Yesterday, in talking to a market analyst renowned for his bearish outlook, he said to me, "Sometimes I wish I wasn't always right, but this industry is headed down the tubes."

I wasn't necessarily surprised to hear his take on the industry but, given the price levels the market has been experiencing for the last 18 months or so, his confidence in the industry's demise seems hard to justify.

The following quotes are two of my favorites: "Motivation triggers luck" -- Mike Wallace; and "Sometimes success is due less to ability than to zeal." -- Charles Buxton. Their message is succinct but powerful -- attitude matters.

We've all heard it 100 times -- the people you associate with have a profound effect on your mindset and achievement. Yet, the irony of many of life's greatest truths is that while we understand them in theory we usually have immense difficulty putting them into practice.

In my life, I've had coaches who expected greatness and those who anticipated failure, and they were usually proven right. I've had bosses who believed the organization was meant to accomplish something special, and those who hoped the status quo was sufficient. I've had friends who made me feel better about life, and friends who made me question my own abilities.

Most of us are fortunate to have spouses and family who are truly supportive, believe in our abilities and who provide the foundation for any success. Generally, the really toxic people we associate with tend to be those with whom we choose to spend time.

Associating with negative people effectively brings you down to their level, just as associating with positive people lifts you up. The reason it's so important to avoid negative people is that negativism is so powerful. Associating with negative people has a way of killing dreams. Minimize your contact with them.

More importantly, determine which people make a positive contribution to your life and you spend time with them. If you spend time with the people who not only accept you as you are but challenge you to be the best you can be, you'll find success comes much more easily.