Be careful what you wish for..
- Pack-a-day smoker
- Suffering from debilitating panic and anxiety
- Attending intensive weekly psychological counselling
- Unkind to myself and others
- Terrible eating habits
- Stressed and working long hours in a meaningless job
The power of the mind.
The power of thought.
The power of words.
Many enormous obstacles, changes, sadness and happiness have come about; and also been overcome; in my life because of such.
What we say and equally, focus on is absolutely all-powerful.
- Toned & Athletic
- Wellness blog co-creator
This is a huge topic so I am going to focus on what I think is key….
Self-talk, inner thoughts and beliefs (for better and worse) as well as their outward effect on the universe.
Let’s kick off with a Harvard study which always seems like a great place to start! The study conducted in 2007 proved that thinking positively and telling yourself you were doing enough exercise actually assisted in losing fat. See below an extract from the study and if you want to read more the reference links are at the end of the post.
In a study testing whether the relationship between exercise and health is moderated by one’s mind-set, 84 female room attendants working in seven different hotels were measured on physiological health variables affected by exercise. Those in the informed condition were told that the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle. Examples of how their work was exercise were provided. Subjects in the control group were not given this information. Although actual behavior did not change, 4 weeks after the intervention, the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than before. As a result, compared with the control group, they showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect.
Quantum physics teaches us that our bodies are made up of subatomic particles that are energy. Your thoughts, attention, and focus affect your energy and therefore everything around you.
In a nut-shell – your life becomes what you think about most.
So standing in front of the mirror saying something along the lines of…”my legs are fat,” will almost certainly guarantee that the opposite (your desire) will not occur. Think negative, speak negative and nothing positive will come of it.
I recall reading somewhere – would you let someone speak to your loved one as you speak to yourself? Pretty powerful statement and lets be honest here who would!!? In a physical sense; personally I am guilty of this far too often; and now am working on altering my perceptions and thoughts. For instance instead of viewing my reflection and seeing “flaws” I am attempting to see myself as whole and unique individual. There has never before been someone like me, or you, nor will there ever be again. Now THAT is pretty cool!!
Maybe your negative talk is not so much concerned with your looks as other points. It could look something like this…
- “Nobody will ever love me for me”
- “I hate broccoli”
- “It is all too hard”
- “He/she is awful”
I am fairly sure we all have this in common – that at some point in your life you think, say and/or focus on words and thoughts that are negative. A vicious cycle ensues. Utterly unhelpful.
However what I do know to be helpful are the words we choose for ourselves, and it is a choice. These words and thoughts allow us to push through the physical pain day after day at the gym, to find another level of physicality and progress. The words become fact; you know you can do it. You know as well that you can follow your dreams, travel the world and in course offer this positive thought to the world around you.
The sphere of results of this are nothing short of flabbergasting (never thought that word would feature in a post!)
First-hand experience tells me this. If you don’t believe me check out some examples below….
It was an emotional rollercoaster though I read the famous Easy Way to Stop Smoking over 7 years ago and have never picked up another cigarette again. A colleague at the time had experienced success and although I had not thought too much of stopping smoking before this time, it all of a sudden felt like the only way forward. A previous post has more on the specifics if you are interested.
When I viewed this video of Steve Jobs’ Stanford Class of 2005 commencement speech for the first time, it was nothing short of spine-tingling. There were tears and goosebumps. The overwhelming and basic truth spoke to me like nothing before had; in my then-office and also home hung the vital quote that I took from his speech. It became somewhat of an anthem for me; I played it many times and it led to acts of courage in my own life that I could never imagine possible. When shortly after I was made redundant from my job, I did not crumble. If you don’t have the spare 15 minutes to watch the video watch it another time (worth it!) though a good snapshot is 12:32 minutes into it and for me the most poignant words. These are still hung in my home and I look at them each and everyday.
Around a year after I stopping smoking I was really getting into long-distance running and one of my fitness buddies mentioned Anthony Robbins and specifically – Lessons in Mastery. Of course I thought he was crazy and that this would have no place in my life. However he was so convinced (as most AR supporters are!) that he burnt the 6-disc CD set and gave them to me at our next session. What started off small in my life soon become large. As a then on-the-road salesperson, I spent long hours driving alone and Anthony was the perfect companion. I smashed through those 6 CD’s and then of course utilised them in other forms; on the iPod whilst walking and most importantly for me; on plane trips when my anxiety and panic wanted to take a hold of me.
Speaking of plane travel… Around 2005 I travelled on a plane for the first time since 2002. It was a momentous occasion for me and one that I often reflect upon happily. It was on this flight that I browsed a magazine featuring Donna Karan‘s stunning New York City apartment. The beauty and inspiration floored me. I knew that one day; despite all the obstacles and immense fear I felt; that I would travel and be in these amazing places. I did and I do.
There are many books in my life that have left a lasting legacy. I have always appreciated a well-written biography and non-fiction book. Richard Branson’s autobiography allowed me to believe that I would one day have the entrepreneurial success that I hoped for – his words allowed me to see it. The thoughts became real action. This Is Why You’re Fat by Jackie Warner has provided an incredible amount of positive and powerful thought in my life. When I read it in January 2012 I was ready for transformation and this book kicked me over the line. The fact that you are reading this on my wellness blog sums up this point to a tee!
Whenever I travel I write, write, write… On whatever I can.
Those thoughts at the time then become words on paper. Real and tangible. A little extract from my most recent trip to Vietnam is below word-for -word as I wrote it…
It doesn’t need to be the most perfect or wonderful idea. Or even the longest lasting. This is not a script for life. It is very simply one step. One feeling for now. It will never be right enough or good enough but don’t you dare let that stop you.
Even now, a few months after being home; these words can knock me to the ground with their power. They continue to motivate and inspire me; just as they did that afternoon in Hoi An enjoying a Vietnamese coffee.
Stuck in traffic heading to a job that I was not enjoying I heard this clip for the first time. It was soul-shaking. I cried. A lot. Every fibre in my being was overjoyed to hear what I felt somewhere inside though was petrified to face. Additionally the soothing; yet actioned sound of Alan Watts was something in itself! I listened to this clip constantly for a few months and then… I quit my job. Left the corporate world and my six-figure salary. Let me tell you – life has never looked better!
How we interpret the thoughts that we have; as well as other people’s; is of course where the power is created. This power is nothing short of incredible. We can then turn this power into actions and thoughts for ourselves. At the end of the day a book is simply that. Until you decide to become an astronaut afterwards and nothing will stand in your way! Even unknowingly we can inspire those around us with the words and thoughts that we choose for ourselves.
In this digital era the influence on thought of social media is hard to ignore. Even for those not “connected,” the influence and readily-available information is everywhere; for both good and bad. Mindfulness of what we take in; and equally put out there; is just as important in the social media world as anywhere else. Cyber bullying, social profiles ready for judgement and comparisons are all possible at the click of a mouse! Yesterday in fact Ireland Baldwin; the 17 year old daughter of Kim Basinger & Alec Baldwin; posted this on her Tumblr which is right to the point! http://irelandbbaldwin.tumblr.com/post/49213480056
One last video to end this post….I think this clip is a brilliant (and very sobering) reminder of the power of our thoughts. Great work Dove and thanks to Claire – http://thewellnessproject.net.au/ for sharing this – *tear warning for this one!!
Be kind. Be thoughtful (pun intended). Scribble in lipstick on the bathroom mirror if that helps. Welcome the power of your mind.