“X” Is For X-Factor

By: D. A. Slinkard

The final article of 2022 is here, and our letter is “X” and our word is “X-Factor.” The definition of this word is: “A variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.” We all need to have an X-factor in our life which is going to be that wow factor that helps put us over the top. Instead, most of us find reasons as to why we cannot do something, and we allow these reasons to become our limitations in life.

We are all going to have limitations. We are all going to have things in our life that we might not be proud of or things that we consider embarrassing, but we cannot allow these things to bring us down. Too often we look for reasons so we can give in and then give up, but we need to have a different mentality. We need to learn to have a fighter’s mentality.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to some elementary school age children, and one point I wanted to drive home about limitations is this: “Limitations only become limitations when we allow the limitations to become limitations.” This is a mouthful, but the validity of the statement holds so much weight.

I think about the people throughout history who were able to overcome obstacles on their way to success. I think about Helen Keller and what she was able to achieve while by being blind and deaf. How many people would have given up in life? I think about Erik Weihenmayer who went blind at the age of 13 but overcame this limitation to become a national champion wrestler; a middle school teacher and was able to become the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest in May of 2001. How many people would have given up?

I would love to say to you that when faced with adversity I would not run, but the reality is we never know how we will respond until we are put into a difficult situation. We need to decide now what our X-factor is going to be, and what separates the winners from the whiners comes down to their attitude. Do you find yourself having a whining attitude or a winning attitude? This year is basically over, and it is time today that we begin working on getting rid of the whiny attitude and exchange it for the winning approach.


I coach a junior varsity basketball team, and I believe the way we practice is exactly the way we will play during the game. So if we practice haphazardly, then when it comes to gametime we will not be prepared to execute well. We, you and I, only have just a few days remaining in 2022, and we need to use the remaining days to tone up and tune in to how we are going to attack the year 2023. We do not want to adopt the mindset of waiting until next year gets here. We need to start right now. We do not need to wait until tomorrow, we do not need to wait until tonight, we do not need to wait five minutes from now; we need to start, and we need to do it right now.

Now, we need to look back at this previous year and examine where our shortcomings were throughout the previous months. What were things that went well for you that you would like to continue with in 2023, and what were some things you would like to change moving into 2023? Once we can identify the positives and the negatives, then we are better able to achieve greater success in the new year. We need to figure out what we need to do more of while figuring out what we need to do less of, such as no more whining or complaining!

These articles are meant to be used as a tool to help those people wanting to make changes in their life and it begins with our mental approach to our daily living. Eventually, the changed mentality will become a way of life, and in doing so, we will be able to have a greater impact on our daily living. I do not have to consciously think about having the right attitude as it comes naturally to me (now), but there was a time the right attitude was a foreign concept to me. It is time to make these articles become our X-factor in 2023.

By: D. A. Slinkard

D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at da.slinkard@gmail.com