Success secret #4 is simply: Focus On Positive Thoughts Not Negative Ones
If you watch or read the news it’s usually pretty negative – because that’s what sells. And on a personal level, it’s much easier for your mind to fall into a negative emotional trap of fear, doubt and low self esteem than it is for optimism, belief in one’s self and confidence.
Have you ever heard the saying: “be careful what you wish for, you might surely get it”? This is another way of describing a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’.
This simply means that what you focus on with your mind is actually “subconscious goal-setting”. If you think about negative things, some of those things are likely to occur. On the other hand, if you think about positive things, some of those are likely to occur as well. Don’t take my word for it, numerous research studies have been conducted to confirm this.
One of the key traits of successful people is they recognize the power of positive thinking. They form a mental image of the outcome or goal that they desire. Subconsciously, their minds begin to formulate ideas and plans to help them obtain their goals.
This ties in very closely with “building momentum” by taking baby-steps as discussed in my Success Secrets #3 in a related article (http://www.johnhanlin.com/Success_Secrets.html). The first baby-step here is: consciously thinking of your desired outcome or goal. This enables the brain to subconsciously begin working on ways to make that desired outcome happen. This is what the term “brainstorm” is all about. In this case though, it is “programmed brainstorming”. In other words, you can consciously program or “key-in” your desired outcome by focusing on it. Your brain will take over from there, behind the scenes, as you go about your day.
To truly harness this powerful tool of “programmed” brainstorming, I suggest that you write down one important dream or goal that you have been mulling over – perhaps for years. Whether you currently believe it’s possible right now doesn’t matter at all. Just write it down on a sticky note. Then, put the sticky note with your written goal someplace where you’ll see it at least once a day (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, computer, etc.).
I’m sure you’ve heard this suggestion before, right? The difference has to do with breaking your goal down into ‘baby-steps’. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs. by a certain date, don’t immediately go on a crash diet and join a gym or run a marathon – or all of the above! Instead, maybe you’ll just decide to do one form of exercise each day. This could be simply taking a walk or doing a few sit-ups at first. Each baby-step needs to be something that’s easy to do and very achievable.
From personal experience, I can tell you that you’ll find by just getting the process started, your motivation will build daily – but you have to focus on your goal (read your sticky note!).
The hardest part is always just getting started! Then, by taking small, achievable baby steps consistently, you will build confidence and belief about achieving your goal. (Remember “building momentum” as mentioned above.)
Just keep your sled moving up the slope. (Taking action!)
As your confidence builds, momentum will take over. What I mean is: you’ll find yourself wanting to do more. With that, your mind will kick into overdrive to help you toward your goal. That’s a good thing, but….
CAUTION: Don’t overdo it! If you go overboard, especially early on, you will short-circuit the process and likely fail. So, just continue to take one baby-step at a time and build on it a little at a time, keeping it simple and achievable. This is critical. You must keep your confidence level high by making it easy to accomplish each baby-step towards your goal. Many people crash right here and this is why many people don’t achieve their dreams and goals before. They try to do too much, too fast and self-destruct.
Hopefully, you now see the power of focusing on your desired outcome & positive thoughts and how you can program your mind to achieve your goals. On the flip side, I hope you also see how your mind can work against you if you focus on problems and negative thoughts.
Does this mean that successful people never consider problems? Of course not! However, they do this differently than most people.
Successful people don’t focus on their problems. Instead, they focus on their goals and consciously consider possible roadblocks or problems they might have to overcome or avoid in order to achieve their goals. See the difference?
Successful people “hope for the best and plan for the worst”. They don’t let negative thoughts control them and throw them off their target. Instead, they use what they think about and focus on as tools in achieving their goals.