“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Many people think. Surely there is more behind such a vague opening statement? And in actuality there is. There are a million different ways to think about things: “right ways,” “wrong ways,” “good ways,” “bad ways.” What does that have to do with you right now? Well let me help you understand how thinking can change the way you look at things.
As mentioned, thoughts are very complex and a lot of different variables go into them. But to simplify it, we are going to say there are two basic levels. You can have positive thoughts or negative thoughts. I noticed that both types of thought have a large impact on my life, and I would even argue that they affect you as well.
As the quote from Henry Ford above states, you are essentially the product of your thoughts. Meaning thoughts play a large role in your day to day activities. Say you are running a 5k and decide, that no matter what, you are going to run the whole time and finish. Your mind and all of its mysterious power ensures you WILL run the whole time and finish. You may have thoughts such as “I am getting close only a little further, keep pushing” or “I will have plenty of time to rest after I complete this 5k”. Both thoughts are positive and both thoughts inspire you to finish. In essence the more positive you are about finishing that 5k, the more reasons your brain will give you on why you can finish it.
On the contrast, having negative thoughts can have the complete opposite effect on you. Having negative thoughts for the same 5k run would warrant you to stop running and just “take it easy.” Thoughts like “I cannot finish this race, I am not good enough” or “My legs are tired, my back is sore, and I am out of breath”. Negative thoughts are like cancer, they produce more negativity, spread quickly, and are dangerous if left unchecked. Once in your head, you need to work towards recognizing them in order to break the negative thought cycle.
So how can you break these thoughts and become more positive? Well you do it the same way you learn to do anything else. PRACTICE! You cannot simply just change these thoughts overnight. You need to practice being positive every single day. Whether it’s by writing positive quotes, listening to positive music, meditation, or most importantly hanging around positive people. You need to identify the negative thoughts inside your head and crush them with the power of positivity. Pay attention to how your thoughts affect your actions and take notes if you need to (I know I needed to at first). There are an infinite amount of ways that you can work on positive thinking, and I highly suggest trying a wide variety of them. It helps you determine what works for you, because, as we all know, what works for you may not work for somebody else. But once you begin to acknowledge the fact that you have these thoughts, as well as, control over these thoughts you can change them. The best, and also my favorite, part about all this is that it can be related to every situation you will ever go through in life!
So remember to keep those negative thoughts in check! Find a way that works best for you and stick to it. The method I currently use to accomplish this is by paying attention to my thoughts to ensure they are positive. I have been practicing and am still experimenting with different methods myself. If I feel as if I cannot accomplish something I work on determining the root cause. If I determine the cause is negative thoughts, I work to change my outlook and mindset. For me, this is still a work in progress with a long ways to go, but I know it will be well worth it. So in closing I just want to ask you: What kind of mindset do you want to have in your life?
James A. Lovejoy
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