“Positive thinking means dwelling only on the benefits derived from taking action while disregarding the results of failure. It’s the only way to persevere.”
Critics like to bad mouth positive thinking, but I’ll join them in their criticism if we’re defining positive thinking as wishful thinking—the kind of thinking that made Peter Pan fly in Neverland. As I often say, “There’s a difference between happy thoughts and thoughts that breed strength. There’s a difference between positive thinking and being infused with ideas and outlooks that inspire you to overcome all things.”
My mission is simple: to help create stronger people, and strong people have strong minds, and a strong mind is what separates those who succeed from those who fail.
For example, I follow some individuals on social media who have served in the most elite branches of the U. S. military, but if you ask them what made the difference for them being selected for the most dangerous missions in the world, you’ll discover that it wasn’t so much about how physically strong they were but how strong they were mentally.
Proof You Have More Strength Than You Realize
I’ll put it to you this way. If I ask you to do twenty push-ups, and you haven’t performed any exercises in years, then the first thought to hit your mind will be, “I’ll be lucky to do five push-ups!” And sure enough, when you get to your fourth push-up, your mind will start telling you that your body is giving out and you can’t go beyond five.
Then, I pull out a gun and point it at your head and say, “Give me five more.” Suddenly, I just introduced a new thought into your mind, and for the sake of survival, you’ll do five more push-ups, because at what point will you say, “I can’t do another one—shoot me?”
Where did those five additional push-ups come from? I thought your body and mind were telling you that you couldn’t squeeze out any more push-ups? You had much more strength inside you, and the only real limits were the limits imposed upon you by your lazy, weak mind.
Focusing on Reward While Ignoring Failure
Therefore, all we truly need to do to change your life is to strengthen your mind, and that means more than “positive thinking,” so like I mentioned above, I’ll join any critic of positive thinking if what we’re damning are merely happy thoughts. I don’t support blowing sunshine up your own ass just to feel better when your performance sucks.
I don’t want you to condemn yourself either. I just think you should use your frustration as fuel, but I feel the key to overcoming where you are is to engage in a higher level of thinking which is based upon focus which means you’ll have to ignore or disregard some things.
And that’s what positive thinking is: it’s focusing solely on the rewards and benefits derived from taking action and ignoring the end results if you fail. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Failure is not an option,” but let’s face it, you just might fail at something. The point is that you are unmoved by it. In other words, in the face of failure, you’re still focused on the rewards and benefits of continually taking action.
The Cheapest, Yet Most Costly, Investment You’ll Ever Make
How do you develop this mindset? You do it by practice, and that means taking the time to do the daily disciplines that help to create a stronger you. Here’s five things you can start doing today:
- Spend at least 15-30 minutes daily in a form of meditation where you train your mind to focus on single ideal while rejecting any interfering thoughts.
- Read at least one chapter—or one article—per day on personal development (e.g., mindset, goals, etc.)
- Monitor your thoughts—and the images that invade your mind—throughout the day and reject negative thoughts and images like smashing a fly with a fly swatter.
- Start speaking to yourself only that which you desire and don’t allow negative words to proceed out of your mouth.
- Spend less time with things that deteriorate your thought-life like mindless television or scrolling on social media.
There is nothing in that list that you can’t start doing today, and since it won’t cost you anything more than time and effort, this will be the cheapest, yet most costly, investment you’ve ever made!
Let’s get to it!