By Mario Strong

As a retired Police Lieutenant for the State of New York I fondly remember my 30+ years of service.  One of my responsibilities as Lt. was to conduct a briefing with my Officers before every tour of duty that I supervised.  During the briefing I would discuss various topics of concern and would always end with the words: Make It Happen.  Saying those three words reminded my Officers that I expected them to fulfill their assigned duties to the best of their ability.  Nothing less would be accepted.

When it comes to taking care of our health and fitness this same principle needs to be applied. We all have to Make It Happen.  If we don’t - who will?  It is your responsibility to protect your health as if your life depended on it – because it does.  One of the key components in achieving radiant health and fitness is believing that you can.

Sadly, many people never realize optimal health and vitality because they just don’t believe in themselves.  How often have you made plans to quit smoking, or start exercising; maybe even improve your diet, just to put it off for another day?  Probably, more often than you realize.  All the knowledge and tools in the world are useless if they are not put to proper use.  Every new day arrives with new opportunities.  So, why not make the best of it?  Start right now by Making It Happen!

There is no power greater than that of a positive thought in action.  Be optimistic with your life. In 1969, I played hooky from school with several friends and traveled from Staten Island to Shea Stadium in Queens to witness the amazing Mets win the World Series against all odds.  The slogan, You Gotta Believe, was amplified that year as spectators proudly held banners and signs to cheer their underdog team on to victory over the Baltimore Orioles.  Being victorious in achieving optimal health and fitness also requires a great deal of belief and positive thinking.

In 1952, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale wrote the book The Power of Positive Thinking. During my high school years I was fortunate enough to come across a copy and eagerly read its contents cover to cover.  The book’s positive message played a key part in my outlook towards life.  Since those early years, I have remained highly motivated, full of confidence, and ready to take on any challenge that has come my way.

You can do the same.  Just take it one step at a time.  The ability to look at each new day as a glorious challenge will help you achieve any goal you so desire.  If you believe that each new day will be better than the last, chances are, it will be.  Believe that you can and you shall. 

One way of Making It Happen is to use visualization techniques.  Sometimes, when I’m in the gym, I’ll take a deep breath and clear my mind of all thoughts.  Then I’ll focus on what I’m about to attempt and tell myself that I can achieve whatever goal that I desire.  With that power of belief I’m always able to Make It Happen.  Or let’s say I’m in Philadelphia and am about to run up the Rocky Steps.  In my mind I’ll hear the theme song Gonna Fly Now and immediately get energized as I explode up the steps while visualizing Rocky running besides me as we both race to the top.  Visualization techniques have not only helped me realize my goals thousands of times but have also helped many others do the same.  When properly used, visualization techniques can help give you a big boost towards not only realizing your short term goals but also lasting health and fitness.  Practice visualization often!

An affirmation or positive statement is another technique that I use to develop a positive attitude.  This simple practice has helped me to realize my own goals in a relatively short amount of time. To record an affirmation you wish to achieve, simply get a blank piece of paper and write down the goals you wish to achieve.  Hang the paper where you can see it daily and repeat your affirmation to yourself at least once a day.  Believe in it and believe in yourself!  Believe that you can and you will.

Your attitude towards life in general is a big factor when it comes to creating a positive attitude. Do you think of yourself as someone who can achieve whatever goal he or she so desires, or do you feel like you’re not able to accomplish much in life?  Are you someone who puts past failures in the trash and looks forward with optimism to the challenges of each new day?  Do you surround yourself with positive people or those who thrive on negativity?  In life we all make mistakes.  The thing is to keep moving forward, to march past the obstacles and mistakes, and to strive and make each new day the best possible.  You’ve got to believe in your course of action. Most important of all, you’ve got to believe in yourself.  If you do not, you are bound to failure. Remember, a key component in achieving optimal health and fitness is to believe in yourself and to be positive in everything you do in life.  When you’re able to do this you’ll be able to succeed and enjoy the many gifts that life has to offer.  Make It Happen!




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