Do not think that what your thoughts dwell on does not matter. Your thoughts are making you.

“Do not think that what your thoughts dwell on does not matter. Your thoughts are making you.”

Bishop Steere

 

Congruency between how you think and what you do is one of the most important principles to master if you want to succeed. Incongruence between these two factors will produce frustration, set backs, little growth and unpredictable results.  In this article, I want to focus on thoughts as apposed to actions because most of us – if it really comes down to it – know what we must be doing in order to achieve the results we are after. The question then becomes, what do I think while I am doing what I am supposed to be doing?

Think from the end  

I learnt this principle from a young age when I read a book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. In it one of the seven principles is to begin with the end in mind. In other words, before you start your quest for achievement, know where it is that you are heading. If you know what you’re aiming for you can have a better and more accurate action plan to get you there. Further to this concept is to make a habit of writing down everything that you want to achieve. Everything from the clothes that you want to own, the partner of your dreams, the car you want to drive, the CD you want to have, the body that you want, and you get the picture. Knowing what you want not only motivates you when you’re tired, burnt out and unenthusiastic but more importantly it gives you a reference point for every decision that you have to make towards achieving your goals. So if it’s crunch time and you have to make up your mind about something all you have to do is ask yourself the question: is this action I am about to take going to bring me closer to what I want or further away from it? Then just follow the choice that’s going to take you closer to what you want – it’s as simple and as hard as that.

Positive Inputs

What we see, hear and experience shapes how we view the world and consequently think. And while we can’t control all external forces - there are many that we can. The two external forces that we do have direct control over are the people that we hang out with and the media that we expose ourselves to. The people we hang out with can have a massive impact on what we do, our value system and how we process certain events in our lives. I think a natural consequence of getting older is that you develop a wider population of acquaintances and a smaller tight nit group of true friends. And this is healthy as long as your closest friends are supportive in your endeavours and don’t undermine or sabotage your efforts to squeeze more out of life. As for media, (television, radio, DVD etc.) I think it’s important to be really careful what you expose yourself too. A lot of media is very negative in my opinion. Television particularly, convinces you that you are not enough, you have to over consume in order to be happy, that you have to be stick thin, buff, hot or rich to be a worthy person. All of this is garbage for the brain and can effect your self-belief and ability to move forward.