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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Thought Tweet #989

by Rick Baker
On May 1, 2014

Thought Tweet #989 Only tiny creatures perceive molehills as mountains.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Moles are small creatures and they make small hills.

If you perceive a molehill to be a mountain then you must be much smaller than a mole...you must be a tiny creature indeed. 


Attitude: Creating Positive Attitude | Humour | Optimism & Pessimism | Thought Tweets

Shall We Fail or Shall We Succeed?

by Rick Baker
On Apr 7, 2014

Some people buy in when other people suggest things will fail.

I choose to reject this buying into others' failure mindsets.

Some people doubt other people when they say things will succeed.

I choose to reject this buying into others' failure mindsets.

Wait...there's a pattern developing here...here's a pattern taking shape around the rejection of failure mindsets.

I don't think the pattern has been induced by rampant optimism. I am sure I didn't get both snippets for the optimism gene.

I don't think the pattern has been induced by personal biases...on the other hand, isn't that the exactly what a sufferer of Confirmation Bias or Overconfidence Effect would think!

In any event, I am familiar with both sides of the coin. I've been critical of ideas, both my ideas and other people's ideas. And, I have been enthused by ideas, both my ideas and other people's ideas. Like everyone who has lived and spent some time thinking while that happened, I have familiarity with a wide range of mindsets on the depressing-pessimistic-to-manic-optimistic continuum. 

My comfort zone is operating in the mid-range of that broad continuum. 

I see my ideas and views, whether they are positive or negative vis-a-vis other's views, as realistic.

So, when people make it clear they feel I am overly optimistic I choose to reject their opinion and I stick with my own.


Shall we fail or shall we succeed?

Shall we buy in when others tell us we will fail?

Shall we buy in when others tell us we will succeed? 

It is all a matter of feelings, thought, and choice.


Law of Attraction - some go way too far with that thinking.

Abundance versus Scarcity mindsets - tough to see value in joining the Scarcity side.

Control your ANTs and Influence People

by Rick Baker
On Mar 25, 2014

Dr Daniel Amen identified a problem that impairs people's happiness and success in life.

He called the problem "ANTs"...Automatic Negative Thoughts. 


Control of Automatic Negative Thoughts is a way to improve the quality of one's life1

Control of Automatic Negative Thoughts is also a way to expand one's ability to Influence other people.


"Summary of A.N.T. Species2:

  1. "Always" thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, every one, every time, everything.
  2. Focusing on the negative: only seeing the bad in a situation.
  3. Fortune telling: predicting the worst possible outcome to a situation.
  4. Mind reading3: believing that you know what another person is thinking, even though they haven't told you.
  5. Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever questioning them.
  6. Guilt beatings: thinking in words like "should, must, ought or have to."
  7. Labeling: attaching a negative label to yourself or to someone else.
  8. Personalization: innocuous events are taken to have personal meaning.
  9. Blame: blaming someone else for your own problems."



  1. The process of controlling ANTs is a method [say, cognitive behavioural therapy method] of moving from pessimism toward optimism.
  2. Source: AHHA Self-Help Articles Collection  link 
  3. Mind reading: An important example is jumping to conclusions about other people's Intentions. Another important example of jumping to conclusions is Attribution Bias. 

"In psychology, an attribution bias or attributional bias is a cognitive bias that refers to the systematic errors made when people evaluate and/or try to find reasons for their own and others' behaviors. People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately mirror reality. Rather than operating as objective perceivers, people are prone to perceptual errors that lead to biased interpretations of their social world."


Influencing | Optimism & Pessimism | Personalities @ Work

Thought Tweet #955

by Rick Baker
On Mar 14, 2014

Thought Tweet #955 Take care that cost-cutting & cost-controlling don't neuter your success-focused efforts.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

When it comes to business, I've always favoured growing revenue and gross margin over controlling and cutting costs.


Often, people make the wrong cost-cuts and introduce the wrong cost-controls when times are tough.

Which reminds me...

"Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties."



Optimism & Pessimism | Thought Tweets

Fear of Failure

by Rick Baker
On Mar 4, 2014

I recently read an article posted at the Engineering Leadership LinkedIn Group.

In the article, the author stated fear of failure is something like a bad heritage from our ancestors”.

I shared the following thoughts...

What an interesting viewpoint…genetic predisposition to fear failure…

Certainly we are born with the ‘ability to fear’. [We see evidence of that when newborns respond to loud noises.]

But, are we born with a predisposition to ‘fear failure’?

I mean, are we genetically wired to fear failure?

Or, do we learn to fear failure?

To the extent we accept we learn to fear failure we can be confident we can reverse that learning and learn to not fear failure.

To the extent we accept we are hard-wired to fear failure we are less confident about our ability to overcome the fear of failure.


I prefer to believe we are born with the ability to fear and our reactions to life experiences determine the role fear plays in our lives.

I believe about 25% of people are predisposed to be natural-born optimists, 25% of people are predisposed to be natural-born pessimists, and the remaining 50% are predisposed to be middle-of-the-road optimist-pessimists. I also believe those who are not natural-born optimists can increase their level of optimism if they choose to work at it.

If our experiences have caused us to fear failure then we can remedy that if we want to and are prepared to work at it. To remove fear of failure we must first take steps to understand the specifics about our fears of failure, which may be quite different than the fears of failure experienced by others. We cannot fix our overall fear of failure so we must isolate each specific fear of failure and work on one at a time. When we work on a single fear of failure, we need to take baby steps of action aimed in the direction of the failure we fear. 

As an example, consider the fear of failing at Public Speaking.

Many people fear public speaking because they, for one reason or another, believe they will fail when they 'public speak'. They believe their public-speaking failure will be accompanied by negatives such as criticism or ridicule and those negatives will lead to embarrassment or loss of stature or some other form of pain. To overcome this fear of failure, the person needs to experience a small success tied to performing a small act of speaking in public. This first step can be done very easily. Here's how: take the person to lunch and ask a simple question...any simple question will do...for example, you can ask "What do you think of the weather?" When the person answers the question, bring it to his or her attention that he or she just public spoke without experiencing any fear or any failure. Compliment the person on his or her public speaking success. Then progress the public-speaking activity slowly...building on that first, small, positive, successful step.

NOTE: There is no need to send the fearful person to a public-speaking course. In fact, that would be a mistake, a particularly damaging mistake if it is done early in the process of overcoming the fear. To overcome fear of failure, people need to experience small doses of exposure to the feared task and experience small successful actions. This is especially important during the early steps of change...when sensitivities will be running high. And, to maximize your ability to help - lighten it up...use your positive personality...and a little properly placed humour will guide attention in constructive directions and help reduce negative feelings such as anxiety.

Thought Tweet #946

by Rick Baker
On Mar 3, 2014

Thought Tweet #946 Small stuff is like a sponge. If you sweat over it long enough it becomes so big & heavy it drags you under.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Nothing beats fear of failure when it comes to causing people to sweat the small stuff. 

Fear of Failure...one of the 6 Fears identified by Napoleon Hill in his classic 'Think and Grow Rich', (1937).


Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.