A friend of mine is big on daily affirmations and positive self-talk. He spends a few minutes every morning looking in a mirror and repeating, "I'm great. I'm awesome. I'm a superstar."

He says his daily affirmations work for him, but his approach has always left me a little flat. Why? There's no action involved in his affirmations. He's great...but what is he going to do with that greatness?

Achievement is based on specific actions, not on general thoughts. The same is true of how we treat people: to others, we are what we do, not what we think.

And most importantly, genuine "success" means different things to different people. For some, it's money; for others, it's power and influence; for others, it's the strength of relationships...your definition of "success" is all that matters.

That's why I like the following list of affirmations a lot better. It comes from Mareo McCracken, a global growth consultant and revenue leader at Axis Medical Technologies. (You might consider following him on LinkedIn; he often takes an unusual approach to overcoming the challenges most of us face.)

Here's Mareo:

The key driver of self-awareness is what we tell ourselves about our past, present, and future. Our self-talk becomes our personal stories. We believe what we tell ourselves. Self-talk combined with matching action is the No. 1 way to change your life.

While I am no guru, I know that these are the stories you must tell yourself:

1. "I treat others the way they want to be treated."

By treating others the way they want to be treated, my own personal fulfillment grows. I give respect and provide service. I show love, care, compassion, and consideration. I help others feel appreciated. I let others know they are important, that they matter, and that they are valuable. By valuing others, my confidence increases.

2. "I am ever grateful."

Gratitude allows happiness to come into my life. I choose to show appreciation for what I have, whom I know, what I can learn, and whom I can help. I define and talk about the things I am grateful for on a daily basis. I know that the No. 1 way for me to be happy is to choose to be grateful. The more thanks I show, the more my confidence increases.

3. "I am accountable."

I am reliable. I am responsible. I never blame others. I never make excuses. I take ownership of my successes as well as my mistakes. I know that my own performance is a direct result of what I think and the actions I take. By taking full responsibility daily, my confidence increases.

4. "I believe in myself."

When I fail, I learn. My failures are temporary because my perseverance is permanent. I push forward at all times because I know I can succeed. As I continually believe in myself, my confidence increases.

5. "I have high standards."

I do not let mediocrity enter my life. I am honest. I do not apologize for striving for excellence. My quality of life is a reflection of my high standards. I rise and lift others with me. By living up to my personal high standards, my confidence increases.

6. "I follow my heart."

Time is precious, and everyone has something that they are passionate about. I do what makes me and those around me happy. The cost of not following my heart is too great, I am going to live life with no regrets. As I follow my heart, my confidence increases.

7. "I trust my gut."

I value my intuition, since it is based on my subconscious mind and conscious mind working in harmony. I know what is true, and I know what I want to be true. I trust my gut feelings, my inner voice. As I trust myself, my confidence increases.

8. "I am resilient."

I have overcome many challenges and will overcome many more. The times that are the toughest are the times I learn the most. I never back down. I work hard and I push through. As I act in a resilient manner, my confidence increases.

9. "I help people."

I matter because I make a difference. While I may get tired, I am not weary. I share myself and love to serve. By making a difference, my confidence increases.

If we tell ourselves our personal truth enough, it manifests into reality. Our reality and our actions will always match the story we believe.