Nikk Zorbas Media shot_12Perhaps you’ve heard a person talk about someone who “has a good head on his shoulders,” or who “has her act together.” What they really mean is, that person has a mindset for success.

Your mindset is the most important factor that influences and determines your success in both your personal and professional lives.  A change in mindset, or the way you frame your experiences, can take you from despair to happiness and from failure to success and ultimate fulfillment.

Think of your mindset as your personal navigation system. Every single day you have a choice as to how to set its course. You have the power to steer toward who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you want to attract in life. In the legendary boxing movie Rocky, we see the protagonist transition from loser to champ, from champ to loser, and then back up again. Rocky’s wins and losses have less to do with his physical ability than his mindset, and the film chronicles his journey to reset himself back to the correct mental outlook.

Recently I met a woman with the most amazing mindset. Margarita’s enthusiasm for life is off the charts, her energy is dynamic. Her smiles are contagious and continuous, and she is grateful for everybody and everything in her life. Anytime you ask how she’s doing, she answers with, “I’m good, very good!”  Every word that comes out of her mouth is inspiring, and every life she touches is for the better after even just a brief encounter.

It would be an understatement to say that Margarita leaves a lasting impression on everybody she meets. And no one would ever suspect that Margarita suffers from breast cancer which has spread into Stage 4 bone cancer. She also was born with a mild form of Down syndrome, and reads lips to compensate for some hearing loss.

Margarita’s oncologist, Dr. Sarriera, and her other doctors are baffled and amazed by her progress. They can’t believe how healthy she acts and looks, with no weight loss or hair loss from her medication and chemotherapy.  They call her a miracle because other patients with similar conditions are bedridden and not nearly as vibrant.  Dr. Sarriera says that when many patients hear the word cancer, it’s as if their lives stop in their minds. Margarita’s physicians conclude she does so well because instead of focusing on her sickness, she focuses on all the good and beauty in life.  As I often say, where the mind goes the body will follow.

Perhaps it’s a blessing that Margarita doesn’t truly understand what cancer really is. I think of how bumble bees are said to baffle scientists because ergonomically it’s impossible for them to fly. Thank goodness no told that to the bees!  Margarita looks forward to her morning coffee, her daily walks, and all the simple things in life.  Even though she can’t read, she loves to go to the library. She appreciates looking at books with beautiful photos of flowers and happy people. At the end of each day, Margarita marks the calendar with a dot, a symbol of having lived another full day. Margarita’s mindset is never steered to look at situations in a negative way, and that’s her secret weapon.  Her personal navigation system is set toward the positive…permanently!

The lesson here is not just for people battling cancer, it’s for all of us. Focus on the good in life, and don’t give attention to what does not serve us. Stress, fear, complaining, worry, and doubt are learned behaviors that do us absolutely no good, and if we we’re able to learn them, we can certainly unlearn them.

It’s time to take control of your mindset, the doorway to your destiny.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Focus on how goals can be accomplished, not on what obstacles could be in the way.
  2. At the end of the day, identify and write down ten things that went right.
  3. Learn to adapt to life’s shifting opportunities and roll with the punches. If you fall down seven times, get up eight!
  4. Visualize the benefits of pursuing and achieving your goals. Keep those images alive in your mind.
  5. Discipline your mindset to stop complaining, no matter how small or big.  When you complain you fall out of balance.
  6. Never overcomplicate life… keep it simple. Legendary actor Cary Grant said it best: “My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between I occupy myself as best as I can.”
  7. Condition your mind to entertain positive thoughts. Fill your world with people and things that make you feel good, and avoid anything and anybody that projects negativity.
  8. Put this all to the test in the next 24 hours. For any situation that arises, immediately go into positive mindset mode, or as I like to call it, “Margarita mode.” If someone calls you with what seems to be a problem or bad news, bring out your A game and focus on solutions.

The bottom line is, your mindset is responsible for everything around you and what you have attracted into your life. It’s up to you to develop the discipline to direct it to a higher path. After all, that’s why we’re here. Life is too short, so live every moment!

To get my free report, “Nikk’s Top Tips for Stayin’ Positive,” go to

Nikkos (Nikk) Zorbas is a renowned performance coach, bestselling author and professional speaker. He loves to help business’ and individuals maximize their potential. He splits his time between Las Vegas and Mesquite. His monthly column appears the first Monday of every month on For more information, visit his website at