208-376-1701 bryan@bryanyager.com

First a quote: “People don’t determine their future. They determine their habits, which determine their future.” – John C. Maxwell
I begin this MMM missive with a question, hoping you will answer honestly in the privacy of your own mind; “Did you wake up this morning in a “bad mood?”  Before I continue, a brief detour.


For almost 28 years now, my wife and I have enjoyed being the parents of two incredible young people. While there were certainly moments, times, and phases that were more difficult than others, we have been fortunate to appreciate every phase of parenthood.  Now, as “empty nesters” my wife and I are able to experience our grown children as “adult friends” and we’re loving this new phase too.

We are discussing world events, news, books, sharing political views, valuing their perspectives, and in general, experiencing their company on a new level. Teaching, learning, and perspective-sharing is now a two-way street.  While we will always be their parents, we now see ourselves more as advisers, consultants, and most importantly to me, adult friends we love.

On our last trip to Colorado, our daughter suggested a book she thought I might like.  She knows me well. I did enjoy the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. The sub-title is: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results.
I downloaded the audible version and Becky and I listened to most of it on our 13-hour drive back to Boise. I recommend the book to anyone struggling to break bad habits or create new ones. Worth the read and the inspiration for this week’s missive.

And now, before continuing with today’s primary thought, a second question for you to answer privately in your own mind; “Are you living your life on purpose, are you living your life intentionally?”

Returning to the first question about waking up in a bad mood; what was your answer? If you woke up in a bad mood this morning, the next question becomes; “Why did you wake up in a bad mood?”  Did you have a reason? Or was it something more detrimental to your relationships, career, success, and overall happiness in life?

Following is my “power question” in today’s missive: “How many people do you know who wake up in a bad mood, not because they have a reason, but because waking up in a bad mood has become a habit?” Please know there is a huge difference! I might consider not sleeping at night as a possible reason; most people would likely agree that having a car not start as a reason to be a tad grumpy, but waking up in a  bad mood because it has become a habit is a reason for concern, and a reason to change.

John Maxwell’s quote is insightful, full of wisdom and perhaps even life changing. I would, however, suggest changing one word to make it even better.  It has been my observation that too few people “determine” their most important habits. Rather, they simply allow habits to form without purpose or intentional thought.

Who goes to bed one night and thinks, “Starting tomorrow, I’ll grow a habit to wake up grumpy every morning? Or, I think I’ll develop poor eating habits so that someday I can put my health at risk?” I submit many of our most destructive habits are accidental, not predetermined, or intentional.

Someone once taught me that “attitude” is nothing more than a person’s “habit pattern response to life.”  When waking up in a bad mood becomes a habit, that habit is reflected in your attitudes and approach to life. Attitude matters! Is your attitude accidental or intentional? What accidental habits need your attention this week, starting tomorrow.

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Here are several ideas for your consideration:

  • Do an honest self-assessment; which of your habits are accidental? Which are negative?
  • Ask people who love you, and care about you, “What habits are limiting my success and/or happiness.”
  • Be purposeful about starting one new “intentional thinking habit” this week.
  • Identify where “negativity as a habit” is getting in your way of a more positive life.
  • Identify where you can grow a positive attitude more intentionally.
  • Chose to wake up in a good mood more often. You may need to “fake it” for a while. 😊
  • Add Atomic Habits by James Clear, or The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to your reading list.

How will you love, live, or lead more intentionally this week?

Do you know anyone who might benefit from these weekly missives? If so, please forward this link.

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Bryan Yager

“Expanding Your Capacity for Success?

Bonus Quotes:

  • “Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” – Benjamin Disraeli
  • “The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.” – Voltaire
  • “Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do.” ―William Makepeace Thackeray
  • “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Gandhi
  • “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” – Albert Einstein
  • “It is good people who make good places.” – Anna Sewell
  • “Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” – James Allen
  • “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “Two things define you; your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ―John C. Maxwell