Mindset – Positive Thinking
“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832) German poet, playwright, novelist and scientist
“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki
“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
Henry Ford once stated ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.’ That’s the power of our thoughts. The crux of the matter is why weigh yourself down with negative thoughts. How will negative thinking serve you in the long run?
I also remember a story about a fellow who thought he had won 10 million dollars in a lottery but it turned out his ticket was not the winning ticket. Yet he summed it up to his friends, I am the only one among you who was had the feeling of being a millionaire.
Keeping a positive frame of mind no matter what odds you face is a great asset. Those who persist usually reap the benefits in the long term. Watch yourself talk carefully as their will only be one you in this world ever.
Why Positive Thinking is Critical
To better understand positive thinking one has to first understand the Law of Attraction first. Positive thinking and the Law of Attraction are two intertwined forces that are the bedrock and foundation of self development.We are what we repeatedly do. Aristotle said thoughts produce actions, actions produce habits and habits sow a destiny.
This is why our thoughts need to be guarded carefully. We need to be very conscious of the thoughts and ideas we harbor in our minds. In computing the adage goes garbage in garbage out. We are either painting a master piece or a worthless piece of art. Each brush stroke is also a thought. What brush strokes are we painting in our minds we need to embrace right and proper thinking.
Guard your thoughts carefully as they determine what you will reap in the long term. We can only control our thoughts. It’s truly the mind we only control. We need to cultivate a positive mind set.
Our minds are the equivalent of gardens we need to plant the right seeds, flowers and weed out negative thoughts or weeds which are literally pests and pollutants in our minds.
Internal Self Talk
Positive thinking is all about internal self talk. We have to banish negative self talk when it pops up in all shapes and form. Your internal self narrative has to be tuned to a positive frequency at all times. It is important to never put yourself down as we all have tremendous internal power.
The most successful people believe in themselves and their innate abilities. You have to believe you are getting better each day. You have to believe in your power to accomplish great things. Our minds are powerful and we need to learn how to control our internal thinking.
Positive affirmations practiced daily help to plant seeds of greatness in us. Never doubt the greatness in you.It is proven that we mentally function 31% better when we have the power of positive self talk within us.
Always Accentuate the Positive
Been around upbeat and positive people is a tonic to good health and morale. There is nothing better in this whole world than great company. Having an overall positive outlook on life and fighting our self doubts is very important.
Many people have gone through trials we would never imagine. They have only survived through the power of positive thought.
Victor Frankl a holocaust survivor survived the worst Nazi concentration and extermination camps
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Nelson Mandela quotes during his 27 year incarceration in Robben Island
‘Still, his determination and wit were clearly undiminished. His lawyer George Bizos saw it first hand’“On my first visit to Robben Island he was brought to the consulting room by no less than eight warders, two in front, two on each side and two at the back… in shorts and without socks. And the thing that was odd about it is that, unlike any other prisoner I have ever seen, he was setting the pace at which this group was coming towards the consulting room. And then with all gravitas he said ‘You know, George, this place really has made me forget my manners. I haven’t introduced you to my guard of honour’.”
We naturally assume that the people who stress positive thinking are new age hippies who must be out of their minds. Not really the mind is like a garden we need to weed out negative thoughts as they pollute our actions and make our effort half hearted.
The ancient philosophers to present day great thinkers all realise one truth we become what our dominant thoughts are. The battle always begins in the mind. Either we believe we can or we believe it’s not possible. Why do we tend to gravitate towards friends, preachers, speakers, relatives and those who have positive messages and grand visions?
We want to associate with those who believe in the impossible and are always striving for the positive to happen. Politicians who portray a positive vision, positive plans always come out on top at the end. The positive message will always float to the top.
Our brains want to follow leaders who are positive. We need to ensure we are in positive environments, can do environments, environments that limit negativity. The most influential leaders are good at painting a great future.
