29/07/2014 11:55 BST | Updated 27/09/2014 06:59 BST

Next Point!

Last year while watching Wimbledon on TV, a well known American tennis player mentioned how, after losing a game, her first thought was 'Next point.' I was rather taken with this attitude/approach. It kind of sums up how I coach - I focus on what's next, rather than what's happened. As you know, we can't change our past, but we certainly can influence our future.

When we set our sights on taking positive action, we are preparing ourselves to become more successful. So much so, some of the most successful people in the developed world, use this tactic in their every waking moment. They tend to not linger in the past, but to stay in the present with a significant nod to the future. On many occasions I've coached senior executives about how they can increase their influencing skills. One way to do this, is to increase your EQ (Emotional Intelligence). There's enough evidence to support the known fact, that It's our EQ that encourages others to support us, not our IQ.

For some reason or other, here in the west, it seems it's easier to think negatively than thinking positively. I guess that's why our culture has a preference for reading/listening to the bad news. Also, why more people are focused on what might go wrong, rather than what might go right. As the CEO of a very successful, London property company said to me, 'Malcolm, most people are like lemmings.' I tend to agree. In my experience, we human beings tend to 'mirror' each other. It's as if we are programmed to be more lemming-like, than unique.

Fact of the matter is, we tend to get more of what we focus on. Our thoughts can determine the outcome of a meeting, or a social engagement. The power of our mind must not be underestimated. In a way, we need to re-train our brain. You might be thinking, 're-train my brain'? Think of it as being in a rut, a bad habit that you are too used to. Many qualified self-help experts tell us it takes 30 days to break a habit. From that, I would suggest it takes 30 days to create a new habit. In fact, having coached for 20 years, many of my clients have used the 30 day technique with great success.

Knowing we have the power to change, for some, is daunting. That's because it means we take full responsibility for what happens to us. We can't blame anyone else. And when we become aware of that, our life takes on a new shape. A shape which we can mould into whatever we like. Now, that's what I'd describe as real self empowerment.

Begin re-training your brain by:

-Inserting anything that's helpful

-Focusing specifically on what you want more of

-Ensuring you spend time with people who lift your spirits

-Learning how to let go of anything superfluous

-deleting anything/anybody that's negative

-Being more mindful

-Increasing your EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

-If in doubt, think 'Next point'