Our thoughts are what drives how we feel at any particular moment or how we react to certain situations. You may have had of the phrase “Is your glass half empty or half full?” This is what Peace Pilgrim emphasises when he avers that “if you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
So, what is hidden in these quotes is that if you focus on the positive, you are likely to get positive outcome and the reverse is true. Therefore, our thoughts often tend to become our reality.
A story was shared of a man who was told to ask for whatever he wanted and would receive it. The man started by asking for a house, a mansion house was granted well furnished, then he asked for the means of transport, a new car was granted, he asked for money and it was granted, he asked to have a holiday to explore the beauty of the world and guess what, it was granted as well. As he was on his holiday, he saw a nice tree with a good shade. Then he chose to rest there. While there a thought came that there may be a snake in the tree, then the snake appeared, then thought came that snake was going to bite him and it did and slowly he died of snake poison. The memory of the story is in the difference between our thoughts and interpretation of the events that happen around us and in our lives.
Negative thoughts have the potential to turn or dilute a very strong positive into negative as emphasised by William Shakespeare: “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Because negative thoughts have the potential to destroy any human being, every effort has to be made to stay away from them. What gives confidence is that you are in control of your thoughts (feelings and emotions). Let’s now look at three ways to take control of your thoughts.
- Be grateful for what you have. There are many things to be grateful for; good health, a loving family, a home to stay or a job, parents, friends and much more that apply to you. Generate a list of things you are grateful for. As you develop the list, put your whole mind to it. The presence of many things you are grateful for will start to dilute the problems or challenges you may have at work, school or at home viewing them as basic encounters in life. The regular and persistence view of the gratitude list will gradually enable you to slide into a thankfulness mode.
- Ensure the reason to move away from negative thoughts is compelling enough. The fact is negative thoughts are not good at all for anyone. Make the argument strong enough to convince yourself to move away from the specific negative thoughts absolutely essential, very strong, sound and compelling enough to trigger your body, mind, emotion and energy levels to feel sustained urge for change. Effecting and sustaining the change is not a bed of roses, it must encompass what the impact new positive thoughts will have on: your lifestyle, revenue, costs, time and so forth.
- Strongly deal with the tendency of fear of the past moving with you in the future. “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So, the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky. Take a moment, pause and ask, will remaining in the past take me anywhere? If the answer is no, we must then stop, let go of certain things and move on. Acceptance and owning up now will begin to give you the energy, will, power, positive outlook and attitude to the situation at hand. The power to take action now, believe in yourself or validate that you are the same nice and great person is in your hands. The encouragement is in what you choose to do right now moving forward.
Charles Barugahare (Ph.D., FCCA) – Financial Consultant, Trainer and Coach