“None of us are victims of circumstance we are victims of our thoughts” – JSP
There are countless books on the power of thinking, books on positive thinking, strategic thinking, creative thinking and so on. I’ve always been fascinated with the power of thought, for that reason I observe and note the habits of highly successful people because they are all intentional thinkers. It’s not the act of thinking that makes people successful, it’s the quality and type of thinking that sets them apart.
“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” –James Allen
Early on I discovered that every person’s success story began with a thought which they intentionally developed and acted upon. James Allen’s book “As a man thinketh” so influenced my thinking that it transformed my approach to life. Here’s an excerpt from his book:
“As a being of thought, your dominant mental attitude will determine your condition in life. It will also be the gauge of your knowledge and the measures of your attainment. The so-called limitations of your nature are the boundary lines of your thoughts; they are self-erected fences and can be drawn to a narrower circle, extended to a wider, or be allowed to remain.
You are the thinker of your thoughts, and as such you are the maker of yourself and condition. Thought is causal and creative and appears in your character and life in the form of results. There are no accidents in your life. Both its harmonies and antagonisms are the responsive echoes of your thoughts. A man thinks, and his life appears.
…You imagine your circumstances as being separate from yourself, but they are intimately related to your thought world. Nothing appears without an adequate cause. Everything that happens is just. Nothing is fated, everything is formed.
As you think, you travel; as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. You cannot escape the result of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept and be glad.” (1)
“The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” – James Joyce
The difference between people who lead well and those who don’t is in the way they think. Develop your thinking skills and your future becomes more promising.
1st – Control Your Thoughts Practice good thinking that aligns you with your life’s purpose. Understand that sustained thinking in any area will direct your emotions which in turn influences your decision making. Whatever influences your decisions will eventually direct your life.
Knowing how to direct your thoughts will transform your life. Controlling your thoughts enhances concentrative abilities which clear your mind of distractions. Sustained focus is like cleaning out your closet, it brings clarity, so you know what you have in front of you.
2nd – Control Your Habits Whether you realize it or not whatever is going on inside you will redefine the world around you. To be successful, you must harness the power of good thinking and develop self-control, so you can intentionally act on those thoughts. Controlling your habits makes you a change agent.
“Stopping to think about where it’s all going will save us from having to stop and think about where it all went.”-JSP
3rd – Be Inquisitive Lifelong learners are inquisitive and never satisfied with what they already know. They are always reading new books, articles, listening to others, learning new skills to be better tomorrow than they are today. Lifelong learners are intentional thinkers. If a person isn’t learning from the successes and failures of others, it’s because they’ve chosen not to learn.
Intentional thinking is a learned discipline; it’s an invaluable investment in your future. Taking some time to create, plan, and develop ideas is empowering because it enables you to shape your future.
4th – Be Realistic We see the world as we are and not as it is. Being realistic and thinking intentionally about your future turns your wish list into a to-do list. Being realistic helps you to be objective and solve problems without being emotionally attached to them. We become emotionally attached when what is real contradicts what we wish.
When you manage your emotions, you can rationally face reality, solve problems, chart your course, develop your action plan and reach your objectives.
(1) “As a man thinketh” by James Allen
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***