You Are What You Think About
You have complete control over your thoughts. Thought patterns develop over a lifetime; a result of the influences of schooling, parents, friends, relatives, TV, movies, etc.
Unfortunately, most of the guidance received about how to think is negative. More effort is spent teaching what you can’t do rather than what you can. Whatever your thinking is now, you can learn to alter it. Study the thinking of successful people.
Mark Allen, a six-time ironman triathlon champion started by studying the techniques of previous winners. He wanted to know how they trained and prepared themselves. Allen then incorporated their successful techniques into his own practice sessions.
Another powerful mental tool that Allen utilized was visualization. Allen visualized his performance of his next event before sleeping. Athletes have found that visualizing successful accomplishment can be as effective as the actual physical training.
An American prisoner of war in Vietnam visualized playing golf every day to help endure the hardships of captivity. After being released, his golf skills had markedly improved even though he hadn’t physically played in years.
Visualization is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to change your thinking. Through visualization, you control the desired outcome in your mind. In your mind you can overcome any obstacle. You can rehearse a situation over and over anytime and anywhere.
Your mind must be conditioned to be impervious to negative criticism. Rather than wanting to join you on your goal-achieving quest, most people would instead prefer you to fail. Other people will be jealous. There’s nothing you can do to control their thoughts.
The first modern rocket scientist, Robert Goddard, a physics professor, had his research denounced by the press. In 1920, a newspaper editorial stated that Goddard “seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”
Amid condemnation and with little support from fellow scientists, Goddard became a leading pioneer of the space era. He achieved success by focusing on reaching his goals instead of what people thought of his research.
Develop a belief in your goals and the path you choose to achieve them. It takes a lot of practice to free yourself from what other people say, think or do. You must overcome a strong societal outlook that other people’s opinion of you is important.
The discoverer of the Titanic wreck, Robert Ballard, tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to obtain financing needed for his search. Additionally, hunting for the Titanic was considered folly by several fellow scientists. Yet, with an unshakable belief in himself and his goals, he overcame all obstacles and found the wreckage in 1985.
The type of thinking that all successful people have is available to you. You can opt to pattern your thinking after those who have achieved success, often despite overwhelming odds.
Changing your thinking requires effort. Many people who are close to you won’t understand or support your endeavors. If you are laughed at and criticized, this is good. It means that you are experiencing the same reaction as some of the greatest minds in history and are in the best of company.
© 2004 Bryan Golden