to falter a few weeks later. But what if this year, your resolution is to be successful at improving your health? And what if, at the same time, the path you take helps you in other areas of your life, like your business or your management style? Then you must be reading the same book I am this New Year, Think and Grow Thin by Charles D’Angelo.
D’Angelo’s name is quickly becoming synonymous with success. He succeeded almost a decade ago by losing 160 pounds, paired that feat with a degree in psychology and has since created a system that changes the mindset of the person following his program. D’Angelo has some pretty high-powered success stories, including Missouri’s own Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Just like business books, there is no shortage of publications on health or diet. The difference with Think and Grow Thin—and why we in the business world can draw from it—is what D’Angelo calls his core message: mastering your own mindset. Think and Grow Thin focuses on helping others become healthier and physically better. But it also is about embracing a ‘successful’ attitude. I’m struck with how so much of what D’Angelo teaches can be used by anyone who wants to be successful each day. Mastering a mindset toward success, D’Angelo says, means staying consistent whether it is in business, in health or in relationships. Consistency builds trust and trust leads to belief. It is that belief that then influences behavior.
For D’Angelo, the first step toward taking control of yourself and mastering your mindset is to make goals singed with a burning desire as strong as the basic need of shelter and water. Success means outlining, then achieving, your three R’s: your road map, your results and your reasons. Your road map is your plan (business or diet), which outlines how you will go about achieving your goals. Results are those goals; and for companies or entrepreneurs, they, too, are usually outlined in those all-essential business plans. But whether your target is weight loss or monetary gain, D’Angelo writes, your reasons behind wanting success may be the most important part of this three-part equation and must be as strong as the goals themselves.
In full disclosure, I must state for the record that I have followed Charles’ blueprint for healthy living and have seen remarkable difference in the way I feel and look. And I must underscore that it’s not an easy recipe to follow, but one thing is clear: His formula to achieve best results is remarkably correct and true.
By quoting entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn, D’Angelo hits the nail on its head: Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. In 2012, we can resolve to do everything from dropping several pants’ sizes to jump-starting a recession-riddled business plan. But, unless we change our mindset toward success by establishing a vision big enough for all to see, neither goal can be achieved. Charles D’Angelo’s personal story and insight in Think and Grow Thin may be geared toward healthful living, but look at it also for its business prowess and you, too, might be using it in 2012 to breathe new, successful life into your own business and management skills. This is a book for all seasons, yet it offers a way to start the year on the right foot.
Benjamin Ola. Akande is Dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology and chief of corporate partnerships at Webster University. Follow him on Twitter: @Benjamin_Akande