Everything You Want to Become and Do Begins With a Thought

What are you thinking about all day long?

Take a look around you right now. What do you see? A couch, a chair, a computer, walls, furniture, lights, windows?

Everything manmade was once nothing more than a thought. Someone had to conceive of the couch you’re sitting on before the plans were made, the materials were gathered, and the work was done to make it and ship it to the store where you purchased it.

Someone had to dream up the house you’re living in before it was built. I had to think of every word in this blog post in order to write it.

Everything that gets done in this world begins as a thought. From the first automobile to manned spaceflight to the Internet to cancer treatments to magnificent symphonies and works of art, everything had its origins in a thought.

I find that incredible.

The same holds true for who you are. Everything you do and everything you are begins as one of your thoughts.

What you think about leads you to who you are, who you will become, what you do, and what you will do.

What have you ever done that didn’t begin with a thought?
When have you ever made changes in your life that didn’t begin with a thought?

We have to change our thoughts before we can change our behavior. If we keep thinking the same things we’ve thought every day, we will keep doing the same things.

So what are you thinking about all day long? Are they your original thoughts, or are they thoughts other people put in your head? Are they positive or negative thoughts? Are they helping or hurting you?

Whatever you focus on, you will tend to get more of it. Your conscious and subconscious minds will get the message that this is important to you. They will work all day and all night to help you with whatever it is you’re thinking about.

Isn’t that amazing?

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.
–Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

Your subconscious mind doesn’t care if you’re thinking negative or positive thoughts. Since you’re focusing on it you must want more of it, right? That’s the way your brain works.

Earl Nightingale, in his seminal work The Strangest Secret Ever Told, relates it to how a farmer and his field work together. Whether he plants corn or poison ivy in his field, the field doesn’t care. It will grow one just as well as the other. The field doesn’t judge what you’re planting. If the farmer plants corn and cares for it, the field will yield a wonderful crop of corn for him. If the farmer plants poison ivy, the field doesn’t listen to the farmer say, “No, I don’t want poison ivy, I want corn.” All the field knows is the farmer planted poison ivy, so that is what he is going to get.

What are you planting in your mind every day?

If you constantly think negative thoughts, don’t be surprised if you get negative outcomes. I’m sure you’ve seen this in your own life. When you get in a funk and start complaining about things you can quickly get in a downward spiral that is difficult to get out of.

Most of us have also experienced the opposite. We’ve had something good happen, we’ve focused on it, and then we’ve gotten on a roll. We feel like we’re in the zone and everything is working out for us.

Questions for comments:

What are you telling yourself in your head all day as you keep repeating your habits?
What are you thinking about all day long?
That is what you are and what you are becoming.
What thoughts do you need to focus on to create the change you want?

Choose your thoughts carefully. Choose your focus carefully.

Let’s GO!

(If this post resonated with you, share it with a friend and check out my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, available in paperback and audiobook.)

How To Do Awesome Things

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Now, on to the video blog post.

We’re so busy all day, every day that we seldom take time to do an extremely important thing – take time to think.

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When Did We Decide Working Too Hard is Something to be Proud Of?


A new Bloomberg poll shows 27% of Americans think we have a lagging work ethic. I would qualify that belief to this: Some Americans have a lagging work ethic.

We have all seen the people who are doing just enough not to get fired, or the people who really don’t want to work at all.

I do worry that we now have a few generations who seem to think the good life is something they’re entitled to and not something you have to work for.

But there is also a danger if you go to the other extreme. When work becomes your idol and all you live for, that’s not good either.

When did we decide working too hard is something to be proud of?

I’m all for working hard and getting things done, but what about time for your family, friends, sleep, God, and relaxation? What about time to volunteer, think, read, and exercise?

Too much work will lead to you losing many of the things you hold dear. It will also lead to a reduction in the quality of your work and it could actually kill you.

Other than that, it sounds AWESOME!

My daughters really want to try out for a professional play in our city. But, when we looked at the practice schedule we told them no.

Rehearsal is from 5-10pm every weeknight. On the weekends, it’s from 8am-5pm. For three weeks. Wow.

Right now they leave the house at 7:15am and get home from school around 3:30pm. It would take 30-45 minutes just to get to rehearsal. They wouldn’t get home until around 10:45pm. They would still have homework to do. That doesn’t include piano practice, showering and getting ready to go to sleep.

That’s too much. They would not be able to give their best to the show or to their schoolwork. They would end up tired and miserable.

Sometimes it’s hard to say no to something we really want to do or something we feel we should do, but we need to give ourselves permission to say no.

It’s not a badge of honor to work yourself to death. It will actually end up hurting you, your quality of work, and the ones you love.

I’m going to spend some time this weekend rethinking how I spend my time each day. I’m going to prioritize what I need to do in all phases of my life.

If you decide to do the same, let me know what plan you came up with. I’m sincerely interested.

Yogi Berra Passes – Don’t Forget His Wisdom

New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra poses at spring training in Florida, in an undated file photo. (AP Photo)

New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra poses at spring training in Florida, in an undated file photo. (AP Photo)

Baseball legend Yogi Berra passed away at the age of 90. I’ve always loved his quotes. It’s hard to be funny (but not cheesy) and wise at the same time.

“We made too many wrong mistakes.”

Hey, there are good mistakes.

How about this one:

“How can you think and hit at the same time?”

Some people think it’s funny because, obviously, you have to think to hit. But I think Berra was being serious.

How can you do anything well when you’re thinking about it too much?

Of course you had to think to learn how to hit. When you were first trying to do it, you thought about everything – how to stand, how to hold the bat, how to watch the ball, how to swing, and more.

But the only way to become a great hitter is to practice so much that you don’t have to think about it anymore. It’s the only way to get in the zone or the flow or whatever you want to call it.

Isn’t that the same with everything we love to do?

How can you think and play guitar really well at the same time?

How can you think and have a great conversation at the same time?

How can you think and make a great sales presentation at the same time?

How often do we hurt ourselves by thinking too much?

Yes, we need to think, plan and organize in everything we do. But then we need to stop thinking and just do it.

That’s when greatness happens.

Thanks, Yogi.

More of my favorite Berra quotes:

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

The future ain’t what it used to be.

Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.