What is a thought?
It’s been said that we have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. Which brings up a lot of questions:
- What defines a thought?
- Who counted all those thoughts?
- If I think about being hungry, does that count as a single thought?
- If I think of having a juicy cheeseburger with onion rings for lunch is that a single thought?
- If I think about all that is involved in preparing Thanksgiving dinner – I typically start on the Monday before, is that one thought or 100 thoughts or 300,000 thoughts?
- Who thought up all this anyway?
Nothing new under the sun
Mike Dooley is known for telling us that “Thoughts Become Things.” That may sound new age-y or woo-woo to you. It might remind you of The Secret or The Law of Attraction. But in reality, the concept has been around forever. Here’s some examples:
- Remember The Little Engine That Could? What did that engine say as he climbed up that hill? “I think I can. I think I can.” And on the downhill side of the hill he said, “I thought I could. I thought I could.”
- “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” ~~ Henry Ford
- “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” ~~ Mahatma Gandhi
- “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” ~~ Marcus Aurelius
- “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~~ William Shakespeare
- “Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” ~~ Zig Ziglar
- “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~~ Albert Einstein
- “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.” ~~ James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
Have you ever known that person who says “Bad things always happen to me?”
Or that one friend who always seems to have drama in their life? And loves to talk about that drama?
Or maybe you’ve noticed that your day goes pretty much how you decide it should go?
Decide it will go well, and it will. Decide you’re going to have a crappy day, and that’s
exactly what you’ll get.
I know you’re thinking that “Sh*t Happens.” Am I right? Or maybe your attitude is “Life’s a Bitch. And then you die?”
How does that work out for you? If you enjoy being unhappy, then continue thinking that way. But I have found that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Expect the best!
Expect the best from others. Expect that your day will be awesome.
Try this the next time you’re going to a networking meeting or a party: Before you get out of your car, decide how the event will go for you. See yourself talking with people and enjoying yourself. See yourself making a connection with one or two people. Expect that the meeting will go well. And then notice how the meeting actually goes. Whenever I do this, meetings go much better.
Eat a frog!
Yes, there may be some not-so-awesome things that happen in your day. But that doesn’t mean your whole day will continue to be that way. Unless that is what you expect. So don’t think it’s going to be a bad day just because you spilled your coffee. Turn that day around now!
Think of it this way:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ― Mark Twain
What are you thinking?
What does that mean for us? To me, it says that I need to constantly be checking what I’m thinking.
To summarize, I can’t say it any better than Mike Dooley: “Thoughts become things, so choose the good ones.”
Check in occasionally with your thoughts. Try to have only good ones, or at least fewer bad ones. What are you thinking? Are you in control of your thoughts or are your thoughts in control of you?