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‘its your thoughts that count – the quality of your life reflects the quality of your thinking’

Chapter One

What happens when you think?

‘We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.’ Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

What thoughts do you have?

Have you ever noticed?

Chapter 1

Have you ever analysed what happens to your life when you think ‘this’ thought and what happens differently when you think ‘that’ thought?

I wonder.

If we don't know how much our thoughts count, how do we know what we could achieve if we thought different thoughts?

You see, the quality of our lives reflects the quality of our thinking.

So what are your thoughts like?

Our subconscious
thoughts control
our lives

It’s easy to go through our lives without being aware of our subconscious thoughts.

We may notice, however, when we have conscious thoughts. That’s because we decide to think about something.

Then we go through a process of working through it, and usually coming to a conclusion of some kind.

We then often put that conclusion – that thought - into words.

Sometimes we even put it into action!

When I say, ‘It’s your thoughts that count’, it’s your conscious thoughts I’m talking about. Because these are the thoughts you can change.

We’ve become so inured to our subconscious thoughts that we no longer notice them much of the time.

So we don’t bring them into our consciousness.

But these subconscious thoughts control our lives. They have done for years and years.

These subconscious thoughts usually come from our very beginnings.

They come from things we’ve heard, seen, or done since we were very little.

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And sometimes they don’t do us any favours.

If they’re subconscious, how do we find out when and why they happen, and what to do about them? More importantly, how do we become more conscious of them?

And how do we replace them with other thoughts that really do count in our favour, rather than those that count against us?

The quality of
our lives reflects
the quality of
our thinking

Now that you’ve raised your awareness about your subconscious thoughts, you may begin to notice that literally thousands of unsolicited thoughts will keep coming into your mind.

Your first exercise (your mission should you choose to accept it) is to recognise the negative unsolicited thoughts, and spin them around the moment they arrive in your conscious mind.

The positive unsolicited thoughts are just fine. You can welcome them.

Are you in favour of brainwashing? What would you think if I told you that your subconscious thoughts are a form of brainwashing?

If that’s the case, what do you think of the idea of taking notice of the countless subconscious thoughts you think? Of becoming more aware of them?

These subconscious thoughts are effectively brainwashing you.

But if you can learn to bring them into your conscious mind, you can decide what to choose to think about them in your future.

Your subconscious
thoughts are very,
very powerful

When you begin to do this, you’ll realise that even though they’re subconscious, they are very, very, very powerful.

It’ll then be your choice whether you’ll continue to entertain them.

I’m certain that you’ll discover that many of these subconscious thoughts - thoughts repeated over and over again inside your head - may not serve you well.

I’d go so far as to suggest that they might limit you. Limit your potential to live your dreams.

Now I’m not suggesting for a moment that these thoughts didn’t serve you well – once.

But they weren’t thoughts then. They were instructions.

Instructions like:

Mind you don’t fall.
Don’t talk to strangers.
It’s bad luck to walk under a ladder.
Don’t speak with your mouth full.
Don’t speak till you’re spoken to.
Don’t touch.
Don’t drop the plate.
Don’t go on the road.

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All the usual ‘don’ts’ that many of us have been brought up to recognise. A sort of code of conduct.

Back then – when we were very small, and in some cases when we were a bit bigger - they were useful. They served us fairly well.

Today some of those instructions might even be called risk management.

But consider how useful some of those instructions are to you now. Because they’re no longer instructions.

They may have been said to you so many times that they’ve been floating around in your subconscious mind ever since they were first said - repeated and repeated on an endless loop tape.

How can you recognise those unhelpful subconscious thoughts? Because that’s the first step.

How can you
recognise those
unhelpful
subconscious
thoughts?

When you begin to work on your subconscious thoughts, you may realise that you’re almost single-handedly responsible for your own success or failure in many aspects of your life.

How easy is it to take control of our subconscious thoughts? Is it a quick and easy task?

Frankly it’s an ongoing adventure. But if you really want to, this book will give you the tools.

Like anything in life that’s worth achieving, only you can make it happen.

Stop for a moment and notice what you’re thinking at this very moment.

I must book the plane for that meeting next week.
Can I afford to be sitting here reading this when I’ve got all this work to do?
I wonder when John will ring?
I must go and put the washing out.

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And so on.

It’s fascinating, isn’t it? And maddening too. And that’s the way we’re wired. The human mind is always thinking.

