I’m busy putting the finishing touches to the Open Course on Positive Thinking that we’ll be running next week.
Perhaps the most significant part of the course is showing how our thoughts literally shape our life.
Everything begins with a thought. Everything we have ever done or said from birth to now originated with a thought. When we interact with people, when we read, we create thoughts.
These thoughts are what control us and affect the way we feel. You see, feelings are just a series of thoughts, which are processed and develop into feelings.
Over time these feelings create our belief system, including our feelings about ‘who we are’ and ‘what our place is in the world’. These feelings can manifest themselves positively or negatively depending on the thoughts that shaped them.
A belief is just a thought you keep thinking
Our feelings and beliefs are what determine our actions. We tend to act consistently with the beliefs that we have developed over time. This happens whether the feeling or belief is true or not. We often refer to our actions as behaviour. For instance, because I believe this or feel this way, then I must behave in a way that supports that belief. Of course, these actions then determine our results.
Because we act in a certain way we produce the results that we do. We can also call these results experiences. Over time we build up a series of experiences which are then processed and developed into new thoughts…and so the cycle is complete.
The way to break this cycle is to change the root – change what and how we think. This requires discipline, the first step being to stop and be aware of what exactly we’re thinking; is it a positive or a negative thought?
Thoughts literally shape and create our experience of life – they can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy.
To give you an example:
Think: a person who gives a bad presentation begins to think that this may happen again
Feel: they begin to think that they aren’t good at presenting and don’t have the skills or personality to present well
Action: When they next do a presentation they are very nervous and anxious because they believe they are no good
Result: As they are so anxious their mind becomes blocked and they forget what to say; the presentation is ‘bad’
As you can see, what we think becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you tend to think negatively, you tend to feel negative and your experiences will tend to be negative.
Isn’t it more rational and sensible to start thinking positively?