Mahatma Ghandi said that men often become what they believe themselves to be. “If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning,” he said.
Believing that what we consistently think about and how we think about it will eventually manifest in reality is not a statement based on some esoteric concept but rather originates from the direct link between our dominant thoughts and our actions.
Our lives are shaped in line with our most dominant thoughts, because our most dominant thoughts mould our beliefs and our beliefs direct our actions; and it is our actions that determine the results we get in our lives. On a very basic level, this is how the relationship between thought and action unfolds:
Negative begets negative
Consider a sales person who has experienced a lull in sales and now begins to “think” that they might not be the best sales person around. Sales go from bad to worse and he continues to hold the thought that he is poor at sales and clients are not willing to do business with him. Left unchecked and unaddressed, this “initial concern” snowballs into a dominant thought, and held consistently enough, this dominant thought evolves into a belief. Once well established, this negative belief will flash through his mind every time he picks up the phone to make a sales call to a prospective client. He will expect the worst and this will automatically affect his confidence. The prospective client will pick up on the lack of confidence during the conversation and will be hesitant to do business. He again loses the sale and this then further reinforces the belief in his mind that he is indeed a poor salesperson – thus creating a vicious cycle of frustration and disappointment. I know this from personal experience at my very first job.
Consistently holding this negative belief in my subconscious resulted in me experiencing results that further reinforced this belief in my mind. Eventually I came to the point were I was faced with a crisis – losing my job. I had one of two choices quit my job and look for another or become better at my job. The former was not much of a choice given the state of the job market at the time jobs. Besides, if any prospective employer had taken a look at my sales figures, I doubt if they would have warmed up to the idea of hiring me. The latter however required that for me to get better at my job, something had to change. I had to change. My dominant thought had to change. My beliefs in myself and my ability had to change. To get better results, I had to become better. I had to spend less time and energy thinking about how bad I was and begin redirecting my energy towards how I could get better.
Believe the best
I started off by changing my dominant thought and began telling myself that I was a great sales person. However, I also went one step beyond that and began to take action that was in line with this new positive dominant though – I began to listen to how the “heavy-hitters” made their sales calls, I began making more calls than usual (after all it was numbers game),I evaluated my sales recordings to established what I needed to correct the next time around, I began to find out more ways to add value to clients by doing more market research, began to make my presentations more visually appealing, I began to dress more smartly, began doing more prospecting and asking for more referrals etc. Suffice to say that the story ended well and not only did my sales improve drastically, but within 18 months, I was promoted to a management position.
I was faced with a challenging situation, however by shifting my dominant thought and proactively acting in line with my new and empowering dominant thought, I was able to influence the outcome. If I had instead chosen to remain worried, perplexed and fearful, my actions would have continued to undermine me, and further reinforced the negative belief that I was not cut out for sales.
The morale of the story is simply this – our own minds, if properly harnessed can do our bidding and give us whatever we desire; if left to their own devices, our own minds can become our worst enemies. Given how the mind operates, it becomes imperative that we develop habits and behaviour patterns that will empower us and propel us closer to our goals and ambitions. It becomes imperative that we choose thoughts that empower us and stir in us the belief that we can achieve whatever we set our minds upon.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio – More Than An SUV
The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession.
The All-New Alfa Romeo Stelvio draws inspiration from the legendary mountain pass linking Italy to Switzerland, with 48 hairpins in quick succession. The Stelvio pass is widely seen as one of the most beautiful and engaging roads on the planet.
What You Put In Is What You Get Out – Create Your Own Success
The secret to curating a successful life starts with what you put in.
You are what you eat, the saying goes. Your physical and even mental health are highly dependent on what you eat (or consume) daily. There are four fundamental factors of a system: Input, boundaries, purpose and output. All systems are mostly defined by the combination of these four factors.
A professional athlete will be very diligent about what they consume in order to achieve the best possible outcome, and sprinters will have different guides and regimes to marathon runners. Essentially, high performing athletes curate their input, or design their own lives, to produce a favourable output.
