The Green Sheet Online Edition
July 12, 2010 • Issue 10:07:01
Turn negative thoughts into positive action
||The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.|
- Albert Einstein
As you go through life, your thought process determines not only where you go but how you get there. If you aspire to own an ISO, your mind is what will get you pointed and moving in the right direction. It will also determine your route: you might decide to build your business from the ground up, or perhaps you'll bid on a portfolio that's up for sale.
Whatever your objectives and methods, your intellect will always guide your actions. So let's look at some ways to improve your thought life.
Identify the thoughts
How much attention do you give the myriad and random ideas, opinions, concepts and so on that flash through your mind during any given day? Have you noticed that the majority are unrelated to your immediate and long-term goals?
You might be working on paperwork at the office when it occurs to you to pick up some ice cream on the way home. Suddenly, you find yourself zipping through your work in anticipation of a cool, delicious treat. This random idea changed the way you were performing in just seconds.
Now let's pretend you're plugging away on the same paperwork, and you remember you must attend a meeting directly after work instead of going home to relax. This stirs up negative feelings that distract you, so your work isn't done at the end of the day.
Thoughts that bring feelings to the surface, whether positive or negative, have a powerful influence, not just at work but also at home.
So when a random thought pops up, the first thing to do is identify it and label it as positive or negative. Ask yourself if dwelling on the thought will motivate you or hinder you. When you label thoughts as they arise, you become more aware of how they affect you. Pay close attention to whether a thought gives you a boost of energy or drags you down.
Transform your thoughts
Once you identify a thought and observe its impact on you, think of something positive that could come from the situation the thought brings to mind.
For example, consider that the dreaded meeting in the preceding example just might help you gain valuable insights. You could also acknowledge that the meeting probably won't last long, and you'll still have an hour or two to relax before bedtime.
Emotion-laden thoughts about pressing problems can also be transformed into solutions. Perhaps a current physical ailment can lead you to learn how to take better care of your health, thus increasing your life span.
Or, if you've recently suffered a loss, maybe you can help others experiencing something similar and thereby build a caring community.
Celebrate and connect
Now, don't stop at transforming negative thoughts. Load yourself up with positivity, too. Take bold actions. Lead a life of appreciation for all that you have. Look for the gift in every little thing, such as meeting even the smallest goal. Go out and celebrate.
Reward yourself with dinner at your favorite restaurant. Buy a new outfit or tool. It's appropriate to rejoice in all of your accomplishments, even if no one else does.
And keep in mind that your friends influence your thoughts tremendously. Avoid those who tend to bring you down. Seek camaraderie among individuals who are upbeat in attitude and unflappable in the face of bad news. Positive people can help keep your thoughts in perspective, even when you (temporarily) feel the world is falling apart around you.
Isn't having a healthy thought life worth the effort? After all - your life depends on it.
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