Steve Ziemke Says Morning Affirmations, Gratitude Key to His Business Success

man meditating beach

Busy CEOs often fit the stereotype of being overworked and stressed. A jam-packed schedule and to-do list might be the recipe for short-term gains, but for experienced executives like Gulf Coast Western’s Executive Vice President Steve Ziemke, a more positive approach leads to long-term success. “I totally believe in positive thinking and the application of the power it has in daily life,” he told Ideamensch.

A fan of traveling, the outdoors, and personal improvement, Ziemke is no stranger to mindfulness mantras, meditation, and gratitude exercises. These aren’t out-there trends reserved for the metaphysical, either: Research suggests mindful business leaders are more successful, profitable, and balanced. Ziemke shares his personal mindfulness practices and how he applies them to his high-profile executive career.

Steve Ziemke Explains the Power of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged in the moment. While it’s caught on as a trendy way to start the day, Steve Ziemke does mindfulness exercises as part of his daily routine. “My typical day begins with listening to affirmations relating to wealth, gratitude, and positive statements,” he said. “I start off with the money affirmations like, ‘I am successful and money comes to me,’ because I think that’s a mindset instead of trying to struggle and think like, ‘Oh, I can’t afford this,’ or, ‘I’m not doing as well.’ So that statement always is, ‘I amthis and that.’”

Gratitude is just as important to Ziemke, as a positive mindset and continuing to be successful is a result of feeling very blessed and to be grateful for so much.  “I listen to an amazing gratitude session on YouTube in the morning, where at the end of it I am in such a state of thankfulness which I believe breeds success,” Ziemke says.

For Steve Ziemke, these phrases are a nonnegotiable part of his morning routine. But he acknowledges that it isn’t for everyone. “It drives my wife crazy. Her mind is going too fast to even let those things sink in. She doesn’t know how I do that,” he explains. “But I sit there, and I’ll do that while I’m stretching on my foam roller and getting my day going. I think it’s a good way to start the day.”

Still, he believes there’s something to regular mindfulness exercises. “If you keep telling your mind something, it doesn’t know what reality is or what the facts are. And so, to your benefit, if you’re telling your mind something, it’s going to force you to change or do something different,” Steve Ziemke says.

This might seem like a passing mental health trend, but Ziemke is onto something. Mindfulness exercises are gaining traction as a way to combat negative thought spirals and anxiety — and scientific research backs this up. While less than 2% of the population does mindfulness mantras regularly, several studies have found that they can relieve stress, reduce pain perception, dampen anxiety, and even manage hypertension.

Some studies also found that mindfulness changes the brain, which is something Ziemke discovered through regular practice. “Even when things are negative, or there seems to be no outcome that could be positive, I continue to say not to worry as things will work out. I listen to morning positive affirmations and try to live this through daily life,” he explained.

Applying Mindfulness and Gratitude to Business

Steve Ziemke credits his regular mindfulness exercises for his positive outlook, sense of gratitude, and can-do attitude. While these exercises have made him a better human being, he acknowledges how they made him a more effective executive and leader at work.

For Ziemke, mindset has so much to do with business acumen and success. “I feel that my successful career in sales at Gulf Coast Western is due to being positive throughout the day and believing in the Law of Attraction to expect results and success,” he said.

Not only do these exercises help Steve Ziemke visualize and reach his goals, but they also support his mental resilience. “Life is crazy sometimes, and when I feel overwhelmed, I step back and take some deep breaths and look at the issues,” he shared “Whatever I deal with, I look at it positively, and it all works out.”

But Ziemke knows that mindfulness alone isn’t enough to train his brain. He encourages business leaders to stay physically active to keep their minds sharp. That’s why Ziemke does CrossFit classes first thing in the morning. “I feel these activities begin my day and will provide a positive mental state and energy throughout the day,” he says. In fact, Ziemke credits his career success to this physical and mental fortitude. “It has helped me continue my success at Gulf Coast Western, and to get and stay in physical and mental shape,” he says.

Gratitude and Mindfulness as the Cornerstones of Success

Steve Ziemke believes mindfulness and gratitude have had a profound impact on his life outlook and career. “I have always been a positive person and believe the glass is half full. The more positive I am, the more positivity I attract,” he said.

While an individual’s nature is an important ingredient for positivity, nurture also matters — and that often comes down to healthy daily habits. “I think that’s what has made me successful, is just being so fortunate and acknowledging how grateful I am for everything,” Ziemke adds. He believes training his brain to focus on the positive, even in the face of adversity and stress, is the key to true accomplishment as a leader. “That’s what breeds success. The ability to keep moving forward,” he concludes.