If you can change your thinking, you can change your life. How you think is the number one key to determining your life. Your perspective will control whether or not you will be happy and content. Your outlook will establish if you will be wealthy and if you will have a healthy body. Your mindset will determine if you will have a life of success and leave a legacy of significance. It is critical that you hear me on this. Your thinking controls your life. That is easy to say, but do we really believe it? Do we work to change our thinking? Do we study, read, listen to coaching, and daily make the necessary efforts to direct and manage our thoughts? If you don’t work to create a success mindset, your life will be controlled by a “get by” or a negative mindset. You are in control. You decide. You choose what your life will become.
Today I want to discuss PERSPECTIVE and why your perspective is vital to your success. I just returned from a trip to Indonesia. On my last day there, I needed to travel from my hotel to the airport, and traffic was at a standstill. From where I was sitting, the prospect of getting to the airport on time was dismal. However, during my time in Indonesia, I had spoken at several business and church events and one of the businessmen I met owns a service that provides dignitaries with a police escort though traffic. He declared that I was an ambassador for the King, and ordered a police escort for my trip to the airport. From his perspective, a timely trip to the airport did not seem difficult at all. In fact, the ride was tremendous! The motorcycle police cleared a path, and our car drove smoothly through the gridlock.
When we pulled up to the airport behind the police lights, people turned to stare. As I watched them, I wondered, “What are they thinking” Did they think there was a bad situation requiring police attention? Did they see a medical crisis needing assistance? Did they believe I had the international status that required a personal bodyguard and police escort? I don’t know what they thought, but I do know this. Their thoughts and their beliefs were created by their own
perspectives. If they had prior experience with the police from an unlawful event, then their view would be negative, or perhaps sympathetic! If they had the mindset that the police are helpful, their view would be one of curious interest, and it would be positive. Your view always depends on your mindset.
Your whole life will be colored by the way you chose to look at the people and circumstances around you. Have you ever noticed that two people can look at a situation and see it entirely differently? One will see the opportunity and the other will see the problems. Now, let’s get a little more personal. Have you ever noticed that two people can look at another person and see him entirely differently? One will focus on his good traits, and the other will say something
negative. One will build up; one will criticize. I recently read the following story, and it made this idea very clear.
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside and says to her husband, “That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”
Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments. A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband,
“Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?”
The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.
What we see depends on our perspective and our point of view. How we see situations or circumstances is determined by our own mindset.
You must create a mindset of success for yourself. Instead of looking at the negative, choose to focus on the positive. Instead of expecting something bad, choose to look for the good. Choose to think of how to win instead of reasons you could lose.
At the beginning of this blog, I said your mindset, your outlook, and your perspective will control whether or not you will be happy, content, wealthy, healthy, successful, and significant. That is a far-reaching statement, so I want to look closely at this for a minute, because you must understand this principle on a very foundational level if you are going to change your thinking.
How does your thinking affect your happiness? Let’s explore your mind…if your husband sends you flowers, what is the first thing you think? Do you think he is thoughtful and kind? Do you think he must have done something wrong and is trying to get on your good side? Do you think he wasted money? Whatever thought you choose is what will color your mind and your perspective of both the gift and the giver!
Does your thinking control your contentment level? Are you pleased for your neighbor when he gets another new Mercedes? Do you believe your friend has a better body and is more attractive than you? Do you think the vacations your co- workers take are twice as nice as what you have planned? Whatever thought you choose will determine how content you are with your own circumstances.
Does your thinking control your health? Do you think you were born with bad genes and can’t change your body type? Do you think you just have a slow metabolism? Do you think exercise is important to living longer? Do you think eating healthy is too expensive? Whatever thought you choose will determine how you treat your body and whether or not you will have a healthy life.
We could keep going through many situations and circumstances, but I’m sure you get the picture. The thoughts you choose are the thoughts that control your mind, and thereby control your actions. But you may say, “Sometimes, I can’t help what I think. It just comes to my mind.” I understand that, and that is where coaching comes in. I want you to have the tools you need to make this transformational change.
Here are three ways for you to change your mindset and shift your thoughts:
1. RECOGNIZE & REPLACE
You know when your thoughts are negative, but you may have become so accustomed to negative thoughts that you are no longer even aware of how your mind is tracking. You must recognize that you are in a mental rut, then move out of that rut by replacing your negative thoughts with ones that are positive. Perhaps every time your mother-in- law’s name is
mentioned, you mentally shudder. Or maybe whenever your spouse asks for money, you throw up a wall. Or it could be as simple as when you hear the doorbell ring, you think someone is waiting to sell you something else you don’t need. Recognize these as the negative thoughts they are, then immediately replace them with positive thoughts. Maybe your mother-in- law makes a great chocolate cake. Maybe she loves her grandchildren tremendously. When her name comes up again, redirect your thinking to those good things instead. Maybe your spouse has a creative plan for the money. Maybe someone new and interesting is at the door. Move away from dark, negative thoughts by intentionally making the effort to exchange them for positive thoughts.
2. SPEAK WORDS of GOLD
Never verbalize negative thinking. Our mind responds to the words we say.
It’s so easy to toss out words that are ugly and destructive. Those words are
heavy and dark, often hurtful, and they take no effort. Don’t take the lazy way. Instead, look at the situation and think of the best outcome. Make your words encouraging. When your words are ‘gold,’ they are intentional responses that have value and worth. You will find the more often you do this, the more naturally it will come. Your own mindset will begin to shift as you place importance on speaking positive words. You will also see a change in the people around you, and you will be able to look back at your conversations and be pleased, rather than regret what you said. Speak words of gold.
3. LOOK FOR THE WIN
The third tool I want you to use in changing your mindset is training yourself to look for the win. This is a personal mindset. I don’t mean that you have to be the designated office morale booster or the family cheerleader. I mean that within your own mind, use every situation to propel yourself forward. Even when times are tough, look for how it makes you grow or for what you may have learned. If you are in financial stress, find the positive. As you recover, you will know firsthand how to coach others through that minefield. If you have a difficult relationship, realize that you are becoming a stronger person and more resolute in creating personal boundaries. There is always a win, and you must train your mind to look for it.
Your life is determined by your thoughts and your perspective. Use these tools to create a life of success and significance. Choose to make the daily effort to manage your mindset. It will make the rest of your life the best of your life.
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