Have you ever given any thought as to just how powerful your thoughts are? Most people never do because of the fact that their thoughts aren’t something they can reach out and grab a hold of. Most people believe that because of the fact that their thoughts occur in the privacy of their own mind, that they have no bearing on the reality of their outer life.
As a result of this, many people greatly underestimate the power of their thoughts and thus never bother to learn how to control and focus their thoughts towards getting what they really want.
But the mind is an interesting place… it’s a lot like a plot of land. If you don’t make a proactive effort to plant and to nurture the seeds which will bring forth the kinds of plants you want, you’ll end up with a lot of things that you don’t want.
Most people’s minds are full of negative and disempowering thoughts, not because they’ve chosen these thoughts, but because they’ve neglected to choose more empowering ones.
And where did these negative thoughts come from? Just look to the contents of the previous chapter and it becomes very clear. Your thoughts are a direct result of your past experiences, education and conditioning.
And it’s these thoughts which influence your beliefs about how the world works, and those beliefs affect your interactions with the world. These interactions include: your relationships, your efforts to earn money and build wealth, your eating habits, your physical activities, and hundreds of other things which produce the results that make up your lifestyle.
Considering this, it’s probably a good idea to give a second thought to just how important your thoughts are. Just imagine what kind of results you could produce in your life if you could begin to choose different thoughts that would build different beliefs about how the world works. Beliefs which would inspire different actions and get different results.
Results that you REALLY want.
And how can you choose thoughts which will lead to results that you really want? You begin by choosing thoughts which are consistent with what you really want. Now in case you believe you’re doing this already, here’s something to think about:
Most people have a much stronger idea of what they DON”T want, than what they do want. Just ask anyone what they really want from their job, their relationships, their financial life and their health. Chances are, they’ll rattle off a lot of things that that they don’t want.
This is because they’re always thinking about what they don’t want. These thoughts are what influence their beliefs about how the world works. These beliefs affect their actions and those actions produce results which are consistent with the seeds which led to those actions: their thoughts.
Now, here’s a question to ask yourself:
What kinds of results are you going to continue to get in your life if your thinking never changes? All you have to do is look at the results you’re getting, and there’s your answer.
If you’re ready to change this, then let’s look at how your thoughts are produced and what you can do to begin to change them.
First of all, there are three kinds of thoughts: thought pictures (visual), “spoken” thought (auditory) ,and thoughts that you “act out” in your head (tactile).
Picture an elephant…that’s a visual thought.
Read these words without speaking them aloud…that’s an auditory thought.
Picture yourself driving your car…that’s a tactile thought.
These are all thoughts which influence your external behaviors: the things you notice most easily, the words you speak, and the actions you take. These are all behaviors which can be changed by choosing different visual, auditory and tactile thoughts.
How is this possible?
It begins with understanding that the brain is a physical body part. There’s nothing magical or spiritual about the brain or it’s development. Just as you can condition other parts of your body through repetitious exercise, you can also condition your brain.
And just like physical exercise, when you first begin to condition your brain it will seem like an impossible task. Just think about the first time you tried to run a mile, or lift weights, or do some other kind of physical exercise which you’d never done before.
At first, it might have seemed impossible. You probably even wanted to give up. But if you stuck with it, you probably found that it got easier and easier, until it became second nature.
A good example of this is when you learned to walk, talk or read. And just think about how easy those things are to you now. So as we look at a few exercises for conditioning your brain, remember that these are going to take some work and that they’ll seem almost impossible at first.
But with enough practice you’ll develop the natural habit of choosing thoughts that you really want. These thoughts will become beliefs, these beliefs will inspire actions and those actions will produce results which are consistent with what you really want.
Visual Thought Exercise
Get a poster board and start collecting pictures of things that you really want. You can find these pictures on the Internet, in magazines, and many other places. With these, you’re going to create a “vision board.” In addition to the pictures of what you really want, put a few pictures of yourself on your vision board as well.
This way you’re actually training your mind to see yourself and the things you really want as part of the same picture. Put your vision board somewhere that you can see it every day, and make sure that you spend some time looking at it. With enough repetition, you’ll begin to find that these images will become the dominating “thought pictures” in your mind.
You’ll also begin to notice things throughout the day which are consistent with the things you really want. After enough practice, these new thoughts will begin to influence your actions and produce new results.
Auditory Thought Exercise
Sit down right now and write down three thoughts which are consistent with what you really want out of life. The best way to do this is to ask yourself which character traits you’ll need to produce the results you really want. Once you’ve identified these characteristics, write them down somewhere that you can access them every day.
These are spoken affirmations which will help you to make your “spoken” thoughts consistent with who you must become in order to get what you really want.
Here are a few examples:
If you want to start your own business or land a better career:
“I am creative, self-reliant and persuasive.”
If you want to discipline yourself to take better care of your body:
“I am disciplined and self-reliant.”
If you want better relationships:
“I am funny, friendly and compassionate.”
Now in order for this exercise to work, you have to do it every day. For best results, speak each of your affirmations out loud in the morning and in the evening. Just like your vision board exercise, this exercise will begin to change your auditory thoughts according to what you really want. Those thoughts will change your beliefs, and those beliefs will produce actions which are consistent with who you must become to get what you want.
Now, you might notice that all of these affirmations have one thing in common: they’re primarily focused on who you must become to get what you want.
Sure, you can also write out some that say things like:
“I’m healthy, thin, financially secure and I have great relationships.”
But if you focus instead on the characteristics and habits which will make you healthy, thin, financially secure and a great friend/partner, the results will naturally follow.
Tactile Thought Exercise
Tactile thought exercises are a little more complicated because they require the use of your entire body. But with a little bit of creativity, you can come up with ways to get physically involved what you really want. For example, the writer and success coach Jack Canfield once wrote about a party he attended called the “Come as You Will Be” party.
Each of the participants came as the person they wanted to be in five years. Some were international business consultants, some were public speakers and others were success coaches. Some of them even made up fake business cards to hand to their friends at the party.
While it’s important to remember that you also need to take action to get what you want, these kinds of “experiences” can help you to choose thoughts which will inspire you to action.
Here are a few examples of some things that you can do:
If you have a certain type of house you want to buy, spend some time driving around neighborhoods which have those types of houses. Take pictures or get out and take a walk in the neighborhood. As you do, pretend that you lived there and that your house is only a few blocks away.
If you have a car that you want to buy, go and take it for a test drive. Sit in the car and imagine yourself owning it. Really get into the experience until you can clearly recall it in your mind.
If you have an ambition to run a marathon, but you’re only running a mile a day right now, picture yourself on the last of the 21 miles as you’re running.
If you have an ambition to start controlling your eating habits, practice pushing your plate away while there is still food on it. Practice this several times in a row and as you do, imagine yourself thin and healthy.
These kinds of exercises, in conjunction with the auditory and visual exercises, will help you to get your mind “in shape.” When you learn to do this, the rest of the exercises in this book will become easy.