By Willie Horton
Our lives are the product of what we ourselves do to create them. Although, ultimately, we cannot fully control our lives, we can, in the right frame of mind, exert a huge influence on our success and happiness. Unfortunately, however, most people exert little or no influence at all over the course of their lives because they have no concept of their own ability to grasp full control of the one and only thing that all us can control – our own state of mind. Indeed, I suspect that it has never even occurred to the majority of people that they can control their own state of mind. Most people prefer to be tossed around by life’s ups and downs, prefer to be followers rather than leaders, prefer to be victims rather than creators. It just seems to be the default state for the average normal adult – otherwise lives would be noticeably different.
State of mind is everything. It determines whether or not your actions in life will come to anything. You could be working hard in your job and not getting anywhere because your efforts are being cancelled out by your very own self-destructive thoughts. How many people go through the motions at work whilst all the while thinking that they don’t like their job or they wish they were somewhere else? How many people strive for promotion whilst continually telling themselves that the system isn’t fair and that they’ve no chance of success? How many people work for the money and nothing else? The problem with this kind of “work” is that you’re not putting your heart into it, how could expect to get anything much in return. Or, to put it another, more scientific way, you’re not putting enough of your energy into what you’re doing.
We’re made up of energy – so is everything. Research in the fields of quantum physics and molecular science strongly suggests that how we deploy our energy has an impact on all energy – obviously and particularly, the energy closest to us. For example, if you tell your boss, who you don’t like and who you know, for a fact, is going to promote someone else in front of you, to have a nice day – the message will be coming from your teeth out! Your words will mean say one thing but your deployment of energy at that moment will mean something else – you will, in effect , be feeding your own failure.
Our world works on the basis of constantly responsive and interactive energy exchange. Psychology tells us that we only deploy about 1% of our energy in doing what we’re doing, the rest of our energy is dissipated in either useless or self-destructive thought – or both. This is directly as a result of our not controlling our own state of mind. Instead, the normal person wanders mindlessly through each day, allowing their mind self-destruct. And, even though you might think that you’re working hard or trying your best, the fact of the matter is that it’s not what you do that matters, it’s what you’re thinking while your half-heartedly going through the motions. It’s the thought that counts.
A colleague can tell you that you look wonderful today and either think that you look awful or wish that you didn’t look so well. An acquaintance can wish you the very best for your new business venture whilst inwardly hoping that you fall flat on your face. A good friend can tell you that you can count on their support when you set up your new business knowing full well that they’ve no intention of giving you any business at all (talk to people who have set up their own businesses on this one if you don’t believe me!). Many people will tell you to have a nice day and not give a damn whether you do or not. And, of course, most normal people won’t even bother putting on a brave face when asked how they are – the standard reply is “not too bad”. People in sports and business can work all the hours God gave them and train hard – but if they don’t believe in their heart and soul in their own success, they will fail.
It’s not what you do – it’s how you do it. You have to do what you’re doing wholeheartedly. You have to rise to the challenge of deploying more than 1% of your energy in the here and now – you’ll never have the opportunity again. You have to put in the work to prevent your mind undermining you – you’ve got to take control of your mind and exert maximum influence on your own success and happiness. If you don’t you might as well lie down and die.
Your state of mind is simply a matter of your choosing. Your mind can wallow in useless and self-destructive thought and you won’t even be aware of it – you’ll only see the “not too bad” results in your life. Or, alternatively, you can choose to focus your mind – not on your goals or objectives but on what you’re supposed to be doing now. That’s the kind of focus that will drag your mind away from its obsession with self-destruction, that’s the kind of focus that will pull your energy (often kicking and screaming) into the only place and time that it can be usefully deployed – the here and now.
The choice is yours – you choose your own thoughts and the thoughts that you choose dictate your life.
Willie Horton has been a Personal Development expert since 1996 – working with top leaders in major organizations. An Irish ex-accountant, ex-banker, published author and keynote speaker, he travels the world, from his home in the French Alps, enabling people to “live their dream”. Visit him at Gurdy.net.