“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” ― Thomas A. Edison
Over the last weeks and now months our lives have been changed and disrupted in ways most of us could never have imagined. I for one, never expected the world to shut down as it has for so long. Even after 9/11 within a week much of the world was back to normal. And I believe we will return to our normal again soon.
However, I hope that you're starting to think a little bit differently, do some things a little bit differently in your life. I'm all about helping people do things differently. And I know how hard that can be. I grew up in a negative environment. I know how hard it is to overcome some of those challenges that we have in life. And that's what this article is about; how to engage in positive thinking and positive thoughts every single day.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Every day you've got to engage in positive thinking. Okay, I don't want you to think this is one of those positive mental thinking exercises it's not, yet it is. Listen to Episode 192 The Paradoxical Shift of Leadership and 5 Keys to Greatness on my podcast so you understand. But, if you don't take control of your thoughts, your thoughts are going to take control of you.
Everything you do, everything I do, begins with our thinking. But oftentimes, we don't consciously control our thinking. We have a thought that's deep inside our subconscious. Maybe It's conditioned there from our childhood or something that's happened in our life. I'll give you an example. I’ve had two major car wrecks in my life, I was driving, and they happened in the rain. So, for years, I would get super nervous about driving in the rain. One wreck I don't even remember I had amnesia for a little while. I don't remember the wreck. I don't remember going to the hospital. I lost part of my life during that time. The other wreck I remember. I could have killed a driver; she ran out in front of me at a stoplight, it was raining, and I couldn't stop. And I pinned her in her vehicle because I hit her right in the driver's side door.
Luckily, I wasn't going super-fast. So, there was no major injury, but it was scary. One wreck was when I was 22 the other one was when I was 16, six years apart, but those affected me. These are things that I would let an emotion take over sometimes in the rain when I'm driving or when someone else is driving and kind of freaked out a little bit.
What I've had to learn to do is engage in all the positives and think about all the times I've driven in the rain, and I hadn't had a wreck. Instead of letting those couple little negative events take over my life. That takes intentionality. Because really those things were subconscious in my mind. They were subconscious habits or visions, creating fear, creating emotion, and they would create a reaction. And for you, you've got to take control of your thinking, you've got to take control of those thoughts every single day.
Right now, there is a lot of fear and negativity going on in the world. It can trigger old emotions and subconscious habits and reactions. As leaders, we must be aware of these things an understand theses triggers, but more importantly how they are impacting our leadership of others.
Now, how do you do that? You may need to quit watching the news. You may need to lessen the time spent on social media. I know you probably found me on social media. I'm grateful for that. But for me if you see me post I'm posting stuff that's positive. Be careful what TV shows you watch. Be careful who you're around and don’t listen to negative people. Now make sure you listen to the podcast I mentioned earlier.
What we water grows if you're watering weeds, weeds are going to grow. If you're allowing the weeds to take root, they grow a lot faster than the fruit.
I grew up on a farm, we had gardens, you plant that seed it takes weeks and months before you reap the fruit from that. But weeds can take over in just a couple of days. And so, you got to weed every day and the way you weed every day is you put positive thoughts and positive thinking into your mind.
Write down your positive thoughts and affirmations. You should have some affirmations you want to repeat to yourself daily so that you are speaking positivity into your life. If you don't those weeds will begin to show up.
The voices from my past that are still deep down will take over if I don’t intentionally replace them. I have written those affirmations down and I read them daily and repeat them morning, noon, and night. One of the things I’ve done is recorded them in my own voice, and I'll listen to them as I go to sleep. It's easier to connect to your purpose when you do that.
Back to the quote at the beginning of this article. Only 95% of people actually think. Most are letting others do their thinking for them and just have their thinking on cruise control. I hope that you will allow this writing to challenge you to become an active thinker in your own life and think about the things that bring you joy and help you become the leader you desire.