We Become What We Think About
Classic line from Earl Nightingale—one of the early pioneers in the personal development movement. I bought a ton of audio tape series from Nightingale-Conant company when I started out in sales in the late 1980s.
We Become What We Think About is a subject Earl Nightingale talked about in his tape series.
It’s an old philosophy.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” From the Bible—King James Version
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” Buddha
“As a Man Thinketh” is a literary essay by James Allen, published in 1902.
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” -Marcus Aurelius (This is going way back, he was born in the year 121 AD.)
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet from William Shakespeare.
I like you to think about what you think about—what are you feeding your mind?
Who is influencing you? Those closest to you in your everyday life have a huge effect on your life even though you don’t realize it at the time? Your family, your friends, your co-workers.
What are you reading and following on the internet? Facebook? News? Twitter?
What are you watching on TV?
What are you listening to when you drive? Radio? Talk shows? Music?
What books are you reading? Are you reading books?
Do you take time to reflect? Time to think? Time to be creative? Do you just take some time and be quiet? Let the quiet go through you?
Do you write your thoughts? Do you write down your goals? Do you keep a personal journal?
Do you have meaningful conversations with friends or colleagues about your goals? Likeminded people who can push you forward and challenge you?
Are you part of a Master Mind Group?
These are all questions I like you to consider—
Let’s look at our daily lives and what we do—
When we wake up, what do we do first? Of course after making some coffee. We check our email. If there’s a work issue a lot of times we jump right in and we get stressed out on deals we’re working sometimes even before we drink our first cup of coffee.
What do we do next? Most of us will check facebook? Yes, it’s addicting. I am trying to cut back on facebook because sometimes it can be depressing first thing in the morning. We see pictures of beautiful beach locations where people are vacationing. This happens to me all the time and then I get bummed out because it’s 10 degrees in Colorado. Ha!!
I remember when I was younger I would wake up earlier than I needed to and I would read a book for 30 minutes. Back then I was reading sales and motivational books which was very positive and uplifting. I feel this is a great way to start the day. Nowadays I always wake up earlier than my wife and daughters and I write for my podcast and for other projects I am working on. I really enjoy getting into a creative flow first thing in the morning. I recommend you try this—get a book which is positive and motivational and read for 30 minutes every morning before you start your day. Try it for a month and then let me know how you feel.
This is the key—how we feel affects our thoughts. We need to do whatever we can to feel good and be positive. Reading 30 minutes every morning before you start your day is amazing. Do it.
How about Daily Affirmations? Some of you might be doing that. Whatever works best for you.
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Who said that? You can tweet me or post to facebook the answer. A classic!
Those closest to you have a huge impact on how you think and feel about yourself. Family and friends. Family is a little tricky because you can’t stop seeing your Mom and Dad if they are negative but you can try to minimize your conversations about work and what your goals are—nothing worse they being excited about something and then your Mom or Dad says that’s a stupid idea or you can’t do that.
Same goes for your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. If they are fully supportive then that’s awesome but if they’re not then don’t talk so much about your work and what your goals are—
The point here is try to get yourself around as many positive and like minded people like yourself. It’s always good to get a reality check but you don’t want people tearing you down all the time, it is invigorating to be around people who build you up.
I know when I’ve had lunch with someone who’s positive and challenges me I get so pumped up and the time just flies by. I get new ideas, I get new enthusiasm because I am talking about subjects and thoughts which are important and meaningful to me.
I want you to seriously review who you spend the most time with outside of your family. Here you have a choice. Remember Elaine from Seinfeld? The episode where she gets new friends who are the opposite of Jerry, George and Kramer. Pretty funny. You can do the same, try to make new friends, network with other people inside or outside of your industry. The key here is to try and surround yourself with people who will improve who you are by challenging you, motivating you, and pushing you to be more than you are.
TV? How much mindless TV are you watching? I know I fall prey to watching sports on TV. I am trying to cut back. I tape the games and then I can fast forward a lot of the game if it’s not interesting. Be careful of watching too much TV. Before you know it your life will pass you by and watching all those episodes of Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and Mad Men will not do much to improve your life. My point here is just don’t go overboard. Life’s too short. Make something for yourself and your life.
Radio in your car? When you’re driving around it’s a great opportunity to listen to positive and meaningful content on CD’s or now you can even download podcasts on your smart device and listen to them in your car. A great resource for those of us who drive a lot during the day.
Are you reading books? I talked about that already. It’s so easy nowadays to get good books from your library. There is no excuse for anyone today to not be a reader. Read for 30 minutes every day in the morning. It will change your life.
Do you take some quiet time during the week? 30 to 40 minutes and just reflect. Visualize your future. Visualize your goals. Visualize what you want out of your life. Thinking and reflecting is energizing. I do this when I can. I listen to music to help me visualize and see my future. Radiohead—OK Computer—best music ever for getting the creative juices flowing. I do visualization listening to music to help me think and create. When you’re visualizing your future you are being creative. Visualization is a powerful tool for improving our thoughts and how we feel about ourselves.
Do you keep a journal? Do you write down your goals? Do you write down your thoughts? Journal writing is a powerful way to express your thoughts and generate new ideas. I know writing for me helps me so much. If you are not doing it then start keeping a journal. Try writing your thoughts and some ideas as least once a week. So easy nowadays to do this since all of us have computers.
The last point I want to talk about is creating a Mastermind group. What is a Mastermind group? Well, it’s not hanging out with people with huge brains like the cartoon “Megamind?” Or aliens from the early Star Trek TV shows?
A Mastermind group comes from Napoleon Hill and his book: “Think and Grow Rich.”
Napoleon Hill wrote about the mastermind group principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”
How it works is you get together with a small group of people, at least 3 is the minimum and to start I would not have more than 7-8 people in the group. You set out your goals and objectives for the group. For example you could have a group of small business owners and you discuss and focus—How to grow your business to the next level? How to recruit and maintain strong and loyal employees? Marketing ideas on a small budget. Social Media strategies to build brand identity. I suggest you meet at least once a month at minimum. Each member of the Mastermind group has to talk and contribute. No ideas or thoughts are too silly. The key is to build momentum by talking and throwing out ideas and thoughts then the third entity—the Mastermind—will increase in power and generate ideas for your group. I have been a part of Mastermind groups when I was younger and I have to admit they are effective but you have to stick with it and have like minded individuals who take it seriously and put in the effort to contribute.
Right now Mastermind groups are all the rage with social media experts. They are actually charging people to be a part of their Mastermind group and they are charging a premium in the range of $500 to $1,000 I have seen. I think this is bogus. I don’t believe this is what Napoleon Hill had in mind when he came up with the idea.
Try it. Nowadays you can create a Mastermind group virtually with Google hangouts. That would be cool to have people from around the country where you’re not competing with them for business and you can help each other.
OK, wow, that was a lot more info than I thought it was going to be for this episode.