Think about a time when you wanted something and then obtained what you wanted. It could be something small or something big. What actions did you take to get this ‘wanted thing’? You might be thinking of the actions you took, the physical movements, the place you went to get it, and you’re probably also thinking of when you finally got it and started enjoying it. But how did the process start? For example if you wanted something good to eat. What was your first step? Was it going to the fridge and gathering the ingredients required, or looking up a restaurant to go to or order from? The first step wasn’t any physical action, the first step was a thought…or maybe even a feeling, and then your mind converted it into a thought. This is the greatest secret of success: our predominant emotional thoughts; materialize. Meaning that you become what you think about, you get what you think about, thoughts get manifested, your thoughts equal you, it shouldn’t be “We are what we eat,” it should be “We are what we think!” Buddha says, “All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” Another quote also from Emerson says, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
When I first found out this information I was not immediately impressed. We’ve all been conditioned in our society to expect solutions to be more complicated. For example when we think of how to achieve success we might imagine that you have to go to several seminars, and special meetings with success gurus, and that it’s going to take several years or a lifetime to achieve, and it’s going to cost a lot of money. Or another example is a recent small injury I had; tennis elbow. I play a lot of racquetball and one day I had to do some heavy lifting. During that lifting, I felt pain on my right elbow. I couldn’t play racquetball for a few days because of the pain. I wanted to heal as soon as possible so I could get back to playing, so I looked up things I could do to speed up my recovery. I expected that I had to take certain supplements like joint supplements, aspirin, and that I had to go to the doctor and get an X-ray and find out what was going on. This was because that’s how I’ve been conditioned to think, I expect certain solutions to be complicated, to be long, and slow. I started with that solution but I was not improving. Finally I thought about what I had learned about weight-lifting. When you weight-lift and exercise certain muscles you are bringing attention to them and actually tearing the cells and hurting them. As you recover, these cells get rebuilt and they get rebuilt stronger and better. So that’s all I needed to do to resolve my tennis elbow; exercise it. I started lifting a few pounds at a time; I lifted the weight in various angles and got a good workout on that elbow. As you tear and hurt muscles and tendons, they get attention from the body and all the necessary nutrients get rushed to the site for repair. I was back to playing racquetball in a couple of weeks. So that was the solution, it was very simple and effective. We need to start believing and accepting the fact that some solutions are simple, that they don’t always need to be so complicated and complex. You become what you think about!
Your thinking is step zero, it’s the genesis of all that you do. Start with your thinking, with the emotions you are feeling. This is the time when you need to reflect inward. It’s very easy to overlook our thoughts. Sometimes our thoughts are just feelings we have, they’re not always put into words, into our language. It is just a feeling you have inside yourself, therefore, you need to get in the habit of putting thoughts, to your emotions. Put language to your feelings, describe them. Sometimes it can get hard to put words to how we feel. Sometimes our feelings are like a cocktail of various feelings. For example when you’re having a bad day and you feel a mix of frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion. Or if you’re having a great day and you feel happy, peaceful, and energized. Start developing a habit of putting words to you feelings. So here is step zero. Before you can change your thoughts you have to reflect and discover what thoughts you are actually having.
Action Step #1-Notice Your Thoughts
Get yourself a notepad, or you can also write this on your computer or mobile phone, or anywhere you can easily access this info later. Think back to any moment or moments in your life when you feel you failed. Now think back to what thoughts were going through your head before, during, and after that time in your life. Write them down. What were you thinking before you undertook this task? What did you imagine was going to happen? What were you feeling? How did you see yourself doing that task? Did you feel happy, or anxious?
Here’s my example of my thought process from the time when I bought my first business. From reading my thoughts try figure out whether I was headed for success or failure.
I had been unemployed for quite a while. I felt pressure most of all, from my relatives, and friends. I felt that they saw me as a lazy guy just sitting around living off his parents. I was not motivated to find work. There was plenty of work around but I just felt no joy when doing that work, I just didn’t like it. I was tired of going through the same cycles. I would work office or clerical or sales jobs for corporations. Then I would feel like I was trapped, like I was prisoner to their rules and regulations. If I wanted a day off I had to ask for permission. Why should I have to ask for permission? Am I not free to do what I want, when I want? So I would quit that job and then go to a construction job. There was more leeway; I was independent so I would work when I wanted. But if I didn’t work I didn’t get paid. The work was hard, I would get out early enough, and had a lot of free time but I was very tired. Then I would get tired of the construction jobs and try o go back to the corporate job, and on and on I went. I repeated the cycle several times. This was not what I had in mind when I was in college. Finally I thought about my time in college and what I studied, which was entrepreneurial management. So I started looking into buying a business. My thoughts during the process were, “I need to hurry the **** up and get going, I need to start making money, I need to have something to do.” I was feeling desperate, and anxious. Having these feelings I dove in head first and bought one of the first businesses that were presented to me. When I first went to look at the business, I thought to myself, “Well, I don’t really like this business, but I’ll just buy it, run it for a year or two, and then sell it.” So I buy this business, and I don’t even do my due-diligence and ask the owners for proof of the numbers, I just take their word for it. I was blinded by my anxiety. During the time when I had the business my friends would ask me to go do things with them, and I would say, “I can’t, I have to go to my jail cell.” When customers would ask me how the business was doing I would say, “It’s not doing so well, I’ll probably have to close it down pretty soon.” And when I would say that I felt that somehow it was their fault, it was my resentful way of telling them they weren’t spending enough at my store. Finally after almost two years, I couldn’t make the lease and had to sign everything away to prevent being sued by the landlord.
