One of the masterminds I participate in is a WhatsApp chat group that we’ve labeled Juxtaposed Jedi. It’s a daily chat between three of us, where we’re bouncing ideas off each other, conducting thought experiments, and getting & giving advice. One of the most valuable parts of the process is when we point out faulty thinking. This could be a confirmation bias someone has, making an assumption from a bad premise, emotional irrationality, or simply sloppy logic.
I believe we all need people in our lives who serve this purpose for us. (And this is something I endeavor to do for you in this blog.) Your thought process – the process in which you think – really is the operating system that delivers what kind of life you live. Because if you really analyze the practice of living a prosperous life, a huge part of it is going to involve upgrading your operating system – in this case, raising the level of your thought process.
If you follow my work regularly, you know that you are programmed almost all the time for lack and limitation. This comes via the media, organized religion, the government, and even friends and family. To permanently upgrade your thought process, you need to counterprogram all this negative programming with positive programming, so you don’t fall into a damaging spiral of thinking. This requires two important actions:
1) Stepping back to become “the thinker of the thought.”
2) Getting the ratio of your positive thoughts up to at least 51%.
Let’s unpack what this looks like. Most people are operating in what I’ll label herd mentality. They don’t have thoughts – they are their thoughts. You must rise above that. You have to be you, and your thoughts have to be what you are thinking. This requires the self-awareness to rise up to 30,000 feet, see yourself from the outside, and be able to objectively analyze your thoughts – both what they are and why you are having them. (In times like the current worldwide pandemic, this might be the most important survival skill you can develop.)
If you fall into a negative mindset, you deny or repel potential positive outcomes. If someone offers you an opportunity to invest in an exciting new start-up company, you decline because you figure that if it really had unicorn potential, the offer would be closed already. If a friend suggests setting you up with a blind date, you don’t accept, assuming the person you’re going to meet is a bad fit. You have to develop the self-awareness to notice thought patterns like these, then analyze what is causing you to have this negative default setting.
When you can think about your thoughts – as opposed to just being run by them – you are on the most important step to higher consciousness. And the most important step to enlightenment and prosperity. Meditation is a good method for developing self-awareness.
Many people are so busy, distracted, and overwhelmed, that they are buffeted by a never-ending stream of distractions. They always have a radio or TV on, with texts, emails, and calls also coming in. If you are assaulted with stimuli all the time, you’re usually being manipulated by them. Sometimes they make you feel happy and calm. More of the time, they will be making you feel anxious, angry, or overwhelmed. This causes you to ricochet from one emotion to the next, the victim of your thoughts, instead of being the thinker of your thoughts. When you meditate, you are entering that space between thoughts. That gives you an opening to be mindful of what thoughts you decide to allow in.
You determine your results in life by the thoughts you give precedence to. And to control the thoughts you give precedence to, you have to be aware of what you are thinking.
I joke in my seminars about my mother having “worst case thermonuclear meltdown scenario syndrome.” But there is some truth in humor like this. There are many people who almost always see things in a negative light, fear for the worst, and expect bad things to happen. I know, because I was one of them for 30 or 35 years. Your power in life doesn’t come from feeling angry, happy, or driven. The power comes from knowing why you feel that way.
How do you make a change, if you’ve been conditioned and programmed for negative thoughts your whole life?
The first step is becoming aware of your thoughts, recognizing that your thoughts are not you but only a part of who you are. Then you have to develop an honest appraisal of the slant of your thoughts. You need to breakdown the ratio – what percent are negative and limiting, and what percent are positive and empowering? Even if you discover that 99% of your thoughts are negative – that is still a positive step forward because now you know what to work on. Which leads us to the next question…
What do you do, when you realize that most of your thoughts are negative?
First, you work on starting to catch them. Meaning that you notice when you have a lack-centered or fear-based thought. Now when something happens and you catch a bad thought, you have to stop and reframe it. Example: You’re single and notice someone you’re attracted to at a party. You think about meeting them and immediately think about being rejected. You notice that and speak to yourself mentally. “Isn’t that interesting? I was thinking about meeting that person, and my first thought was rejection. Where did that come from? Aren’t I just making that up? Why am I not thinking that they would be excited to meet me?”
They could still reject you. But even if they do, you have started the change in your thought process. And every time you make an incremental change, it takes you closer to the breakthrough point. Every time you “catch” your negative thoughts, they lose some of their power over you because they can no longer subconsciously control your behavior. They can still affect you, even give you fear. But you know they’re giving you fear, and that makes a difference.
Here’s what else happens…
When you notice a negative thought, it becomes categorized and labeled in your mind, so you will almost always notice that same type of negative thought again. Each time these thoughts get weaker in their pull over you. Steadily, you begin to notice more and more negative thoughts and start to reframe them. And each time this happens, you inch a little closer to the positive side of the equation. Then one day you wake up and you are having 51 percent positive thoughts. The instant that happens, you have broken through and are on your way to health, wealth, and success. Soon it is 53 percent. Then 57. And it keeps going from there.
I don’t know if you ever get to the point you think positive all the time. (I know I certainly haven’t yet.) But once you achieve this tipping point of 51 percent, positive thoughts produce positive beliefs and expectations, which produce positive results. Those positive outcomes produce more positive thoughts and you are locked into an intentional cycle of prosperity. Ain’t it great!
P.S. In case you missed these recent posts, worth a read. Please share and spread the word.