A Man Is What He Thinks About All Day Long

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The amount of information that we are exposed to on a daily basis is amazing. 

It comes through social media, television, radio, books, and the list could go on and on.  It’s great how much access we have in this day and age to information, but it is potentially dangerous as well.  I want to look at the potential impact information can have on our lives.

I’ve talked previously about the importance of being powerful creators of our own lives. As we walk through this process it will demonstrate why it is so important that we are intentional about it.

You get in life what you create.

Create > Life

This is why you see people from all different backgrounds, countries and races doing amazing things in the world, regardless of where they start out. We’ve seen people rise up out of poverty, from having absolutely nothing and becoming extremely successful and wealthy. At the same time we’ve seen people who would be considered privileged, create amazing things in their own lives. 

On the other hand, we’ve watched people on both ends of the same spectrum create un-powerful lives and end up even worse off than they began.

The things that you expect in your life are the things you create. What you expect to happen, drives your creative capacity.

Expect > Create > Life

But now, taking one more step back, where do your expectations come from?

You expect what you think about.

Think > Expect > Create > Life

Life is a result of what we think about. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “There is a deep tendency in human nature to become precisely like that which you habitually imagine yourself to be.”

This philosophy spurred the writing of books such as Think and Grow Rich, As a Man Thinketh, The Power of Positive Thinking, The Magic of Thinking Big, and others.

But if you go another level deeper, what is it that influences your thoughts?

It’s the things you allow yourself to hear and see. The inputs that you are exposed to

Inputs > Think > Expect > Create > Life

This is why it’s so important to be conscious of the things you allow yourself to be exposed to. 

In such a fast paced, chaotic world, all of the different media outlets are fighting for your attention. 

Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a news station that just reports on the good things that happen? The happy, feel-good stories? It’s because they would go broke. It’s the stories of fear, tragedy and disaster that catch our attention. 

Your brain’s job is to keep you alive, not make you happy and the media understands this. That’s why they don’t use the happy, feel good stories to grab your attention. It’s the tragic, shocking stories that get your attention. It’s the same reason traffic comes to a halt as people rubber-neck to see an accident, but at other times those same people don’t think twice about looking at the most beautiful sunset they would have ever experienced as they are making their commute home.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

When you look at the path of how the inputs in our lives impact our thoughts, which impact our expectations, our expectations turn into our creations which results in our life you can understand why it’s so important to pay attention to the inputs we allow into our lives.

You have to protect your mind. You have to be vigilant about what you expose yourself to because every single input matters.

So what does this mean to you? How do you do it?

You have to consciously choose what you are going to allow yourself to be exposed to.  According to a Nielsen Report, US adults watch 5:04 of TV per day on average (35.5 hours/week, slightly more than 77 days per year). It’s time to cut back. Make a choice as to what you are going to give your attention to. Are you going to focus on the good or the bad? The things you can’t do anything about, or the things you can impact?

The first time I trained for a marathon I did all of my training on a treadmill and my routine was to watch the news while I ran. I knew about everything going on. Politics, the markets, the wars and all the other dark, dirty and fearsome content. But then one day I decided I didn’t need to know all of it and continue to fill my mind with all of the garbage and I quit watching the news. The result?

  • Not watching the news didn’t limit my capacity.
  • It didn’t end or cause the start of any war.
  • I wasn’t uninformed because the things I needed to know came to me in different forms.
  • It drove my parents crazy when they said something to me about something in the news and I had no idea what they were talking about. 
  • It cleared my mind!

A number of years ago I listened to Darren Hardy speak on this topic and the following are his thoughts combined with my own on how to best manage the inputs you let into your life.

Selective Listening

Be specific about the things you let in. You don’t have to give it all your attention, just the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that impact you and your family and ignore the rest.

Remember, what you give your attention to becomes your reality. Focus your attention on what is good – ideas, knowledge, talents and skills

Low Information Diet

Limit your intake. Filter your news so you’re only getting the things that are important to you. Do not over-consume!

Mind Your E2E Ratio

Your E2E Ratio is a concept from Brian Tracy, which stands for Entertainment to Education Ratio. Recognize how much of your time is focused on Entertainment vs Education. One study stated that 95% of people spend their extra time on entertainment, while 5% (the successful) spent their extra time focused on education.

