Imagine you’re in one of my EyeCoach workshops and I’m up front with a hat in hand. I say, “Inside this hat are 100 slips of paper. On each is an adjective. Each adjective describes an emotion, behavior or trait. Some are positive, like exuberant. Some are negative, like mean.

I stand in front of you with the hat and have you pull out one slip of paper. Whatever word is on it is the way you agree to be for the rest of the day. 

Are you hoping you’ll pull something like exuberant or mean? I doubt that you’re actually pulling for mean. C’mon, what would be the upside of that? For anyone you encounter? For you? 

Stop. Think about what just happened in your head. Why were you hoping for exuberant and not mean? Acknowledge that and stand a little taller.

Now think about when you woke up this morning. Did you make a conscious decision about how you would be during the day? You didn’t? Why not? So, you just let circumstances dictate your behavior today? 

How incredible would it be if you, literally, decide for yourself how you would be at the start of each day? How would it change your life? How would it change the way you approach things? How would it affect the people in your life, both personally and professionally?

Are you smiling right now? Do you feel powerful?

OK, so how do we go about actually doing this?

Go to the hat!

Get a hat (or something that will hold slips of paper) and some paper. Cut it into 50 strips. On each, write an adjective. Here are some of mine: 

Adaptable, Affectionate, Amiable, Amusing, Approachable, Bright, Calm, Caring, Compassionate, Confident, Conscientious, Considerate, Courteous, Determined, Diligent, Dynamic, Empathetic, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Exuberant, Friendly, Funny, Generous, Gentle, Gracious, Grateful, Gregarious, Happy, Helpful, Humorous, Inspiring, Intelligent, Kind, Loving, Modest, Nice, Passionate, Patient, Polite, Practical, Rational, Reliable, Resourceful, Sensible, Sincere, Sociable, Thoughtful, Understanding, Warm, Witty ...  (unless you were pulling to be mean earlier, there’s no reason to write down any negative adjectives).

Of course, you can use your own adjectives (please email yours to me, I’d love to see them!) Take these slips of paper and throw them into the hat. Put it someplace you walk by during your morning (perhaps near the coffee maker?) Before you leave the house each day, go to the hat and pull a slip of paper.  Acknowledge that this is how you will be today. Bring the paper with you. At the end of the day, put it back in the hat and think about how successful you were at being that adjective.

Were you 100 percent? (Which by the way is very hard to do.) What happened that threw you off your game plan? Think about that and how you’d handle it if it ever comes up again. Why? Because it will. 

Tomorrow morning (and every morning, thereafter), go to the hat and do it all again.

You’ll find, over time, that you’re actually training yourself to be the person you were meant to be. You’ll discover that new solutions to old challenges and problems will arise. You’ll uncover incredible potential. And, if you’re ever in doubt, you know what to do, right?

Go to the hat!


Robert Bell has trained optical salespeople for over 30 years and has created The EyeCoach Selling System specifically for ECPs. An inspirational and entertaining speaker, his workshop “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Selling” is highly coveted. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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