In this article I’m going to give you three ways to become more successful just by thinking. We usually want to know what actions it will take to get something done. That might work for a little while, but it won’t work for massive goals like trying to do the impossible. Dr. Schwartz wrote an entire book on thinking. Not surprisingly, he titled it “The Magic of Thinking Big”. He believed thinking was the key to creating the success you want in your life. We all want success right? Why do some get it and some don’t? He would argue it’s because of the way they think. Not because of how hard they do or don’t work, age, health, or even intelligence. One of my favorite quotes in the book drove this idea home for me: “The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.” It wasn’t until I learned how to harness my intelligence by the way that I think that I really saw some amazing results in my life.
So what are three ways of thinking that will get you closer to achieving the impossible? Let’s take a look at them quickly so you can get a move on and start thinking!
Think Your Way To Action
You were created with one brain that tells your entire body what to do. Sometimes when I think a sad thought, my brain tells my body to start the tear ducts up and the tears begin to flow. When I think about how excited I am about my upcoming vacation, my brain releases chemicals that tell my body to buzz around with energy. Your thoughts cause emotions; vibrations in your body. And when you have an emotion you go into action.
Feeling frustrated? You might go for a walk. Feeling defeated? You might close up shop for the day and watch some TV. Feeling sad? You might eat some Oreos. Feeling happy? You might call a friend.
Thoughts create feelings which drive actions.
This is another perfect opportunity to be curious. Which emotions cause you to do the work you need to do? What about the things you want to do? I get the most work done when I feel focused. I love feeling exhilarated when I’m doing something fun.
Here’s the key: these emotions didn’t just come upon you. You’re creating them with your thoughts. So if I know I work best when I feel focused, I need to think thoughts like “I know exactly what to do” or “I will allow distractions to pass me by”.
Think your way to a feeling that drives you to act, which will keep you going till you’ve reached your goal.
Use Your Prefrontal Cortex
You have the most powerful machine in the world: a brain. Use it. Really! The prefrontal cortex is just one awesome part of your brain that is amazing in that it allows you to plan for the future and make decisions ahead of time. How cool right?!? So why not use it?
Using your ability to plan and make decisions ahead of time can change your life. Seriously. My mentor Brooke Castillo explains it by using an example of a person hurrying along on their bicycle to a destination. They need to get to where they’re going ASAP so they have no time to stop and think. They just gotta go go go! If only they would get off the bike, put in their directions into the GPS and drive to their destination…
It seems to be the opposite of fruitful to stop taking action and to plan, but I PROMISE, if you make a plan, make decisions ahead of time, think of the obstacles that could get in the way, and create strategies for those obstacles, you will seriously blow your own mind. And you’ll save energy from all that bike riding you’ve been doing. You’re welcome.
I know, I know, I’ve talked about this before, but I won’t stop until you believe. Believing you can do something will lead you to being able to develop the how of doing something. Don’t wait till you know HOW to do something before you try it out! Now I know that may seem counter-intuitive to the paragraph above, but let me explain.
As I transitioned out of grad school last year, I knew I’d get a job to bring in income. I mean, I really knew I’d find a job. Even though I hadn’t even started applying, I believed I’d find a job. I can’t explain it except to say that I believed in my ability to take action until I got what I wanted. And I did get a job. You see, I didn’t believe in someone handing me a job or even just assume that I’d get one because I deserved a job. I believed in myself to keep trying, keep putting myself out there, to try different courses of action, to not give up until I got what I wanted.
Had I not believed, I may not have continued trying and I may have given up. Had I assumed someone owed me a job, I may have just sat around hoping I would get handed one. Believing is just thinking thoughts over and over again. Choose what you want to believe about your ability to achieve the impossible until you believe it so much that you make it happen.
There ya go! Three ways thinking will get you closer to achieving your goal. Now go think!
*Another awesome quote from Dr. Schwartz I read AFTER I wrote this article:
“When you believe, your mind finds ways to do.
When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But, when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it.”