“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~Winston Churchill
Can our thoughts really determine the quality of our life? For a long time it was believed that events in our life just happened. The world was out there, and there was no way that a thought in here could possibly impact an external event. Many no longer accept that arbitrary division.
There are at least two ways in which our thoughts can determine what happens in our lives. The first relates to the way in which our thinking affects our behavior. If one thinks he or she will never get that job, succeed in a course, lose the weight or find a partner, then that person will either not even try, or will not do the very things that could bring about what is desired. Negative thinking produces negative results.
The second way that our thoughts can impact our lives has to do with a more expansive view of reality. In this view, everything is connected. Our inner world and the outer world are one complete whole, therefore what happens in one area affects everything else. In this perspective, it is held that it is our very thoughts that not only influence our reality, but in fact create it.
It is believed that our thoughts act like a magnet, drawing into our lives those things that match our belief system. If a woman believes that all men are jerks, she will continue to draw jerks into her life. If a student thinks he is “dumb” he will continue to perform poorly.
On the other hand, if we believe people are basically good, we will attract good people into our lives. If we tell ourselves we can learn, we can succeed, then we attract success. If we picture ourselves already possessing the attributes we value, we will soon exemplify those.
Clearly we give ourselves a distinct advantage by cultivating only positive thoughts about ourselves, our lives and our future. It can be challenging to consistently think positively if we have had a history of negative thinking. However, making the switch is probably the most important thing we can do to improve the quality of our lives, and the lives of those around us.
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