Skill in Life: Think It and Become It


When I grew up in San Francisco, my Catholic parish was located on the western edge of the city. Compared with other parishes in the city, we were at the bottom of every metric — number of families, Sunday attendance, social participation and collections.

One year we got a new priest who, on his first Sunday, said that we were the “finest, greatest and best” parish in San Francisco. A lie? Or basic psychology? He repeated it at every service, meeting, religious or social gathering. Almost immediately, change overcame the congregation.

People started believing this message. Slowly, attitudes changed. Attendance rose. Participation in religious and social functions blossomed. The proclamation ”We are the finest, the greatest, the best,’’ spread from one man, to the congregation, to the community. Soon, by every metric, we became, in fact, the finest, the greatest and the best parish in San Francisco. Mind and imagination rule!

William James, who is considered the father of American psychology, opined, ”People by and large become what they think about themselves.’’ From childhood on, my life experiences and observations keep me believing this statement. Mind and imagination rule!

Dental sales reps, for sure, become what they think of themselves. I have worked with many sales professionals and observed many more. Most approach their job with an attitude of ”That’s just the way I am.’’ They lack the conviction that they can use their mind to develop significant changes in attitude and performance. If what you think of yourself is that you are just the way you are, so will you be. That may not be all bad in itself, but it limits both the opportunity and the drive to grow as a sales rep.

On the contrary, if you think of yourself as an ever improving rep, then you will constantly improve your work and your outcomes. You will spend more time doing homework, understanding the product and preparing winning presentations.

When you think of yourself as ”able to get by,’’ then you will get by. But when you think of yourself as an excellent rep, you will do the thoughtful and hard work that will drive you to excellence. You will become what you think of yourself — better, a winner, excellent. Mind and imagination rule!


Your powerful mind dictates the kind of sales professional that you will be. So, as said by James, and as demonstrated by my priest, start talking to yourself as a huge success. Raise your standards. Think of yourself as an outstanding rep. Mind and imagination rule!

No less a success than singer, songwriter and actress, Lady Gaga who applied her mental forces to jump from an ordinary singer to one of the bestselling music artists of her time, a winner of six Grammy Awards and a recipient of one Golden Globe Award, by repeating a personal mantra. During an interview with Goalcast, Lady Gaga mused on the mindset that helped her to focus on achieving her ultimate goal. She said, “You repeat it to yourself every day. ’Music is my life… I’m going to make a number-one record with number one hits’… You’re saying a lie over and over again, and then, one day, the lie is true.”1 She became what she thought of herself. Mind and imagination rule!

The priest, the psychologist and the entertainer, all suggest that you can make yourself the very best possible rep. So, what do you think of yourself? A so-so rep or number one? Your choice. You will become what you think of yourself. Mind and imagination rule!


  1. Goalcast. Lady Gaga—The Lie is True (Inspirational Interview). Available at: Accessed January 16, 2018.
From MENTOR. March 2018;9(3): 8-9.

Add a Comment

Dave Misiak Joins Young Innovations as Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Glidewell Dental to Present 2nd Annual Educational Symposium Near Washington, D.C.
American Dental Association Announces Promotion of Catherine Mills