Watch Grant Cardone one of the greatest living salesmen alive in this video where he talks about prosperity he has a stick it note that says ‘negativity not allowed here’. Push for the best, do not allow mediocrity and people who are not striving for their dreams influence you, the rainbow pot is actually at the end. The universe eventually gives you what you ask for. If you ask for the best it will usually yield to your wishes.
Self Esteem, Self Image and Self Confidence
Our underlying mindset and attitude is the most important aspect and the critical determinant on whether we will succeed in life or not. Our inner state of mind is the most crucial factor on how well we perform in our daily activities.
The three S’s, Self Esteem, Self Image and Self Confidence drive our inner world and our interactions with the outer world. These three pillars drive our decision making, daily actions and our relationships with all other people.
These inner states of mind are either positive or negative. The degree of positivity or negativity of these three states influences our emotions and moods. We are happy, sad, despondent, energetic or apathetic based on these underlying states of mind.
The greatest philosophers in the world from Socrates to Aristotle to the present day philosophers understood that our internal self worth drove our accomplishment. Our inner and outer perceptions of ourselves drove our ambitions, emotions and our ability to accomplish tasks and deeds in this world.
The Three Core Mental States
Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes self confidence as the confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities.
Wikipedia describes self confidence as self assurance in one’s personal judgement, ability, power. Self confidence is usually equated with one’s assurance to perform a task in a given area.
One may have the self confidence to draw up a financial budget but does not have the self confidence to perform a complicated surgery as they do not have the necessary training and requisite skill set to perform this surgery.
Self confidence is the assurance in our abilities that is built up over time. When we repeatedly do a skill and become very competent in that skill set our self confidence in that skill set area builds over time. We become the authority in that area and carry the self assurance to perform effortlessly in that area.
Our general self confidence and our ability to perform in other areas of life increases when we master one or two skill sets. We tend to believe and trust those who have self confidence. Our own general performance increases when we are self confident.
Positive self confidence acts as a catalyst for success in other areas while the inverse negative self confidence harms our ability to perform in many other areas of life. We are inspired and admire self confident people.
Merriam-Webster dictionary describes self esteem as a feeling of satisfaction that someone has in himself or herself and his or her own abilities.
Wikipedia describes self esteem as an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, “I am competent”, “I am worthy”) as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame.
Self esteem is literally our own perception about our self at a particular state of time. It keeps on varying dependent on what dominant emotions we may be experiencing at a particular time. We may just have accomplished a major goal and our self esteem and confidence in our ability may be at an all time high.
We may lose a major deal, go through a major life trauma such as a divorce, job loss which will affect our level of self esteem. Self esteem is a gauge of our self confidence at a particular snap shot of time and is not permanent. Even the most accomplished individuals will undergo periods where their state of self esteem is low.
The free dictionary describes the self image as the conception that one has of oneself, including an assessment of qualities and personal worth. One’s own idea of oneself or sense of one’s worth. The conception or mental image one has of oneself.
Wikipedia describes self image as the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, etc.), but also items that have been learned by persons about themselves, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments of others.
Self image is literally our self picture of who we think we are. Our general description and metadata about ourselves. It has several constructs right from our race, religious beliefs, culture, gender, child hood experiences, how we were raised up, peers, academic background, working background, our successes and failures over time.
All these experiences combined together all translate to a summary of what we think about ourselves and our abilities. Self image is more or less the dominant mental picture of ourselves that dominates our day to day lives.
Some people may have been disadvantaged and grew up poor and had circumstances constantly weigh against them. Growing up this way may predispose them to carry this negative self image of scarcity and it will influence their general behavior.
Self image has also been described by psychologists as our general cognitive bias or self schema.The self-schema refers to a long lasting and stable set of memories that summarize a person’s beliefs, experiences and generalizations about the self, in specific behavioral domains.
