When I was a boy growing up in Ohio, my father gave me some sage advice. He looked at me one day as I was about 13 and said, “Son, you are what you think about all day long.” Remember, I was 13 years old. When he said this to me, it scared me to death. I went around for the next three weeks thinking I was a girl! What else does a 13-year-old boy think about? Girls!!! Even though I was not grasping the true meaning of what he was saying, the statement he made was and is very true. You will become what your thoughts are.
You will go where your thoughts take you. If you think bad, evil or negative thoughts all day, your actions will follow your thoughts in that direction. If you think positive, happy, and enthusiastic thoughts all day, your actions will follow those thoughts as well. Thoughts turn into words. Words turn into actions. Actions turn into consequences. However, it all starts with what we think about all day long.
The key is not using your words to describe your situation, but using your words to change your situation. There are two sides of the fence- positive thoughts and negative thoughts. If someone is always thinking negative, than that’s the direction that their life, actions, and deeds will become. A study from Harvard University found that over 70% of the time we are lost in thought. We are either thinking about something that happened to us or something that will happen to us. The challenge is to look forward not backward. The challenge is to look forward and look positively not negatively. When you let negative thoughts infiltrate your mind on a daily basis, it is a natural thing that those thoughts will steal your dreams and prevent you from accomplishing all that you were meant to accomplish.
“I could never do that,” that is what’s going to happen. Negative thoughts are a disease. I call it “NIM”- Negative Infection of the Mind. This disease can kill your dreams, kill your hopes, and effectively kill the purpose that you were put on earth for. The battle of the mind is very real and we must take it seriously. How do we prevent negative thoughts from infiltrating our mind and stealing our dreams? We have to train our thinking to find the positive in situations. Believe me, this is not easy to do sometimes. If you are a realist like I am, then it is easy to pick out the negative things.
I learned something about myself while completing a licensing deal for American Fighter clothing. My business partner (founder of American Fighter Jeff Adler) and I once left a meeting in the early stages of growing the American Fighter clothing brand. The company gave us a $5,000 advance and a royalty to license the name American Fighter. Jeff and I went to lunch afterward. He was extremely excited about the deal. I, on the other hand, was walking to the restaurant chewing someone out on the phone because of a situation. There were two different reactions to the deal.
Jeff looked at me and said, “What the hell is wrong with you? Shouldn’t you be happy?” I thought about this because it really bothered me. Why was I so negative when I should be happy? I came to the conclusion that I am wired a little different, and I expect to win all the time. We had just won on a deal, but because I EXPECT to always win, there was no excitement or jubilation. I get really emotional when I lose on a deal. Therefore, winning is not a big deal because I expect to win. Losing IS a big deal because I hate it.
I had to learn to not be so negative when losing a deal, and allow myself to be happy and positive when a deal went my way. I had to change my thinking. I had to allow myself to be more positive and I had to put the negative box aside. Believe me, greater things happen to someone who is living positive then someone with the negative anchor around there neck. I am living proof that negative thoughts will cause you stress and undue problems. Becoming more positive makes a world of difference in how you approach the day, and how much you are able to accomplish. We have all heard the saying, “look on the bright side.” Having that “bright side” mentality- the positive can-do attitude- is essential in achieving our hopes dreams and goals.
I am overall a very positive person- probably a 70% to 30% ratio. What is your ratio? Nobody is 100% positive all the time. This is real life. There will be setbacks there will be disappointments. There will be some down times. Teaching your brain and your spirit to be positive is essential to overcoming less than ideal or tough situations when you experience them. Learning to be thankful is a vital key to learning to be positive. This will put you in the right mindset to help you tackle the rest of the day. Why??? Because you are what you think about all day long.
1-What are you thankful for? Make a list every morning before you go to work of three things you’re thankful for and then meditate on those three things on your commute to work.
2- Can you use the power of the tongue to uplift others? Make it a point to compliment three people throughout the day. You can compliment them on anything you see them doing that is positive. People love to be encouraged.
3- Are you willing to reach out to others and share your positive vibes? Three times a month send out an email or better yet a handwritten card to someone and let them know that you appreciate them.
These three things will help build a foundation so you can be a positive thinker and a positive influence in others.