Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking’

In this world where positive thinking rules, its a bit depressing how all the positive thinking in the world does not always solve the very real problems we face. It might make us feel better, and that’s a great start, but it doesn’t make the bad stuff go away!

I know, it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But time and again I come across people who are getting ever more frustrated because they are not getting the results they want, even though they are apparently doing all the right things.

So if its not working for you, does make any sense to do more of what’s not working? Or is it time to try a new strategy?

So here’s an idea: when you’re facing a big problem, or even a small one, first of all lets not dress it up and call it a “challenge” because that doesn’t really make it any easier! In fact often it just makes you feel more stupid because you haven’t been able to overcome it! Lets call it what it is and be honest about it. Now look at this problem square on and make a list of all the reasons you can think of why this problem is unsolvable, the more reasons you can find the better! You don’t want to think about all the reasons why you “should” be able to solve the problem at this stage. That’s just going to stress you out even more and we know that stress makes us stupid! Once you have a comprehensive list, take a good long look at it and see if you can find one reason that you think you might be able to find a solution to, even if its a crazy unlikely one. If you’ve written down enough reasons you can probably find at least one that is solvable. Now make an action plan to resolve that reason. Then go onto the next one. And the next and the next until the problem is solved. Only tackle the easiest reasons first, as you gain in confidence you can tackle the more difficult ones, or you might find that you don’t even need to!

There are very few problems that don’t have a solution but sometimes its easier for our brain to think of reasons why it can’t be done than reasons why it can. Try it and let me know how you get on.

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Oops, I seem to have upset a few people with my post on winners and losers! I would imagine the people I upset most were the ones who identified themselves with the losers but honestly that was not my intention.

The thing is, in every situation there are going to be winners and losers. That’s just what life is like a lot of the time. It doesn’t really matter if you like it or not, its still true. The problem starts when politically correct types try to tell people that everyone can be a winner and that losing doesn’t matter.

But they can’t and it does.

And the biggest losers in this belief system are the losers. Because everyone has strengths and weaknesses and having enough self awareness to know what yours are is one of the things that will help you spend time and energy where its going to be most effective.

I know I’m never going to be a great athlete, but imagine if I didn’t know this. Imagine I was deluded enough to think that with enough positive thinking and self esteem and maybe a bit of meditation I could win an Olympic medal and people wanted to make me feel better by encouraging this belief, despite the fact that its obviously something I have no natural talent for. They’d be wasting my time and theirs, and worse than that they’d be helping me to waste my life and feel bad about myself! Far better to be honest and admit that my talents lie elsewhere and focus on developing what I am good at.

There are winners and losers in every field, and a person who is a loser in one area can be a champion in another. That’s what’s great about this life – there’s room for everyone to succeed as long as they focus on and nurture their personal genius within.

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Here’s a fun exercise to stretch the limits of what you know about your potential.

Is there anything you know you are not good at? Maybe you’ve always been told you can’t sing or draw, or that you’re useless at cooking or you can’t count. So your task for the next two weeks is to choose one thing you have always believed you are not good at and choose to believe that you are really an undiscovered genius. Use every possible opportunity to tell yourself how brilliant you are at art/music/cooking, whatever you like. Whenever you find yourself thinking about it smile to yourself and say “no one knows how amazing I am at…., but I know”. Now for the fun bit – once you get used to thinking of yourself as an undiscovered genius start taking every opportunity to express that genius and marvel at what happens.

Most of the things we think we can’t do are purely based on what we’ve been told by other people. Those people may have been well meaning but they were dead wrong! Every one of us has more potential than we will ever need. Its only our belief systems that are holding us back.

Playing at what you can’t do lets you see that you really can do anything you set your mind to!

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I love this video! I hope it makes you smile like it does me:

Remember – you are always perfect when you are being you!

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I’ve been hearing it for so many years now that I had almost come to accept it as undisputed fact but actually I’m not so sure. Negative thoughts are bad and positive thoughts are good. Sounds obvious doesn’t it?

The thing is that some people are naturally positive and some are naturally negative. Does that mean that negative people are absolutely never successful? I don’t think so. I know some right miserable gits who are very successful and I’m sure you do too!

I think what’s important is what you do with those thoughts.

For example, say you have set yourself a new challenge, a big scary goal. For some people its perfectly normal to set about thinking of all the ways to make it happen. But some people can’t help but see all the obstacles. And often we are a mixture of both but the long list of negatives stops us taking action.

The thing is, it doesn’t really matter where you start, what matters is where you end up.

If you’re naturally a negative thinker then make a list of all the reasons why you can’t achieve something. Round up as many as you can think of and when you run out of reasons keep thinking about it till you have some more. Now you have a big long list, start looking at it critically and for each one ask yourself are they really true. Cross off all the ones that are not 100% true. For example you may have said “I can’t start a business because I don’t have enough money” – ask yourself is that really true? Have you really done your research thoroughly and do you know exactly how much money you would need?

