Thinking versus Doing
I do not believe in
- positive thinking
- good attitude.
None of these are observable.
We cannot control our thoughts and feelings but we can control our actions. If we are feeling angry towards a friend when we start to act positively we manage to override our front desk secretary of the brain (which is telling us to be angry) and eventually we find that the positive actions lead to positive feelings and thinking.
Firstly, we need to accept that everything we do is our fault. There are three things that demonstrate an unwillingness to accept responsibility:
- Excuses. The goal of an excuse is to say to someone else ‘Don’t give me the consequences because it was not my fault, but do not expect me to act differently given the same set of conditions.’
- ‘if only’ statements. When people use ‘if only’ (eg If only there were better questions on the exam) they are saying that until an external situation changes (which is out of their control) they cannot succeed. Successful people, however, say ‘Only if’ (eg Only if I had studied that section more thoroughly) which implies that they will change their actions, something which is controllable for them.
- But. When ‘but’ is used it is a cleverly disguised lie. In the first part of the statement the speaker says what the listener wants to hear and then the ‘but’ in the middle inverts the intention totally. The speaker wants the listener to focus on the first part of the sentence but act on the second part. For example, I like your plan but I won’t use it.
Six Steps for Success (Ownership)
Keep in mind that we cannot change the past or the present, but we can take control of the future.
- What am I doing now?
- Is it working?
- If not, Change!
- Be specific (positively).
- Make a plan.
- Act on it.