Harness the Power of Your Most Central and Valuable Resource
It may sound odd (and a bit ‘airy fairy’), but I remember how absolutely amazed I was as a teenager when I came to the realization that “I can actually change my mind.” It blew me away.
Sadly, like the flowers outside, the sun in the sky, and the not-at-all ordinary people we meet every single day, the fact that we can think – and from that activity: grow and change – is something we too often take for granted.
How-When-Where-&-What You Think Affects Everything
How you treat others, whether you quit when your boss/professor lands five days worth of work on your desk and demands a synopsis within an hour and how you survive when all your plans collapse in an instant.
How you respond in any one of those scenarios has to do with one thing – your mind.
The nature and strength of your mind includes:
- What you think is important in life;
- How much data you can manage to process under pressure;
- How quickly you can think up solutions in a crisis;
- How creatively you dream;
and so much more!
Having seen the tremendous benefit it brings, I have made the daily improvement of my mind one of the great passions of my life; I recommend it to you for 3 reasons.
1. Your Mind Is At the Centre of Your Happiness
I recently read a book entitled Thinking for A Change by John Maxwell (which I also mentioned in last week’s post). The author writes the following about ‘the Impact of Changed Thinking’:
Most people who do not feel content with their lives don’t know the reason why. Often they suspect that circumstances or other people are to blame. Even honest and self-aware individuals who know the problem lies inside of them still may have trouble getting to the root of the issue. They ask themselves. “Why am I this way?” They desire to change but they don’t do anything differently so that they can change. They merely hope things will turn out all right – and they become frustrated when they don’t. Recognize that only when you make the right changes to your thinking do other things begin to turn out right in your life. (Page 27)
The problem described in the very first sentence of that passage quoted should drive you to consider the development of your mind as a serious area of personal investment.
2. You Can Never Rise Higher or Do Better than Your Thoughts
Do you believe that? Remember the saying “As a man thinketh so is he.” This statement suggests that our thoughts and our realities are inextricably linked. That means:
- If you always think negative thoughts – you cannot and will not suddenly become Miss. Positive in times of crisis.
- If you never dream original ideas, you cannot act and will not, speak or live life as anything but the carbon copy of other people.
- If your imagination is tiny, dull and neglected you cannot and will not dream (or even properly appreciate) great, thrilling and engaging ideas – even with your job on the line.
- If your concentration is restless and untrained, it cannot and will not suddenly submit to hours of rigorous work when your boss demands it.
- If your mind is undisciplined, narrow and cynical – it cannot grow to be its fullest possible potential.
3. Changing Your Approach is the Only Way to Succeed Where You Have Always Failed
Forget his Theory of Relativity and others, Albert Einstein genius really shone through when he said this:
“The problems we face today cannot be solved on the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
To change our outcomes we must often change what we put in. Just consider how changed thinking may affect the following two areas of your life:
Can it really be that out of all the people in the world, you are the one that everyone has decided “we will not get along well with that guy/girl.” Really? Or do you need to change how you think about compromise, communication and your character?
Your Career (Academic/Professional):
- “Always late”;
- “Lacks initiative”;
- “Fails to make an impression”;
- “Easily overlooked”;
- “Makes a weak contribution”;
- “Lacking focus”;
- “Often unprepared”;
- “Not committed”;
- “Lacks ability to take charge”;
- “Lacks initiative”;
- “not thorough”.
If one or more of these descriptions are used by your bosses, professors or colleagues in reference to you more than once (even worst, on the regularly) then you probably need to reconsider your ideological approach to work. Your attitude and output starts in the mind.
For these reasons, and many, many more, I challenge you to make a deep and serious commitment to the daily improvement of your mind.
What are you doing to improve your mind?
This is part 4 of the 7 part series “Make 2013 a Stand Out Year.”
Read the posts in this series: