The Secret Attitude of Super-Stars.

Giving buyers more value than they pay for is the most effective way to create a delightfully memorable buying experience. To illustrate this point more clearly, think about the opposite of this. Think about the last time you felt ripped off.

No one wants to be taken advantage of.

It's a bad feeling. Even if you might be wrong about what is going on.

Chances are you might have received a perfectly logical explanation from the person you were doing business with about why you shouldn't be unhappy.

Heck, even the fine print might show that you got everything you paid for -- and more. But you aren't feeling happy. You aren't delighted.

You feel cheated. And that feeling-- regardless of how logical it might not be -- is how you will remember doing business with that company.

The exact opposite is also true.

When you deliver more value than people pay for it seems to defy logic. Especially for the consumer.

It can be something as simple as paying for one item and getting another for free. Maybe it's a surprise discount you only find out about at the cash register.

But giving doesn't just have to be discounts and money.

The most powerful forms of giving have nothing to do with money at all. They have to do with the deeply personal emotional aspects of human nature -- dignity, belief, moral support, a kind word unexpected.

Giving is easy when all you need to do is pull out your checkbook and sign your name. But giving gets a little more sticky when you have to stop and invest emotion and time into someone else. When you have to love somebody who might not deserve it at the time.

But that emotional investment is what giving is all about. It's why giving is so difficult.

Giving requires an attitude shift.

It's not something you do. It's how you see the world around you.

And it means you're grateful.

Gratitude is the foundation for having a giving mindset.

We struggle with giving because we don't take the time to think about how much we really have.

It takes startling reminders from those around us to help us appreciate how much we have to give.

Almost since the day he was born there was nothing that Clay wanted to do more than to become a professional fisherman.

From the time he was five years, he would spend hours each day with a rod and reel practicing the perfect cast. Fishing was Clay's world. After school. On the weekend. Anytime he could get away, he was in the water trying to catch something.

And his practice seemed to pay off. He could cast with pinpoint accuracy. He could do it all -- overhanded, sidearm, even flip-and-pitch. Those who knew Clay best would brag that he could cast a 1/4-ounce metal fishing lure into Styrofoam coffee cup from 50 feet away. His skills were impressive.

And at the age of 15, Clay started entering professional fishing tournaments. He quickly became known for his fiercely competitive nature. Over the next 9 years, he would fish in more than 200 bass tournaments. He would win 25 of those events and was close to winning several dozen more.

Which is a staggering win percentage. Especially considering how Clay was born.

Clay Dyer was born on a Tuesday in late May of 1978. The doctors weren't sure if he would live long. He was born without any legs, no left arm, and only a partial arm attached to his right shoulder.

But while others considered him severely handicapped, Clay thought he had a pretty good life.

"I knew I had a heart, a soul, and a mind, which is what really makes a human being," Dyer remarked. "Anything else you have is a bonus."

That attitude was what enabled Clay to be a high performer. And fishing wasn't the only competitive sport that he tried to master.

Growing up, Clay would play baseball with his neighborhood friends. All the way up through junior high school, he would play first base and swing a bat. He would use a designated runner to help run the bases. Though needing someone to run for him meant that he could never play baseball professionally.

As a professional bass fisherman, his physical limitations seemed to pose less of a challenge. Even though he weighs just under 90 pounds and is just about 40 inches tall, he can drive a boat, cast out a pinpoint fishing line, bait a hook, tie knots, and wrangle a fighting bass into the boat. And be a winner doing it.

"God wanted me to be successful at fishing," he tells audiences who come to hear him speak. "I'm glad I was made this way. I was born to be a superstar."

Sure he had a relentless determination to compete. And he put in the outrageous amounts of effort that it took to be a super-star.

Gratitude enabled him to give more.

Being grateful for what he could do enabled him to maximize his capabilities. Instead of sulking and complaining, he was thankful for what he could do. For the opportunities that he did have.

And that focus allowed him to be incredibly successful. The same exact principle applies to you and your situation

Gratefulness isn't just something you practice each year while holding hands with family members around a carved turkey and cranberry dish.

It's an attitude that you can develop into a super-star mentality. Here are a few ways to get better at being grateful.

  • Look for the positive aspects to any situation. -- It is hard to be thankful when all you see is misery and sadness. To start being grateful, start forcing yourself to look for the happy moments in life -- to look for what is good and noble and inspiring. What you set out to find, you'll usually end up discovering. Imagine how easy it is to be grateful when everything around you is good.
  • Stop running around. Slow it down. -- The busyness of life has us so worried and frantic that we rarely pause long enough to see things as they really are -- to see how good we really have it. You need to start stopping. Whether it is meditation or physical exercise or just time alone reading a book, you have to slow down long enough to let life emerge clearly.
  • Make yourself be thoughtful until it's natural. -- When being selfish comes automatically, you have to force yourself to do good things for other people. Send a handwritten note to someone else. Set a daily reminder to say one nice thing to someone around you. Create a calendar event that reminds you to think before you speak. You've already trained yourself to think of "me first". Now it's time to change that.
  • Listen to what other people are going through. -- It only takes a story or two to start to realize that you aren't the only one with problems. In fact, you probably have it pretty darn good compared to what other people are going through. You might be late to work, but you probably have clean water and a belly full of food. And you aren't dying of an incurable disease. It's OK to be glad you're doing alright.
  • Say "Thank You" and "I'm Sorry" more often. -- Saying "Thank You" is mental -- in the good way. Just saying the words put you in a better mood. It's the same way when you apologize. Your brain kicks into grateful mode and starts noticing all the good things going on that align with you achieving your goal. Teach yourself to say the words. It's a "gateway drug" to the real thing.
  • Laugh at yourself. -- Taking life too seriously is a big reason why we aren't more grateful. Sometimes just laughing at our own silliness is the breakthrough perspective that enables us to find a new way to be successful. You can be agressive all you want, but seeing the absurdity of what happens to you is a powerful way to put yourself in a position to take advantage of each opportunity.
  • Write it all down. Read it back. -- There is something about putting awesome things on paper. It kind of makes the experience official. At least that is how our brains work. And what better way to stay motivated than to reread previous triumphs. By writing it down you provide a buffer between your fear and reality. It's all there on paper.

It's not activity that comes naturally. You don't magically become grateful.

Maybe that's why we don't understand how giving can make our personal interactions more inspired.

Gratitude is the key to giving more than people deserve.

It's not you going through the motions. It's an attitude.

An attitude that will leave those who do business with you breathless.

Startled at your audacity for exceeding expectations.