SHAPE YOUR THOUGHTS TO SHAPE 2017
Last year is officially dead and buried – but this is not a time to mourn. 2017 is stretched out in front of you, begging you to make that change in your life that you promised to do last year but never got around to. The time is here to make your new year’s resolution and stick to it. Hopefully positive thinking will get you further this year.
If you find yourself making the same resolution in a moment of sheer determination each new year, and then watching it slowly fade from view as the months’ slip past – you are not alone. Motivational speaker and co-founder of Tomorrow’s Youth, Brent Williams, says; “Do the thing that you said you would do well after the mood you said it in has gone.”
According to Williams, it is common for people to get overwhelmed with excitement about making positive change in their lives. Unfortunately, it is also common to procrastinate, and once that surge of motivation has withered away, so too has the urge to take action and make that positive change.
So, how do we hold onto the motivation that will drive us to achieve our goals? How can we start each day as if it is the start of a new year; the start of a new era of success? To achieve our goals we must take a two-pronged approach: firstly, we must harness the power of positive thinking, and secondly, we must transform our intentions into action.
1) POSITIVE THINKING CREATES POSITIVE ENERGY
Most would agree that in order to be successful you must think positively. But why is this so? What is it that makes our thoughts either our friend or our most powerful foe? The answer lies in the very fabric of our beings – our energy.
SYMPHONY OF LIFE
All matter is composed of energy. Everybody, each being, every object in existence – when broken down to its minutest particle – is made of energy. According to the proponents of ‘Superstring Theory’, the fundamental particles that make up the universe, such as electrons, quarks and neutrinos, are all made of the same substance – tiny, vibrating strings of energy. These strings of energy vibrate in different ways, giving distinct form to the particles which make up all things in existence. What we perceive as solid objects and matter are just an illusion. It’s all just empty space which is filled with vibrating energy. Different vibrations produce different illusions or perceptions in our ‘physical’ world.
If you are having trouble picturing this, just think of a guitar. These strings of energy vibrate in different ways, giving distinct form to the particles which make up all things in existence. If you are having trouble picturing this, just think of a guitar. Each string is set at a different length and tightness. Although the strings are essentially the same as each other, they are set at different tensions – causing different vibrations when they are plucked. This is what enables each string to produce a different sound when played. According to Professor Brian Greene, in his book The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, time, and the Texture of Reality, “at the ultramicroscopic level, the universe would be akin to a string symphony vibrating matter into existence.”
Our thoughts are constantly pouring energy into our body and by extension the world around us. These thoughts are like a guitar pick, influencing the vibrations of the guitar meaning we have the power to change the tune we hear.
I’M PICKIN’ UP GOOD VIBRATIONS…
This means that positive and negative vibrations are real. They aren’t just some hippy/hipster catch phrase that yoga teachers talk about to help us relax. According to the proponents of superstring theory, they are the very substance of all things. We are formed by the vibration of our energy and so too are our thoughts. By having positive thoughts, we are creating positive vibrations.
“AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP”
Creating positivity through our thoughts and actions, means that positivity is reflected back to us. In the classic best-seller, Creative Visualization, Shakti Gawain, explains that “energy is magnetic” and “form follows idea.” This means, “we always attract into our lives whatever we think about the most, believe in most strongly, expect on the deepest levels, and/or imagine most vividly.” This means if we constantly worry we will never be able to save up enough money to buy one property – let alone build a portfolio – then we never will. Whereas, if we invest our thoughts into believing we will be successful, then it is only a matter of time before this comes to fruition (if we also take the action necessary to make it happen).
FAILURE CAN BE YOUR FRIEND
The way we think about failure can make or break our success. Brent Williams says, “Any entrepreneur or anyone who’s achieved any level of success in life will say that they’ve learned most of their lessons through their failures, not their successes.” If you view failure as a negative thing, it is likely you will give up trying. If you see failure as just an experience to learn from, then you can move on from it with renewed positivity; with newfound wisdom and determination to try again.
2) TURNING MOTION INTO ACTION
Behavioural psychologist, James Clear, makes a distinction between motion and action. “Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but that task will never produce an outcome by itself,” he says, “Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will get you a result.” In other words, reading exercise books and planning a workout schedule is motion, whereas, working out every day is action. Just thinking about achieving something is not enough – to be successful in achieving a goal, you need to combine both motion and action.
And, if the motion that drives you is created by positive thought, the action you take is sure to bring you success.
This is your challenge for 2017: set yourself in motion and take action.
SEVEN STEPS FOR SUCCESS
1. Think long and hard about what you want to achieve. Where do you want to be in the future? Don’t worry about limitations or how you are going to get there. Just focus on what you want to achieve.
2. Write out your goal as a positive affirmation, eg. ‘I will earn enough passive income through investing to retire from the workforce.’ Tape it to your mirror so you read it every morning before you start your day. This will keep your ambition fresh.
3. Create a mental picture of yourself living out your goal. Spend a few moments each day vividly imagining your dream as a reality. This is creative visualisation – a technique that allows you to be in charge of your thoughts and therefore the vibrations you create. For a detailed explanation of this process, read The Law of Attraction by Wallace D Wattles and Creative Visualisation by Shakti Gawain.
4. Research how you are going to achieve your goal. Read books on the subject and talk to those who are already successful in the field. According to Brent Williams, the world is full of “Master Chefs” who will share their recipes for success.
5. Break down your goal into achievable steps. Make sure you allow achievable time-frames for these steps and are realistic in your planning.
6. You’ve set things in motion, now it is time to take action and carry out your plan. As you complete each task you set yourself, remind yourself that you are one step closer to making your dream a reality.
7. At the end of every day, week or month (depending on the structure of your plan) ask yourself “What have I done to take action and achieve my goals?” Write down your answers in a diary so you can hold yourself accountable for the action you have or haven’t taken. If you find yourself writing “Nothing” at the end of each day, don’t beat yourself up in negativity because this will only hold you back more. Remember that you are creating your own destiny with the thoughts you have and the action you take. Positively affirm that you will take action and move on.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?
Stay focused, stay positive and do the things you need to in order to fulfill your goals. By not taking any action, that is when you really commit yourself to making losses. You are saying no to opportunities in life, and all the good things they could bring.
When 2018 closes in on you, will you be beating yourself up in anxious guilt about not achieving the resolution you made 12 months before? Or will you be sitting back with a glass of champagne, reading through 365 pages of positive action you took to bring you closer to living your dream life?