Over the last few years, I have read many books on successful people and on the Law of Attraction. The main point in all of them is that you are what you think. In fact, Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, considers our ability to control our thoughts and direct them to whatever ends we desire the greatest Divine gift of all. So why do so few of us make use of such an awesome gift?
The biggest lie that you tell yourself is that you can’t control your thoughts. I know that is a really strong statement, and it is the truth. When I listen to others talk, I often hear, “I just can’t help it, these thoughts enter my head and I can’t get them out.” As long as you believe this lie, you will be held captive by your thoughts and imprisoned in an unpleasant reality.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., states “The average mind thinks 60,000 thoughts a day, 90% being the same thought as the day before. Our tormentor today is ourselves left over from yesterday. Protect your thinking; it’s all you have that is yours. Others cannot invade it without your permission. They can take away your possessions, your loved ones and your liberty, but they can never take away your thinking. You choose that.”
Protecting your thinking and taking responsibility for your thoughts does take effort. It requires consistent attention to what is floating through your mind and evaluation of whether or not each thought is helping you be who you want to be or to get where you want to go. It involves training your mind – disciplining your thoughts. I love the analogy Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist monk, uses to describe the process disciplining our thinking. He compares training our minds to training a puppy. If you have had the opportunity to train a puppy, you know that it can be a frustrating, push your patience to the limit kind of experience. Just getting the puppy’s attention is often a challenge. Then once you have their attention if you tell them to sit and show them what to do, they will stay seated for approximately a nanosecond. Then they are off, running about and getting into all types of mischief. It takes patience and persistence to teach them “come”, “sit” and “stay”. It does not happen overnight. If you stick with it, the rewards are huge.
So it is with training your mind. You must first recognize when you are thinking negative thoughts. This involves paying attention to what goes through your mind. Are the thoughts you are thinking in each moment supporting you or sabotaging you? As soon as you begin to think negative thoughts, you have to say “stop” and choose what you want to think about instead. Like the overactive puppy, your mind will remain on the positive thought momentarily and then quickly return to the negative thoughts. It is your responsibility to keep directing your thoughts back to where you want them to be. . . . to where they best serve you and support you in being who you want to be and getting you where you want to go. It takes vigilance, patience and persistence. It does not happen overnight. If you stick with it, the rewards are huge.
Tips for harnessing this power resource:
1. Pay attention to your thoughts. This task is simple, but not easy. Most people have no awareness of the thoughts that are constantly running through their mind. Pay attention and notice which ones serve your desires and goals and which ones do not.
2. Change the channel on the thoughts that do not support your goals. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in the negative thoughts that keep you from your desired goals. Redirect your thinking to something positive, either about the situation or about something completely different. Get out of the negative as soon as you can.
3. Think the thoughts and make the decisions that support your goals. Ask yourself if someone who has what you desire to do, be or have would think these thoughts. For example, “How would a top producer think about this situation?” or “What would someone who has successfully completed a marathon think about this?”
4. Be persistent. As stated above, it takes time and effort to recognize negative thoughts and redirect away from them. If you keep challenging the negative thoughts and redirecting to the positive, it gets easier to do and pretty soon, you will go to the positive very quickly.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article.