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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Power of Thought

I found my missing post! Turns out I had the 'publish as draft by default' option selected, so everything was being saved as a draft rather than being posted here. I'm glad I didn't have to rewrite this post, though.

It is amazing just how much your reality is shaped by your thinking. In Joel Osteen's book that I mentioned below, he talks about an example of a man who froze to death in a room temperature environment because he believed it was actually below freezing.

Here's an example that happened to me a couple of days ago. I've been following this free course from Motivation123 (they also have one on attitude and one on goals). Well, Day 2 of this particular course requires you to identify at least 7 negative thoughts and beliefs you hold about yourself. As I was thinking of these and writing them down, I could already feel the negative energy they were bringing with them. I was tempted to skip ahead and get to the next day, so I could deal with getting rid of them. However, part of what I'm working on is self-discipline, and I told myself to do these courses over 7 days as they are meant to be done.

So, having finished my motivational reading and exercises, I went off to do my physical exercise of walking on the treadmill. My initial goal is to develop the habit of walking 3 miles every day, and I had been easily walking at least 2 and making progress every day. Well, this day I got on the treadmill, and I just felt really sluggish, really tired. I was feeling the effort even before I'd walked a mile. Suddenly I realized it was probably from the negative energy of thinking those limiting thoughts about myself earlier. I decided to try telling myself positive affirmations like 'you can do anything you set your mind to.'

I also had with me the 'Your Best Life Today' book since I hadn't yet finished reading it. So I went back to the page that had most inspired me the previous day and started reading from that point. The combination of the affirmation and the inspiring words in the book renewed my energy and I easily walked the rest of my time. In fact, I made my goal of 3 miles (which was more than my goal for that workout) and could have gone further but decided to stop as part of that discipline building goal.

Had I gotten on the treadmill first thing that morning, without either the negative or the positive affirmation I would probably have walked just over 2 miles, maybe 2.5 if I had pushed myself. With the negative affirmation, I doubt I would have made it past 1.5 - it was just so tough to make myself keep going. With the positive affirmation, I blew past my goal, and didn't even feel the strain. And I went from the one to the other in a matter of minutes, just by changing what I was telling myself.

This is why my 'positive' playlist has been on a continuous loop for the last few days.


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