"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goals; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
I attended a business leadership conference this week, and one of my favorite sessions was about the human brain. It's a subject I've been interested in for a long time. It pretty much affirmed what Thomas Jefferson knew 200 years ago, and what I learned a decade ago is correct. You actually are what you think.
A lot of times, we're tempted to wish that other people could see us the way we see ourselves--but is that really a good idea? Much of the time, we're our own worse enemy. Often, we stand in our own way of doing the things we really want to do. We remind ourselves of past failures. We point out what a huge challenge the goal represents. We convince ourselves we aren't focused enough, or smart enough, or experienced enough, or talented enough to do what it is in our hearts we really want to do. We don't need anybody to hold us back--we do a really good job of that ourselves. As Henry Ford said, "If you think you can do a thing, or think you can't do a thing--you're right." And so we spend our lives watching life from the sidelines instead of playing in the game.
But the good news is it doesn't have to be this way. We can change this pattern just by changing our mind. By teaching our brains to view the world differently by thinking positively instead of negatively.
Our brain continues to develop during our entire lifetime, and we can teach ourselves to be more confident in our abilities to accomplish the things we want to achieve in life. And the more we learn to control those A.N.T.'s (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and replace them with positive thoughts, the more used to that way of thinking our brains become. Our brain is constantly making new connections and learning new things, and establishing new pathways, and the more we focus on that new skill, the stronger those new connections become--thinking automatically positively instead of automatically negative will soon become and engrained habit if you practice it enough.
Try it for a few days--every time you catch yourself seeing something in a negative light, try and view it differently. See if after a few days of this, you don't feel a lot better about the world in general, and after a month, see if you don't feel better about where you are in the grand scheme of things. And if you really take it to heart and work at it, you're going to find evidence in a very short time that there is nothing beyond your reach. Such a simple thing can change your life in ways you can't even imagine (because you won't let yourself imagine those things). And if you're the person that's thinking right now "well that's just stupid," you're the one that could benefit the most from this little exercise. Try it. What could it hurt?
There's a great book on this subject if you'd like to learn more about it. It's called Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel Siegel, M.D. I highly recommend it.
Todd E. Creason, 33° is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning historical series Famous American Freemasons. In 2011, he published his first novel One Last Shot which was followed in 2012 with a sequel A Shot After Midnight. He's currently working on the third novel in the Twin Rivers series. All of Todd E. Creason's books are sold at major online booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and are available for both Nook and Kindle.