One Sunday afternoon a crowd of people went to watch an Oakland Raiders game. During the second quarter, 5 different people came to the infirmary feeling ill and vomiting. The doctor on staff found that most of them were sitting in one end of the stadium. Suspecting food poisoning, he had security shut down the concessions stands on that side of the building and had stadium officials make a public announcement over the loud speakers instructing fans not to visit concession stands in that area due to the possibility of food poisoning.
Before long, almost 200 people from that part of the stadium came to the infirmary feeling sick and showing other symptoms of food poisoning. The staff began sending people over to the hospital for treatment when the doctor made a discovery. While interviewing the original 5 patients, he discovered that they had all eaten spoiled potato salad from the same deli across the street from the stadium. The food at the stadium was completely safe.
As soon as this new information was announced, guess what happened to the other 200 poisoned fans? They instantly got better! In fact, they went back to the game before the second half started! When they thought they had been poisoned their body began to exhibit the symptoms of food poisoning.
Isn’t that amazing? Their thoughts alone produced physical problems like vomiting and nausea!
This morning I was thinking a lot about…well…thinking. More specifically on the power of our thoughts to influence our reality. We have almost all heard the proverb that says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) How true is that statement? I believe it is incredibly true.
You may have heard this thought:
- Your thoughts determine your words,
- Your words determine your actions,
- Your actions determine your habits,
- Your habits determine your character,
- Your character determines your destiny.
I do believe that we are actually able to think one way yet act another for a while; but eventually our thoughts will determine our actions. It is inevitable. Nobody goes out and cheats on their spouse without having cheated in their mind for a period of time beforehand. Nobody commits a major crime on a whim. There is a thought process first. The more we think about something, the more likely it is to happen.
What a blessing and a curse!
It is a blessing because it also works in our favor. Successful people don’t appear spontaneously. They have learned to focus their thoughts on success, productivity, goals, happiness, etc. The more they think about them, the more they start to develop successful habits. The more successful habits they have, the sooner they will achieve their goals for personal success, whatever they may be.
Someone once said, “Show me what a man thinks when he has nothing else to think and I’ll tell you what kind of man he is.”
Good thoughts eventually lead to good things. Bad thoughts to bad things. It is the Law of the Harvest in action. (You can get the book for free by clicking on the picture!)
Sow the seeds of positive thinking now and you will reap the harvest of success later.
1. Check your thoughts – The next time you have a break from work, a spare moment, or when you’re driving, be conscious of what you are thinking about. Do you go straight to Facebook, think about a television show, or just turn up the radio? These aren’t inherently bad things. They are just the natural place our brain goes because it requires little effort. But imagine the difference if you spent more time thinking about your long-term goals, the people you could help, a new skill you want to learn or a motivational story your heard.
2. Make a plan – Locate 3 areas in your life where you would like to improve. Write them down so they become goals instead of wishes.
3. Act on your plan – When you have a moment in the day, look at your list and think of something you can do right then to improve in one of those areas. If your plan was to lose 5 pounds, you could do some jumping jacks. If you wanted to help more people, look for someone to compliment or offer your help to. You will find that acting on your positive thoughts will reinforce them and you will start thinking about them more often. As we said before, the more you think about them, the more they will influence your actions, habits and destiny.
Remember, you control your thoughts and therefore you control your destiny.
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