How Changing Your Thinking Can Change Your Life

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Excerpts from The Five Major Pieces of the Life Puzzle, by Jim Rohn

In making any study or quick observation of people who are successful to some extent, it is impossible to ignore the fact that they seem to think and act differently than most. I don’t mean that they possess a different political view or business strategy. There is a lot of diversity among successful people regarding those things. I mean they have something fundamental in their person that makes them different than someone who lacks the desires to succeed.

Volumes have been written to dissect the distinctions and characteristics of achievers and I won’t pretend to be so wise as to be able to add to the body of information. But in my business experiences I’ve had the great privilege of being able to listen to one of the most profound business philosophers in recent times. I’m referring to Mr Jim Rohn.

I’ve been posting a lot of quotes and excerpts from his work on facebook lately (The Successful Living Project) and although I’ve read his material many times and was fortunate enough to attend a few seminars where he spoke prior to his death, I find that the words never get old. The information he presented was profound and yet simple enough for anyone to understand. His message was insightful and timeless.

Any value in this article is the result of his material. I’m merely a student. Likewise, any deficiency is most certainly to be attributed my inability to convey the message adequately. With that…Lets jump In!

Personal Philosophy - The Essence of What We Know and How We Know It...

“Philosophy is the chief cornerstone in the foundation... A major factor in determining how our lives turn out is the way we choose to think…. Our philosophy comes from what we know and from the process of how we came to know…”

If we have been exposed to inaccurate and negative beliefs about work, wealth and success, it should not be suprising that we have formed a negative and inaccurate philosophy – how we think – about those things.  In his book, As a Man Thinketh, James Allen writes,

“A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”

What We Believe Establishes What We View As Valuable…

The way we act in a given situation or in just the normal course of our day is based upon the network of beliefs that dictate what we view as valuable. If we value authenticity and appreciation for others, this will govern how we act in that respect. Essentially what we view as important is the steam in our Engine.

"If somene decides to start his day at five o'clock each morning in order to take advantage of the opportunities that will enable him to provide for his family with more of the good things in life, then what is that person really doing? He is doing what his philosophy has taught him is valuable."

The same is true of the person who chooses to sleep in or call out sick from work for recreation. Ideally, our philosophy informs our values which guides our actions.

We can become disconnected from what we once believed was important and replace it with the belief that the occassional short cut or neglect of our disciple is OK. In these times our actions don't align with the value of success and accomplishment we once held.

Personal Philosophy is like the set of the sail…

Ecclesiastes 9:11 "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong… but time and chance happen to them all."

"In the process of living, the winds of circumstance blow on us all in an unending flow that touches each of our lives...What guides us to different destinations in life is determined by the way we have chosen to set our sail..." (the way we think about and react to our circumstances). "The way that each of us thinks makes the major difference in where each of us arrives. the major difference is not the circumstance, the major difference is the set of the sail.” 

We’ve all of heard of the underdog who has come from a difficult situation in life and persevered. We’ve also observed many who have perhaps had much more favorable circumstances in life and yet have not objectively succeeded. The difference was obviously something other than circumstances.

The Formula for Success...

Thinking Can Change Your Life

Failure isn’t usually one cataclysmic event. It’s the cumulative effect of poor thinking and poor choices. Sometimes it is slowly losing focus on what is really important and what we consider valuable enough to work toward.

Success is similar. Its the cumulative effect of practicing the daily disciplines of life and passionately pursuing what we believe to be valuable. You've probably suspected that the ads or articles alluding to the “1 simple trick to…[accomplish something spectacular]” aren't going to result in the instant success they seem to promise.

I’ve always admired athletes who excel in their sport. What we see is the performance on the field or in the competitive arena. They make it look easy. I assure you it isn’t. The effort, drive, and intensity of training is the real magic. It didn’t happen overnight. It was the relentless, daily discipline that created the success.

Changing The Course

Take the bold step of honest introspection to realize where you are off track. Decide what success means to you then begin to take the small steps of practicing a few basic disciples every day. The results will not be overnight but you will see change quicker than you think. Staurt Ross talks about how real success comes from the passionate pursuit of our values here

Once a person can come to the place where they are honest about their way of thinking and make the conscious effort to address their personal philosophy, then living a life aligned with their true values will become an obsession. Their life purpose will be more easily idenified and they will enjoy more focus and new energy for living. A new way of thinking can change you life.

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