What do you think would have happened if I had had better thoughts about buying this business? What if when I was unemployed I would have said to myself, “It’s time to hit the reset button, and start fresh, I am a confident and talented person. In a positive way, I will start envisioning myself owning a business I love to run. I will start envisioning myself a happy and joyous person while running this business?”
Now, start keeping a journal of what kinds of thoughts are running through your head on a regular day to day basis. Have your notation apparatus handy. When you wake up, first thing in the morning write down what thoughts you are having. Don’t force yourself, don’t stress, just write. Relax and write. No one is going to read this but you. You can write for a few days or up to a week.
Action Step #3-Reflect
This step is really important. Read over your notes. Reflect on what type of thoughts you’ve been having. Highlight your thoughts if you want. Have one color for positive thoughts and another for negative thoughts. And maybe even a different color for neutral thoughts. Once you’ve dissected your thoughts try to see if they correlate with how your life has turned out. When you failed, were you having negative thoughts? Were you thinking about failure? How were those thoughts making you feel? When you have succeeded did you have positive thoughts, and positive feelings?
Action Step #4-Find out what it is you want
This step might take some time, but is supremely important. Search within yourself, reflect inward, go deep into your thoughts and start asking yourself what the hell it is that you want. If you don’t know what you want then you are going about life aimless, like a ship in a turbulent sea without a crew. You are being affected by the tides, and by the winds, and you are relinquishing control to outside forces. Are you working that job because that’s what’s expected of you? Have you ever stopped to think about what it is you really want? I myself have only recently begun to ask myself these questions. Why is that? Why had I not thought about what I really want out of life? Don’t just ask yourself and think about it, it’s extremely important that you take time and write this down. This is for you and for no one else, write it down! If nothing comes to you or if thoughts do come to you and you write them down but there are no positive emotions coming out, don’t worry about it. Feel confident that you will discover what you really want. Write down this paragraph and read it to yourself every day until the answers come to you.
“I want to know what I want. I want to know what my purpose in life is. I want to know what I should be doing with my life. I want to know what it is that I love to do. I want to know who I am. I want to know what I want.”
It’s important that you also detach yourself from this desire. This means that you don’t fixate your mind on finding this information. Desire it yes, but don’t obsess. Have you ever tried to recall something, a name, a place, a person, or a date? And you knew that you knew the information, you knew the information was in you head somewhere. You had it at the tip of your tongue but it just wouldn’t come out. You were forcing your mind to find the information, the gears in your head were spinning at top speed, your mind was turbulent and almost desperate in trying to find the information. That is called attachment. The information would just not come to you, but slowly you started giving up. You started to focus on something else, you started quieting your mind, and then you completely gave up on trying to force the information to come out. That is called detachment. And then either a few moments later or a day later the information you were looking for hit you like a flash of lightning. This is exactly what you need to do.
Imagine your consciousness as the external self, the one you know, the person you see in the mirror. You know what your favorite color is and what your favorite foods are, etc. Imagine your sub-consciousness as the source of all your being, imagine it as your identical twin, imagine it as the supply manager, or the stock room manager. This manager has always been there supplying you with what you ask it for, however, you’re the top CEO and so you’ve never mingled with this character because you’ve been to busy dealing with all the external forces. But you have just found out that without this manager your business would fail, you have just found out that this manager that works for you, in the basement of your 100 story corporate office, is just as important as you are. This manager will never quit, this manager is as loyal as they come, this manager will always be there for you, the only drawback is that the manager speaks very low, you have to listen very closely, you have to pay very close attention. Since you just found this out you want to get to know the manager, the supplier. You want to start to use this source directly, so this is what you will do to find out what you want. This is the manager that supplied you with the information you wanted earlier but since you’re separated by 100 stories it’s hard to communicate with each other, only when everyone’s out of the office and it’s quiet can you hear your manager talk to you. So start using your manager, let this manager handle the details. Direct your manager to get you the supplies you need, put in that order, start using your supplier. Tell your manager that you want to know what you want, and then forget about it, detach your self from the desire. Your manager will handle it, give the manager time. Since you’ve never communicated directly with the manager it’ll take a little bit to build that communication channel, but it will happen, and your manager always succeeds.
Please post your thoughts or comments below, and help me spread the word by liking this blog through your Facebook, or share it through your Twitter account.
If you have found this information helpful, feel free to show your support.