The same is true of the high-performance entrepreneur — they too should be curating their input, not just in terms of what they consume through their mouths but more importantly, what they consume with their ears and eyes.
A few years ago, I began to recognise that even though I might wake up in a good space in the morning, by 10am I would be feeling negative regardless of my daily practices. I had already established the discipline of recording and recognising my successes daily, as well as repeating daily affirmations and visualisations, yet within a few hours of starting my day, I found myself in a negative space.
I couldn’t figure out what was causing this; but after some analysis I realised that my daily routine included listening to talk radio on the way to work, catching up with the news on Twitter before my first meeting, and reading the morning paper which was neatly laid out on my desk. It quickly became clear that my negativity could be attributed to my over-consumption of bad news.
Each communication platform — from Twitter to the radio — has the power to depress anyone who consumes its news, but the combination of all three was toxic to me. It affected my mood, concentration and, invariably, my output. In a single decision, I eliminated these three platforms from my daily ‘diet’ and instead curated a different morning experience to see whether it would change the output. Instead of the radio, I decided to listen to either music or an audiobook; instead of Twitter, I decided to call a friend; and I didn’t renew my newspaper subscription.
The results were instantaneous. This experiment set me on a mission to see what else I could deliberately curate and design, so I began to strategically design my life to inform the successful and positive output that I desired. I subscribed to online newsletters that were informative and thought-provoking, such as Brain Food by Shane Parish; I cajoled my management team to begin listening to audiobooks at the same time that I was doing so to ensure that we included positive discussions in our bi-monthly meetings; and I ensured that there were always three litres of water in my immediate surrounds to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Create your own success
In case you haven’t experienced the lightbulb moment yet, the simple explanation is this: All systems have inputs and outputs, and the quality of the input results in the quality of the output.
If you see yourself as the curator of your input and as the architect of your environment, you can start to create the inputs, set the boundaries and define purposes to result in the output that commands entrepreneurial success.
If something really affects the quality of your life — whether it’s your attitude, your mood or the clarity of your thought processes — it’s time to relook the design and start to curate an environment that is conducive to your success.
And, if you’re concerned about missing out on what’s happening, always remember that, if a news report or update has a direct impact on your life, the chances are high that you will hear it through your friends and family.
Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals
Decrease the amount of noise in your head.
Accomplishing a goal can be hard work. But even if a project is something you are passionate about and want to complete, distractions such as social media, doubts and other tasks can make it nearly impossible to concentrate on it. Don’t fret. We’re here to help.
Check out these eight steps to help you prioritise and clear your mind.
1. Stop multitasking
Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work – like checking emails – and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.
Related: Goal Setting Guide
2. Block out your days
A good way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day – maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour – to spend on a given project.
Colour code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.
3. Get your blood pumping
You can’t focus if your are stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a walk for 20 minutes. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.
4. Help your technology help you
A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you are spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold Turkey, Freedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines.
Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing so everyone get some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made Simple, Calm and Headspace.
For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.
6. Change up what’s in your headphones
While background noise might help block out a loud office or construction outside your window, you need to be careful that what you are listening to isn’t distracting you more.
Music with lyrics can sap your focus from the task in front of you, so consider trying classical or electronic music instead. Or use a playlist that is familiar to you, so you aren’t tempted to turn all your attention to the new sound.
7. Streamline your communication
If you find that all of your focus gets trained on getting your inbox down to zero, think about how you can get yourself out from under a relentless deluge of email. Ask yourself and your colleagues to think about whether this conversation would be most effective through email, on the phone or in person.
Taking five minutes to walk over to someone else’s workspace will save you the time and energy invested into a redundant email chain and clarify how you want to attack a problem more quickly.
8. Find an environment with the right kind of noise
To be the most effective, you need to strike a delicate balance between too much noise and total silence. According to David Burkus, an associate professor of leadership and innovation at Oral Roberts University, “some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation,” Burkus wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
“Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office.”
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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