FARGO — One of my favorite leadership authors is Jon Gordon. He tells the story of 19 years ago on New Year’s Day when he was facing the greatest fear and uncertainty of his life. He had been unexpectedly fired two weeks earlier with only two weeks of severance, no insurance for his two young children and only two months of savings in the bank. He and his wife had just invested every dollar they had and even took out a second mortgage on their home and put $20,000 on a credit card to open a restaurant that would not turn a profit for a year.

What makes the difference when fear and uncertainty come crashing in on us? Jon Gordon says this, “The antidote to fear is trust, and it is only a thought away.”

My dad died when I was a year old. I was raised by my mom. She used to tell me, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are probably right!” What was she teaching me? The difference between success and failure starts with how you think.

I remember my mom saying this, “You know, Jon, I’ve noticed something. Two different people can go through the same exact set of difficult circumstances, but they end up in very different places. One comes out bitter and the circumstances limit and defeat them for years. The other person is able to move forward and comes out better.” What makes the difference? The road you take, and your destination, always starts with how you think.

I have been blessed to hang out with highly successful people and I have learned that “thinking” is a discipline; it is something we can learn about, practice and get better at. And I have discovered that successful people think differently and quite frankly think “better” than other people do. The more successful people are, the better thinkers they are.

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As we kick off a new year and a new decade, have you recognized how important your thoughts are; how important how you think is? What are you doing to develop how you think? We exercise and pay attention to nutrition to develop our physical bodies. What are we doing to develop our thinking?

Since this applies to people of all ages, I have an idea to help you grow your thinking. As a founding member of the John Maxwell Team I have access to a discount rate, only $99, to an online course by John C. Maxwell called, “How Successful People Think.” You can learn more and register at www.live2lead.com/fargo.

I challenge you to take this course to develop and deepen your thinking and enjoy the benefits the rest of your life. The online course includes 13 modules as Maxwell teaches 11 types of thinking that will change your life.

Go to www.live2lead.com/fargo today. The $99 price is for a limited time. Perhaps you have a child or grandchild who would benefit from this course? Maybe you should order this course for some people who report to you at work? Maybe you and your spouse need to spur on growth in each other as you take the course together. Change your thinking and change your future!