First, we have a thought. Nothing is ever created without a state of mind, a thought. Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” and one of the earliest recognized personal success experts writes that what follows a thought is the organization of that thought into ideas and plans, and then transformation of those plans into reality.
Most people have this back to front. They believe that reality happens and they feel or think a certain way because of the things that happen and the circumstances that exist as a result. For example a person thinks their job is the greatest or the worst. Neither thought is true or false in itself. It is not that the job is good or bad, but it is the personal state of mind with regard to good or bad that makes either idea their reality.
At every moment we have a choice as to whether we are aware that we are the sum total of our own thoughts. The way to get rid a negative thought is simple, substitute a good thought. All we have to do is affirm the good and the bad will vanish. My version of an old short story (author of the tale unknown) may help to clarify my point.
A man having financial difficulties believes his business is going to fail as a result. Walking through a park wondering what he is going to do, with his head down and his body slouching he’s approached by another man who says, “I can’t help but notice that something is bothering you.” After listening to the businessman’s financial woes he says he can help. He writes out a check and a note, puts them in an envelope that he hands to the man and he quickly disappears. On the envelope is written “Believe in yourself and you will succeed.” Inside is a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, at the time of this story one of the richest men on earth. With the check is the note that reads meet me here exactly one year from now and you can pay me back.
Knowing he could use the money to end all his money worries in an instant the man decides instead to put the check in his safe. Just knowing it is there gives him a new found belief in his own abilities. He begins immediately to put together the ideas and plan that soon thereafter solve and erase his financial problems and save his business.
Exactly one year later, he returns to the park with the original check. At the agreed upon time, the old man appears. Just as the business man is about to hand back the check and share his success story a nurse appears. “I’m so glad I located him,” she says. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you, he’s always leaving the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” She takes him by the arm and they leave.
The astonished business man stands there stunned. All year long he has been wheeling and dealing to save his business, believing he has a half a million dollars as back up. Suddenly, he realizes that it isn’t the money, real or imagined, but it is his renewed confidence in his himself that has given him the power to achieve anything he goes after.
Our thoughts indeed do create our reality. As Thomas Jefferson is said to have wisely noted, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
William “Bud” Hart is a certified “Mindset” Coach, Accountability Partner and Business Consultant. Visit Hart Group, www.hartgroupma.com for more on coaching.