Many people have heard of “positive thinking.” To some, this is nothing more than some kind of Pollyanna-ish view that everything is just peachy, no matter what happens.
In fact, I knew this guy in college that was heavy into the positive thinking mindset. He always had something positive to say, what a great day it was, how wonderful everything was.
He kept saying this until he flunked out of most of his classes. The truth is that positive thinking without positive action won’t usually get you very far.
So what is positive action? Anything that gets you closer to your goals.
If you don’t have any specific goals, your positive thinking is likely going to be hijacked by others who’ll use your good will for their benefit. Bosses, friends, even partners are known to do this.
So in order to get positive thinking to work, you’ve got to first figure out what you want. In NLP, there’s a procedure called “Well Formed Goals.”
Positive Thinking With Well Formed Goals
Goals that are well formed must adhere to the following criteria:
You’ve got to know when you’ve achieved your goal. So should impartial observers. Losing weight isn’t that specific, but getting under 200 lbs by April 1st is a specific goal. Something you can see, and other people can see.
You’ve got to know when you’re going to achieve your goal. Saying you want to bench press 250 lbs by Sept 15th is much better than saying you want to get stronger.
You’ve got to know how you’re going to get to your goal. Having it broken down into sizeable chunks will make it much easier to achieve. If you want to lose 100 lbs in six months, then you’ve got to lose 16 lbs a month, or 4 lbs a week. Is that something you can do week after week, without fail?
If not, choose another goal and readjust until you believe it’s achievable.
This one is the toughest, and it’s the one most people gloss over. In reality, most of us have goals that are, in large part, chosen by others. Would you still have your goal if you lived in another town and nobody knew who you were?
Now that your goal is set up in your mind, it’s time to recalibrate your positive thinking.
Whenever something happens in life, it’s easy to get down. Become depressed, dejected, withdrawn.
However, the magic of NLP teaches us that we can put any meaning on anything we want. So long as we’re not breaking the laws of physics, like jumping off a building and telling ourselves we can fly, you can pretty much spin any event any way you’d like.
With a strong set of goals in various areas of life (health, finances, relationships, family, spiritual) you can easily reframe anything that happens in light of getting closer to your goals.
Just take whatever even that happens, and see it in the bigger picture. When you consider the idea that “every cloud has a silver lining,” or as Napoleon Hill wrote, “Every failure has within it the seeds of a greater success,” then you’ll be able to bounce back much quicker.
The stronger and more emotionally positive your goals are, the easier this will be.
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