Change your thoughts and you change your world
~Norman Vincent Peale~
Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full? Although the water level in the glass is 50/50, optimists rejoice in the fact that there is still 50% of water left to be enjoyed, whereas pessimists lament and moan over the 50% of water that had been lost.
Although this metaphor appears simplistic, it can be applied to practically every aspect in life.
Just lost your job? It’s alright; you still have your skills and can find yourself a new job.
Had an accident and smashed your car to bits? Count your lucky stars that you escaped with minimal injuries.
Have a mother-in-law or children who drive you up the wall? How nice not to come home to a silent, empty home.
Have a hard-driving boss who breathes down your neck? It’ll drive you towards personal development, as compared to a lackadaisical boss with whom your future prospects are dubious.
The problem is, most people are simply not conditioned to think that the glass is half-full. Granted, it is often easier said than done, but your mindset will determine whether you are happy or miserable.
Experts say that most people use only 5% of their brain’s capacities, which means we are leaving 95% of our brain’s potential unutilised. Imagine what geniuses we would be if we can tap into our hidden talents.
What most people don’t realise is that everything begins in the mind. The most complicated achievements can only materialise if someone first thought of it, then turned that thought into constructive action.
Motivational speakers all expound the same thing: thoughts become words; words become actions; actions become habits; habits become character and character forms your destiny.
In The Secret, author Rhonda Byrne mentioned how people who are trying to slim down often don’t succeed because they are ‘thinking fat thoughts’.
In the same way, people who often get stuck in unexpected traffic jams or have trouble finding parking space are the very ones who set off on the journey grumbling about bad traffic and limited car park spaces.
In the book, Byrne explains it simply and succinctly: the mind is like a magnet. It is surrounded by vibrating forces that draw what we think into our lives. In other words, our thoughts are a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But it’s more than just positive thinking or visualising. Every thought must be followed by what she terms ‘inspired action’.
For instance, if you hope to close a big sales deal, go for the appointment telling yourself to expect nothing but good news. Inspired action can include going earlier so that you give the client a good impression, bringing your company’s best product samples, updating your sales kit or anything that can increase your chances of closing the deal.
Fundamental, you say?
Hardly so, when you realise how many people fail to make it work just because they neglected the details.
As I write this, I’m mourning for the family of my son’s schoolmate, whose 14-year-old son hung himself on his birthday after being scolded by his mother. The realisation hit me: mental and emotional resilience are not something they teach in school.
God alone knows why the young boy decided to end his life prematurely; whether he wanted to hurt his parents forever or create a lasting legacy for himself, albeit through a nasty short-cut.
What’s more important is that we teach our children how to handle and overcome disappointments, emotional pains, rejections and other life hurdles.
In today’s fast-paced life, we often don’t stop to reflect: who am I, what do I want in life, what I believe in and why, who do I trust and what would I give my life for.
Knowing the answers to these questions is the first step towards mind mastery. Try it!