Feed Your Mind

As you feed your mind with high quality content, your thoughts and ideas become more powerful. 

I enjoy good music, but I rarely listen to it. I prefer to spend any time I can listening to books or podcasts online. 

For example, last week I wrote the article, Dealing With Negative People. This morning at the gym, with TV’s on every wall broadcasting news stations and ESPN, I had my headphones in listening to, “Talking to Crazy,” a book that someone suggested to me after reading my article.

Separate yourself from the average. Use your extra time to fill your mind with positive and inspirational material.

When we are fully aware of the impact the things we allow as inputs have on our lives we can be more conscious and selective to ensure we are letting only the best things in. Be intentional in all you do and live the life you most desire.

Dealing With Negative People

We all have to deal with negative people at some point. How do you deal with it?

You need to be conscious of the impact it has on you. I can recall when I’ve been around the negative energy and attitude of someone and the next thing I know I’m unloading negativity onto someone else.

Just stay away from negative people. Eliminate them from your life. Who cares what they think… Right?

It’s really not quite that easy, so then what?

Some people are chronically negative. They are always complaining. Finding the bad in everything. The Eeyore’s of the world.

With others it may be out of character but something has triggered them to be in a mood.

A while ago I wrote, “The Crowd’s Chanting ‘Airball’… You’re Thinking, ‘NEXT!’ I talked about how you have to deal with negativity by moving on. I used a Tweet from Gary Vaynerchuk as an example where he said “I just don’t give a @$%& about what anybody thinks about me, because they don’t know who the *&^% I am inside.” 

But here’s the thing. The context of that article was talking about the impact of your own negative self-talk and the negative feedback from social media. Sometimes the “I don’t care” attitude and brushing them off might be the answer, but not all the time.

When you consciously prepare for something before it happens, you are better able to deal with it when you’re actually in the situation because you can stop yourself from reacting based on emotions.

 When you have to deal with negative people, keep these four points in mind:

Decide Your Response and Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Sucked In

You always have the choice to decide your response. In Man’s search for MeaningViktor E. Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

It doesn’t matter how negative, nasty or degrading someone is to you. You are always the one choosing how you respond. Don’t let your emotions dictate your reaction and suck you into their negativity. 

Don’t Let Their Problem Become Your Problem

Often, when someone is spewing their negativity onto you, it really has nothing to do with you at all. But they want someone on their side. They want someone to agree with them or just listen to them on whatever it is they are ranting about. 

It’s not your job to justify their negativity, fix their problem or take it upon yourself. Don’t allow yourself to become everyone’s problem solver and become infected with their negativity.

Hold Your Tongue

This one can be a challenge. There will be times that it’s not just a negative person you are dealing with. Sometimes they will be attacking you, someone you love, your thoughts or your goals. 

When this happens you need to stand up for yourself, right? Will it really change anything if you do?  You might feel like you have to justify your thoughts or actions, but you don’t. 

“In life, it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.”

Don’t Let Them Change Your Path

If someone tells you that your dreams are unrealistic, should you change them? As you read that I’m sure you thought to yourself, “of course not.” But are you sure? Have you ever been excited about something only to share it with someone and you were deflated after you saw their response? Maybe they even laughed at it or told you that you’re crazy.

 I’m blessed with the most supportive wife in the world. From day one, I’ve been able to come to her with any of my crazy dreams and she’s automatically by biggest supporter and cheerleader. 

Recently we were discussing some of our business ideas and activities and she made a comment that crushed me. For the first time in my life I felt like I didn’t have her support in something that I was excited about. I began questioning myself. What am I thinking? Why did I think I could or should do this? But I was able to gather myself and remember the thought and preparation I had put into the idea before beginning it, and I knew it was the right thing.

Luckily I also soon realized that I misinterpreted her comment and she’s still my number one supporter!

When you know you’re on the right path, don’t let the negativity of someone else change it. 

Our attitudes are a choice that we have. Just as someone’s negative attitude or personality can have an impact on others, your positive attitude and excitement can have an impact on others as well.

Everyone is dealing with some kind of challenge. Be the light in their life!

Subscribe HERE to receive all of my articles

Surround Yourself With Greatness

You’ve probably heard the Jim Rohn quote before, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

How true is this statement? If it’s true, what areas of your life does it impact?

