The Power of Our Thinking | MASI
Early in my career, I was given the opportunity to attend a weekend seminar conducted by the Pacific Institute in Seattle called "Achieving Your Potential" that focused on goal-setting. I was sent to the seminar by the company I worked for - my division chief believed the concepts of the seminar were influential in the success of the company. It was my first introduction to what I have come to believe is one of the most important concepts in human life - the concept that our lives and our successes are the result of our thinking. This concept is central not just to our individual success, but to the success of our businesses, too.
We've all heard the basic concept expressed in many different ways -
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is" - Proverbs 23:7
The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale
The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right," by Henry Ford
You Are What You Think, by Brian Tracy
And recently, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
The Pacific Institute seminar taught (among other things) that humans are "goal-seeking" in all of their actions. To accomplish something you must first visualize what you want to do. To first plan an action is not just a suggestion or a recommendation, but rather it is a requirement in order to do virtually anything, whether it's tying your shoes, finding your car in a parking lot, or buying a loaf of bread. You must have a clear picture in your mind before you can do it.
Planning is obviously a common business process. Each year most businesses create a plan for the coming year - a plan and a budget. Sometimes a Strategic Plan or a Long Term Plan is created. Business planning is based on the same human requirement - before we can accomplish something, we must first think about it. And the more clearly, thoroughly, and accurately we think about it, the sooner and more likely we will be to accomplish it. It's also true that the clearer and more detailed the plan, the more motivated we will be. It fires us up!
What has surprised me again and again is how important this concept is in everything we do and believe as human beings. It's key to every part of our lives. It is certainly one of the most important concepts in our lives - and yet, it is not taught in any public school program that I know of. Why not?
If kids studied this life-guiding concept in each grade of their schooling through high school, just think how much more successful they would be in their lives - regardless of their chosen profession or vocation. Just think how many more people would grow up happy and productive. And just think how much more productive our country might be if it were heavily populated with people with this education and the resulting motivation that would come from it.
As Sharon Ramey said in her article "Easy Riding: Put Your Attention on the Destination," when riding motorcycles you need to keep your eyes on the path you want to take and not on the obstacle in the road. If you focus on the obstacle - the piece of lumber, the pothole, or whatever, rather than on the safe path around the obstacle - you'll likely hit the obstacle. This law applies in every facet of our lives, not just motorcycle riding. If you focus on the problem, you'll be thinking about the problem - and that's what you'll likely get - more of the problem. If a business creates and focuses on a path toward smooth success, it's more likely to achieve smooth success.
When you see people who are obviously very unhappy with their lives and you can tell it's a lifelong problem for them, do you wonder why they are doing that to themselves? Have you known people who seem not to be driven by, or even excited by much of anything? If they only knew that a shift in their thinking could make a huge positive difference in their life experience. They need a new way of thinking - a new thought - to get them motivated and moving. I have found that the establishment of a goal - a well thought-out goal - one they can make a commitment to - can often be the spark of a new thinking process.
These concepts are not new. In fact, they are as old as written history.
Thousands of years ago, Buddha said, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought." And "He is able who thinks he is able."
Written about 2000 years ago, Matthew 13:12 says: "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." This passage simply states this same concept. What it says is that when we think we have abundance, we attract more abundance to ourselves, and when we think in terms of lack and limitation, that is the experience we have, and with that kind of thinking, even what little we have we will lose.
It's all in our thinking - thinking that has the power to shape our lives, our businesses, and our experiences. Whether we think we can or we think we can't.