Now look at all the ones that you are absolutely sure are true. For each of them ask yourself what solutions you can think of to get round them. Again, go back to your business idea – now you’ve done your research and you know for sure that you don’t have enough money – but you have quantified the size of the challenge. That’s a huge step towards solving it. Now brainstorm all the ways you could get the money, or think of ways you could start with less, or think of other ways round the problem. Do this with every obstacle you have listed and suddenly you have an action plan!

The thing is that all the reasons why we can’t do things are actually solutions disguised as problems. Its just the flip side of the same coin! If your natural way of thinking throws up problems instead of solutions, go with the flow, use them. Your negative thinking is just as much a useful tool as someone else’s positive thinking if you know how to use it.

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The thing about this question is it all depends on perspective! Sometimes you think things are going well and then you discover that not everything was as it seemed. And sometimes you think something is a total disaster and yet it leads to your greatest breakthough.

So be very careful not to label things until you’ve seen the full picture, and know that sometimes you never will.

This video is one of my favourite illustrations of exactly that:


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A couple of days ago I suggested you start the week up – so now I’m suggesting you end it up as well. In fact why bother coming down at all?

Creating momentum is one of the surest ways to generate results beyond what you could ever believe possible because momentum creates exponential growth. Try this little game – take a dirham (or a dollar or whatever your local currency is) and double it every day for a month. November is coming up so double your dirham every day for 30 days. And if I asked you at the beginning of the month if you wanted me to give you a million dirhams right now or one dirham that would double every day most people would choose the guaranteed million! But do the maths and see how much you’ve just short-changed yourself. This is the magic of exponential growth.

Creating momentum in your life or your business has the power to transform everything you do. Momentum is probably the most precious currency your business has so whatever you do don’t lose it!

So what are you going to do to end the week up?

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If your success depends entirely on your mindset, then one of the ways you can monitor your mindset is by what comes out of your mouth. Negative talk is always a symptom of negative thinking, even at an unconscious level. A lot of people argue “oh its just the way I speak”. Well, yes, it is the way you speak and the way you speak has been giving you the results you’re getting. If those results are good enough then don’t change anything. But if, as I suspect, you know you can do better then paying attention to your language can be a very quick and simple way to change your energy.

Language is a feedback loop in many ways. If we say we’re tired our body listens to that and says “ok, we’re tired, lets shut down and rest for a while”. If you say you need more energy then your subconscious goes on the hunt to find a way to get you more energy! It really is as simple as that.

If you say you have problems your system will accept that and give up. If you say you have a challenge it will find a way to face the challenge. On a deeper level if you say you don’t have time your system will find all sorts of ways of proving to you that is the case, if you say you are too poor, again your system will look for ways to reinforce this belief. In many ways whatever you tell yourself is true will be manifested in some way in your reality so you need to be very careful what you tell yourself. if you don’t want it, don’t talk about it! Talk about its opposite – talk about the solution you want. If you think you’re too poor talk about needing more money. If you think you’re too fat, talk about being more healthy and active. If you want to solve problems say you are looking for solutions. If you don’t want to be sick, talk about becoming healthy. Its not about denying reality, its about announcing what you want.

Your subconscious is an incredibly powerful tool if you know how to use it and language is just one of the ways you can get it to help you achieve whatever you want.

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I remember this poem from my childhood. My grandfather had a book of Rudyard Kipling’s poems and he used to read them to me whenever we went to stay with him. This was his particular favourite. Now I think of it he must have been a very aware gentleman because he always changed the gender when he read it to me!


 If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master,
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

                                                           Rudyard Kipling


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With abundance thinking your basic assumption is that there is more than enough to go around. Years ago I heard a story that if all the money in the world was distributed evenly there would be enough for more than three million dollars for every man woman and child on the planet so there is no need for poverty and certainly no need for poverty thinking! I have no idea what that number would be today but even if its gone down, which I find unlikely, it would still be plenty!

The problem is, with most of the world in a scarcity mentality, people want to hang on to what they’ve got. They don’t want to share and they don’t trust that there is enough so they feel the need to grab all they can just in case it all runs out. But the reality is, its the scarcity mentality which is causing shortages.

But in an abundance mentality we always believe there is enough to go round. That could mean enough food, enough water, enough money, enough friends, enough business, enough love. So there is no such thing as competition because we all have everything we need. And if we don’t have enough, we have a belief that we can focus on solutions and find a way to create more. And here’s the really great thing – if we are not focusing our energy on competing with each other we can be focusing on collaborating and creating even more abundance.

Remember, what you focus on is what grows. If you focus always on abundance you will always have more than enough to share!

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