One of the foundations of success for me was realizing that I am my thoughts.
Just to clarify that statement – many bloggers tell their readers that they are indeed “not their thoughts”. And if by that they mean that you are not bound permanently to your thoughts, I wholeheartedly agree! But make no mistake, we are what we think about most of the time, good or bad.
In order to have the best thoughts about money, I had to learn to observe my thoughts. I had to learn to recognize that my thoughts exist on their own plane, and that I could have thoughts that would work for me and also those that wouldn’t particularly serve me well.
We think all the time. And since we’re thinking all the time, our brains do something to help us with the millions of thoughts running in our heads – cataloging.
Our brains organize, sort and store thoughts so that we don’t have to spend brain energy on that same idea again. When we encounter “XYZ” for the second time, our brain knows to just go to the catalog and pull out our thoughts about “XYZ”, and voila, there’s what we think about that!
But therein lies a big problem…
What if our cataloged thoughts are incorrect? Worse, what if they’re not serving us well? What if, gasp, they’re actually blinding us from seeing the correct way to do things? As Sam Harris writes, “The problem is not the thoughts themselves but the state of thinking without knowing we are thinking”.
When I speak to people who are struggling financially, one pattern that emerges almost always is that they are “married” to bad thoughts about money and success. They have preconceived ideas about money and everything that it touches – jobs, homes, children, relationships and happiness. And it’s almost impossible to get them to consider divorcing those thoughts…even when they’re faced with the terrible consequences of those thoughts – bankruptcy, divorce and struggle.
A big part of this is ego.
To divorce oneself from an idea once thought to be correct, but now proven wrong, is a hard battle for many to fight. It literally means admitting that they were wrong. It’s been proven that we love living in echo chambers, meaning that we love to hear our own voice and our own thoughts. How could something I’ve already rationalized and thought of, and cataloged as “right”, now be wrong? The horror of it! It can be tough to be a witness in your own life.
Friends, some of the most successful people I know are scientists. No, they’re not literally in the field of science. However, they do examinations everyday…on themselves. They consider themselves their own science project by observing themselves and their thoughts. They do this for one supremely important reason…
To notice what thoughts get things done in their life, and as important, those that don’t.
The vast majority of advice I give to those struggling with success is so simple. In fact, it can be summarized with this little gem of a statement – “Starting today, do the opposite of what you’ve been doing”.
Hardly earth-shattering, right?
But that’s just it.
We can get so routine with our thoughts and actions, that we literally impede our success if those thoughts don’t serve us well. To achieve uncommon success means that we have to get out of our common ways of doing things. And a big part of that is to interrupt our thoughts and do the opposite of what’s simply not working.
Do you remember the last time you went to see a movie? A really good one? In the theater?
You sit there and you watch the film with keen interest, frame by frame concentrated on what is happening on the screen, and how the story comes together.
You are full of attention because you don’t know what is going to happen, you have not seen this movie yet.
Now, think about your life. It’s easy to live our lives as if it’s a movie that’s already been played. That’s why we can’t observe it. We have played back tomorrow in our minds, and we think that it has already happened, so there’s not much that can be done. With the everyday hub drub of life, many can forget to be curious of their own story.
There are major perceptions that shape our view of the world. If these perceptions are not often challenged (as they should be), they become rigid, forming barriers between us and the world around us. These barriers become the walls in which we live, isolated and absorbed in our ideas.
I tend to agree with Thoreau, who writes, “I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things”.
The intellect, or the mind, obscures reality in a way. More of the objective gets replaced with the subjective. When we are born, we see the world as bare as our behinds. And that’s how to look at things regarding success. Like a child, with questions of why, why, why?
If you’re reading this article, hopefully your already on the road to success. If you’d like to achieve financial success faster, my best advice is to start observing your thoughts. See yourself as a project, observing, monitoring and correcting. Be your own success witness. Be a citadel for wealth and observe what’s working and what’s not. Be aware of ideas and thoughts that get things done for you and those that don’t. Double down on what’s working and take a sword to what’s not.
In other words, replace the non-working thoughts with their opposite. When you do, you’ll see success accelerate and that’s something very nice to observe!
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.
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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below:
Not Hungry: While The Mediocre Play With Their Phones, The Successful Prepare For A Feast
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Wait, You Mean Hate Is Actually A Good Thing? Yes, But That’s Only If You Hate The Right Things