The human
mind is
always
thinking

If thoughts like these are coming into your mind unbidden, and you’re finding it impossible to stop them, you may want to put the book down now and come back to it when your mind is clearer.

Or, if you can, clear your mind and start reading again.

How do you do that? Well, it takes practice.

Think of just one thing. The email you’re writing. The task you’re doing. Give it your full concentration, your total focus.

Other thoughts will come into your mind. A dog will bark. Someone will come into your space. You’ll hear a voice in the distance. A noisy vehicle will pass by on the road outside the window.

To begin with, acknowledge the interruption. Gently bring your focus back to what you were thinking about or what you were doing. And again. And again. See it, hear it and feel it, completely.

Gradually you’ll find yourself in that wonderful place I call the zone. A place where you’re unaware of outside influences. In this place, you’re almost on automatic pilot except that your awareness is heightened.

Focus on one thing at a time and you’ll be amazed how much more you’ll achieve.

So how do you begin this work – work that will transform your life?

Have a look at the next chapter and you may begin to understand.

But in the meantime, let me tell you a story….

The story of the young offender

Once upon a time a group of young offenders were put through a typical army confidence course.

They were told they had to complete the course within a certain time.

They hadn’t had much exercise lately and they weren’t fit.

But they were told that the ‘prize’ for completing the course was to have more freedom and a reduced sentence.

Big incentive!

The young men were given the details of the course. There was the usual array of obstacles. Things like:

A 2m wooden wall they had to run up to and haul themselves over
A 3m ditch to jump
A 4m rope climb to test their upper body strength
Monkey bars about 10m above the ground that they had to climb up and then either swing or walk across.

Get the picture? It wasn’t for the fainthearted. But the prize was great.

A crowd of their supporters gathered to cheer them on.

The race began.

All the young men began the race enthusiastically. But some of them soon began to flag. They fell back on the rope climb or off the swing bridge, and were sent back to do that part of the course again.

They began to wonder if it was worth it.

People in the crowd started to think that none of the young offenders would reach the end within the allotted time. Their encouragement diminished.

They began to say things like, ‘Way too hard’; ‘Not a chance’; ‘That wall’s too high’.

The young men’s muscles were screaming. People in the crowd seemed to be shouting more loudly. ‘It's too difficult’; ‘You won’t make it’.

More of the group got tired and gave up. They told each other that it was impossible. And the prize wasn’t worth it anyway.

But one young man continued relentlessly through every obstacle. Sometimes he failed at a fence but he tackled it again. He always carried on. He wouldn’t give up.

After a huge effort, he made it to the end within the time limit – the only one of the group to do so.

Everyone wanted to know how this one young man had succeeded where all the others had failed.

They discovered he’d had a huge natural advantage.

He was deaf.

What kinds of thoughts was this young man thinking?

Only one kind. He was consumed with thoughts of reaching his goal.

His goal was to reach the end of the very difficult confidence course within the set time.

It was the only thought in his mind. He didn’t entertain doubt or uncertainty.

His internal voices were urging him on to his ultimate goal. He was lucky enough not to be able to hear the voices of the crowd, or those of the other young offenders.

Imagine that you’d like to do well at everything you do. You’d like to listen well. Converse well. Be good friend.

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Have great relationships. Do your work well, and be respected for it. Be good at your hobbies, pastimes and sports.

You’d like to live a life of happiness and fulfillment.

‘Imagination is all very fine’, you might say. ‘But that’s not my experience of what happens in my life.’

Probably not – not all the time.

But the more you take control of your thoughts, the more your life will happen the way you most want it to.

You have the power within you to experience great happiness, joy, fulfillment and gratitude. Perhaps it’s time to unlock that power.

‘Well’, you might say, ‘That would just be luck, wouldn’t it?’

There’s a great saying that's been attributed to many sporting legends, including such famous golfers as Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino.

‘The more I practise, the luckier I get.’

What might happen if you decided to practise controlling your thinking in every aspect of your life. Every waking moment of every day? (And sleeping moments too.)

Do you think you’d get luckier too? Do you think it might make a difference?

A difference to what?

To your biggest, most compelling, most important dream, that’s what!

First of all, you have to know what that dream is.

But before you work out what your dream is, take a look at the next few chapters.

You’ll need to know how to recognise and control your subconscious thoughts before you decide to work on your dreams.

 
 
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