Your dentist probably told you the same thing she told me. “If you don’t brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove plaque on a regular basis, one of three things will eventually happen. You’ll get gingivitis … your teeth will decay, rot and fall out … or at the very least, your breath will be so repulsive you’ll eventually realize why you have no friends.”

All three sounded like a bad outcome to me. So I decided that brushing my teeth was a good thing, and at a very young age, I changed my attitude about brushing my teeth.

You might be asking how this story applies to personal development and success.

Here’s how.

Only your best friend will tell you. Much like the plaque that builds up on your teeth causing them to rot and decay, Mental Plaque is building up in and on your mind. The kind of plaque I am referring to is negative thinking (often referred to as stinkin’ thinkin’).

Know the warning signs of Mental Plaque: Like the sort-of invisible stuff that builds up on your teeth, Mental Plaque invades your life in a clandestine way as well. It often appears as negative self-talk, negative people, media messages in the form of radio, nightly news broadcasts and junk on the internet. The challenge is you often don’t realize it’s building up - or that you even have a head full of it - unless a caring friend tells you.

So I just did. And now I’ll tell you, like my caring dentist told me, how to get rid of Mental Plaque, forever.

Brush at least twice a day. Become a student of success. And make it a daily routine.

You brush your teeth everyday, don’t you? You probably take a shower and wash your hair every day. You may even exercise three days a week or more to stay healthy. Yet, so many people let Mental Plaque build up and fog their thinking by neglecting one of the most important assets: Your Mind!

Success habits are like hygiene habits. You should do them daily without thinking about it. When was the last time you went more than two days without brushing your teeth? Exactly! Success habits should naturally be a part of your daily activities.

Here are 11 Success Habits to scrub away your Mental Plaque. And, if performed daily, prevent it from building up on your brain, forever:

  1. Wake up every morning with An Attitude of Gratitude and think about all of the things you have to be thankful for.
  2. Read a chapter from a personal development book every morning upon waking.
  3. Read a chapter from a personal development book every night before bedtime.
  4. Listen to a motivational or inspirational CD while driving your car.
  5. Listen to a personal development program on your iPod while you are exercising.
  6. Sign-up to have inspirational stories or quotes emailed to you everyday.
  7. Keep inspirational pictures and sayings on the walls in your home and office.
  8. Keep motivational reminders that inspire you next to your phone.
  9. Keep Post-It-Notes with your immediate goals where you can see them in your home, office and car.
  10. Invest 10 minutes out of every day to meditate or envision your future successes.
  11. Stay away from Energy Vampires. (See last FYI #67.)

Success and a positive attitude don’t happen in a day. They happen day by day. Start off slowly. Read just one page a day from a book like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, or The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.

I recently spoke to Father Brian, my priest from my church. He shared with me, that he just started investing thirty minutes each night walking on the boardwalk. He said it has done wonders for his attitude, his energy and his mind. He also said, the fresh smell of salt air and the sounds of the ocean help clear his mind, and it allows him to pray without interruptions. Then he continued to say, that his walks help him remove all of the negativity he hears each day. Now remember, this is coming from a priest! Imagine how much junk Jerry Springer has to clear out of his mind every night!

I am certain that if you can spend ten minutes every day in the shower, you can invest ten minutes every day reading or listening to a positive, inspirational message. I challenge you to give it a try this week.

FYI Challenge: For the next 7 days read a page or chapter out of a motivational book.

NEED help? If you don’t know which book to choose, email me with the words READING LIST in the subject line and I will email you my recommended reading list. Type the words DAILY MESSAGE in the subject line and I will register you for the soon-to-be-released Eric Taylor’s Motivational Minute - daily motivational messages delivered to your inbox starting this fall. If you want both just type in BOTH! Here’s the address: Eric@EmpowermentGroup.com.

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of SelfGrowth.com and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.