I love Seth Godin’s quote from The Dip: “If you’re trying to succeed in a job, a relationship, or at a task, you’re either moving forwardfalling behind, or standing still. There are only three choices.”

This may be hard for you to read, but too many of you are standing still or falling behind.  Let’s talk about work.

The numbers back me up.  According to the latest Gallup State of the American Workplace report, “Only 33% of employees are engaged in their job.”

You read that correctly; two-thirds of each organization are neither engaged in their roles nor in the potential success of the organization.

And it’s no one’s fault but yours.

Before you get self-righteous on me, I want you to understand that it is a choice. As I said, with the numbers behind me, too many of you choose to be apathetic in your lives and careers.

But as I always tell people, don’t come to me with a problem; come to me with solutions.

Here are three helpful ways to start moving and catch up. These lessons apply to your personal and professional life.

1: Learn to say NO.

I don’t think a day goes by without me noticing someone doing something they hate solely because they are unable to say no.

There are many reasons for this, including a desire to be polite, not hurt people’s feelings, and not make them think you are unwilling to help or support them.

Here’s a suggestion to make saying no easier for you.  Just say it and don’t defend it.  “No.” Is a complete sentence.  Don’t offer up an apology for it; don’t offer up a lie or an excuse.  Just say no.

If you are overruled and forced to do something you shouldn’t be doing, keep trying. Eventually, they’ll hear you.

You know what they say: Nothing good comes easy.

2: Learn to celebrate victories (no matter how small.)

This lesson is near and dear to my heart, as it took me a LONG time to learn.  I, like you, tend to set large goals and only used to celebrate when I hit them.

John Kotter, the Change Management master, even lists “generate short-term wins” as a step in his world-class process to implement change in your organization.

Now take that to heart and learn to celebrate small victories (tiny victories even) as they lead to your change from stagnant to prosperous.

Trust me, you’ll feel silly at first.  You’ll wonder why you are happy achieving a baby step rather than the marathon’s end-tape.

People who desire to lose twenty pounds and only celebrate at pound twenty are much less likely to keep the weight off.  They’ve created a goal, not a system.

People who want to get out of debt and are overwhelmed should celebrate the small victory of starting to budget their money and deciding to be more deliberate.  Again, don’t focus on the goal; focus on the system you create.

If you want a promotion or a new job, learn how to start achieving (i.e., showing up) at work and celebrate the small victories that will lead you to the success you crave.

3: Quit focusing on what you don’t have and start focusing on what you DO have.

One sure way to consistently lose in life is to focus on what others have that you don’t.

Spending money you don’t have to impress people you don’t know (or possibly like) is a recipe for disaster.

Feeling bitter because you know you are “better” than your manager/boss and thereby being apathetic (read disengaged) at work to “show them” is a recipe for disaster.  It’s also highly passive-aggressive.  And it’s lame.

Gratitude for what we have is completely lacking in society today.  Are you grateful for what you have or bitter for what you don’t?

If you answered “bitter,” I’d challenge you to get off your ass and start moving forward.

You rarely get anywhere when you are in neutral.