A person may have a self-schema based on any aspect of himself or herself as a person, including physical characteristics, personality traits and interests, as long as they consider that aspect of their self the most important aspect to their own self-definition.
Examples of self image traits or personalities we tend to adopt are extroverted or introverted, exciting or dull, quiet or loud, healthy or sickly, athletic or nonathletic, lazy or active, clever or dull. The good news is that we can change these overriding self images if we have to.
Negative Emotional States
All negative mental states and emotions are induced by lack of a balanced, healthy and positive state of the three critical mental states mentioned above
Anxiety, apathy and fear are usually driven by low self esteem and low self confidence. How will others perceive me? What will my peers think of me? We fail to risk and dare and thus fail to achieve our goals and ambitions.
This in turn fuels depression and a state of hopelessness as we do not have the courage to pursue our dreams. We end up building negative mental self images over time that doom us to cycles of never ending failure.
This is why positive thinking is very important in our lives. It’s literally a life or death matter and has great consequences in the outcomes of our life.
Dominant Traits of Great Leaders, self made millionaires and billionaires
Many books and research studies have been carried out on traits of great leaders, self made millionaires and billionaires. Key dominant traits and characteristics that stand out are mentioned below
Great leaders, self made millionaires and billionaires have an overriding self belief and confidence in their abilities to accomplish their end goals.
Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great, George Bush, Bill Clinton, the late Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Oprah Winfrey, Margret Thatcher ,Pope John Paul the Second, Mother Theresa, Jack Welch, Mahatma Gandhi all have or had total self belief in their innate abilities.
You will not find a single individual named as a leader who never believed in their innate abilities to lead and accomplish their goals. Even the worst dictators all had 100% belief in themselves. This is the rock foundation of their success.
Great Leaders inspire others. They have a can do mentality and will inspire others with this mentality. They look for the positive in all matters and actions and rarely dwell on the negative. They lead individuals and teams to aspire to always strive for greater heights.
Winston Churchill was the inspirational leader Britain required during the second world war. His speeches gave the fuel to the people to endure despite the German Air Blitz in World War 2. Nelson Mandela was the inspirational leader that helped break the yoke of Apartheid and also united the people during his short tenure as president in South Africa.
Passionate and Enthusiastic
Great leaders bring passion and enthusiasm to the table. They are 200% effort individuals. They bring energy and drive to the mission. They initiate momentum and keep it going. They face all obstacles as they come without flinching.
Please watch a Grant Cardone or Gary Vernachuk video online to understand what injecting passion and life to your life means. This is literally energy in motion
They have a winning mentality. Successful people always go for the prize. They believe they can win no matter what. When they set their minds to accomplish a goal they go for that goal without yielding to negativity or self doubt.
Mohammed Ali the late great Heavy Weight Boxer – “ I am the Greatest”
All successful people and achievers have simple faith in God or a higher being. Norman Vincent Peale in his seminal work The Power of Positive Thinking demonstrated the power of Faith to transform lives.
This cuts across all religious faiths. His key quote which stands out is “If God is with me who can be against me” just reading the Bible faithfully and believing in the power of God works miracles and wonders.
All things align when we are in harmony with God and the Universe. We just simply have to keep the faith that it will all work out in the end.
Two Great Speeches by Great Leaders infused with positivity in trying times
Martin Luther King I have a dream speech Delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
‘’But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’’
Winston Churchill Speech – Never Give In Speech Context 1941 During the darkest days of the 2nd World War
But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months – if it takes years – they do it.
Another lesson I think we may take, just throwing our minds back to our meeting here ten months ago and now, is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must “…meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.”
You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.
Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.
You sang here a verse of a School Song: you sang that extra verse written in my honour, which I was very greatly complimented by and which you have repeated today. But there is one word in it I want to alter – I wanted to do so last year, but I did not venture to. It is the line: “Not less we praise in darker days.”
I have obtained the Head Master’s permission to alter darker to sterner. “Not less we praise in sterner days.”
Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.