It is true, and it impacts every aspect of your life. Your level of wealth, your happiness, aspirations and goals, health and physical condition, relationships and attitudes. I could keep going. 

We want our kids to hang out with good friends that will be positive influences on them. In Surround Yourself With Greatness, Chad Lewis says, “It is vital to surround ourselves with good friends as it is for a fish to live in water, especially in our teenage years. It is critically important to our lives, our future, our health, and our safety to be around positive influences, people who don’t tempt us but rather help us make good decisions. A friend who sees the good in us and encourages us to be our best self is worth more than his weight in pure gold.”

It’s no different in our adult lives. It is vital that we surround ourselves with the right people.

“He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

Proverbs 13:20

 If the people you spend the most time with have a negative outlook on life, focus on the bad, are always blaming others for their difficulties and are generally just negative, how do you expect to be happy and have a positive approach to life? 

Look at the people around you. Are they more successful than you? Are they doing and working towards the things that you want in your life? What direction are they going? Where are they going to be in twenty years? Is it the direction you want to be going? They are either pulling you up, or dragging you down. Which is it?

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, “Every man is what he is, because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind… We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment.” 

The people around you can elevate you as much as they bring you down. I have a business partner that always has huge goals and aspirations and always has an incredibly positive attitude towards life and the future. Sometimes when I’m faced with difficulties and things just aren’t working out, I’ll go meet with him just for the pep talk. I know that just by spending time with him and talking with him I’ll leave with a positive attitude ready and excited to take on the world!

Who do you want to be? What goals do you have? 

Are you getting closer to your goals or do you seem to keep running into obstacles that are holding you back?

Now, who are the five people that you currently spend the most time with? Do these people match who you want to be in the future?

Who are the top five people who embody the qualities you desire, or have done the things you are aspiring towards? How can you increase your contact with them?

You want those you spend time with to encourage and support you. You want them to help you achieve your goals. If you’re always the smartest, strongest, richest, whatever-est person in your group, you are in the wrong group. You need someone to motivate and inspire you to get better. To make you think bigger and believe it is possible. 

It’s amazing the impact people can have in your life through their example, encouragement and belief in you. Just be honest with yourself as you look around and recognize if your relationships are empowering you and helping you to achieve your dreams.

FREE BOOK: Expert Secrets from Russell Brunson

I personally took advantage of this FREE BOOK offer and got my copy of Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson. No strings attached, you pay the shipping and the book is absolutely FREE.

HOWEVER! If you are anything like me you are going to learn a ton from this book and love it and will be back for more. Before I had finished reading Expert Secrets, I had ordered my FREE copy of DotCom Secrets too!

Russell is mailing you an actual physical copy of his new book, it’s not an e-book. The book is free, and all you pay is the shipping costs.   There’s no catch… no gimmicks… You will NOT be signing up for any “trial” to some monthly program or anything like that.   So click here to claim your free copy now. You won’t regret it.   

http://bit.ly/FreeExpertSecrets-Book

There are Limited Copies available but while they last feel free to share this link with others!

Book Quote of the Week 077

“We need to give our children as much freedom as possible to gravitate toward what they love doing. Because in their world, nothing will be off-limits when it comes to how you can make a good living and build a stellar career.”

Gary Vaynerchuck

Buy this book now, click here!

What’s Your Favorite Book on Persuasion, Negotiation and Influence?

I just finished reading a blog post by Ann Morgan called The Power of Reading: Connecting People Around the World Through Books. In her article she talks about choosing books for others to read and in the past how she’s asked others to choose books for her to read.

I just finished reading The Power of Persuasion: How We’re Bought and Sold by Robert Levine. Whether we are dealing with our clients, employees or our kids we are always trying to influence or persuade in one way or another. Though I don’t consider myself a hard core negotiator, I do enjoy reading and learning more about persuasion, negotiation and influence. On my Reading List I do have a section dedicated to this topic of the books that I have read.

I thought that it would be interesting to try Ms. Morgan’s approach and see where it goes. I would like to continue to learn more on this subject and I want to ask anyone who may read this post to share with me their favorite book or audio book on persuasion, negotiation or influence. I may not get anyone giving me a suggestion, but I hope I do. Let’s see what happens…

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority”

– Ken Blanchard

Popular
Educate