How To Be A Positive Thinker
Do you know that your whole life, and the state of your affairs, depends on what you think, and what you say, and what you do? In other words, that it all depends on you? What kind of thoughts are you thinking all day long, year after year? This is a very important insight, because most of us have grown up believing that conditions and people and situations around us, actually, were the influence upon us, and that our day and our experience within the day was completely caused by that which happened to us. Now we are saying that the cause is really in what happens in you, in your thinking.
Every thought can be labeled “positive” or “negative.” A positive thought is one that is filled with confidence and expectancy of good. A negative thought is one that is filled with doubt, with fear, worry, expectancy of ill. You are a positive or a negative thinker, depending on what kind of thoughts are in the majority during the day, what you are thinking about most of the time.
There is nothing deep or mysterious in this matter of thought. It actually amounts to a very simple truth: “You reap what you sow.” This is the Law. You reap what you sow! You receive, as you give. All the great religionists, throughout all time, have reiterated this concept, in some way.
James Allen [author of As a Man Thinketh] writes: “You will always gravitate toward that which you secretly most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact result of your own thoughts. You will receive that which you earn, no more, no less. The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you hold in your heart will build your life, and this you will become.” So says James Allen.
What are your thoughts, right now? Where are they taking you? Are you letting your thoughts and your attitudes create unpleasantness and unhappiness for you? If your thoughts are negative, then how can your life be anything but unpleasant? Your thoughts always attract their own kind. So, if you want to change the caliber of your thoughts from negative to positive, then you need to begin to practice mental discipline — and my friends, as many of us know, that isn’t easy! It requires practice, practice, practice! No, it is not easy at all! And yet, as you become stronger and develop the art of discipline, you will find that negative slip-backs will occur less and less and less, and you will be able to return to the positive track more quickly. Instead of spending days in a depressed frame of mind, because of your reaction to a certain negative incident, you will discover, in time, that you have the ability to lift yourself, in a few minutes or in a few hours, to a higher level of consciousness — that you don’t have to dwell in the “slough of despond,” that you don’t have to be morose, you don’t have to be downcast. You can change all that. Oh, it takes practice. It takes a lot of discipline! But, when you learn to control your thoughts, you become proficient in directing your life into happier channels, and you will become the director, instead of letting yourself be pushed here and there by depressed moods or by what others say or do. You, thus, begin — sometimes for the very first time — to take charge of your life.
The thoughts that you dwell on, whether they are negative or positive, sink into the subconscious mind and become reality to you. Your subconscious mind is your “Powerhouse” and when your thoughts are “sowed” in this level of your mind, the Powerhouse starts to work upon them. Perhaps quickly, perhaps slowly — but always surely, inexorably — these thoughts begin to materialize, to manifest themselves in your life. They show forth as success or failure, harmony or inharmony, depending on how they are sowed into your mind. Now, it is possible to rid yourself of negative thoughts in time, before they become a part of you.
We all have negative thoughts that flit across the mind occasionally; so don’t condemn yourself or feel that there’s something bad about you because you think negatively, occasionally. These things flit across our mind like the bits of soot that flit in the window and land upon the draperies, and so forth. The point is: you do not have to give them entrance into the subconscious mind. You don’t have to make them a reality. You do this by simply refusing to dwell on them — by deliberately turning your thinking away from them into a positive direction. You can do this if you know you can — if you know that it is your mind, and you can think what you want to think!
Sometimes, you can make this change easily by switching your thought from a negative topic to a positive one. But, in most cases the changeover is not accomplished with just one change of thought. It may take a great deal of effort, especially if the negative thought is deep-seated or persistent. You can say, “No, I will not indulge in the negative idea! I refuse to give this thought entrance to my subconscious mind!” And, if you are emphatic and insistent, you will begin to take control of your life.
The use of such things as “affirmations,” as a technique, may help you. An affirmation is simply a positive statement of what you would like in your life, of what you believe to be the Real Truth underlying all the error. For instance, something like this: “God, in the midst of me, is guiding me. My life is filled with harmony, health, and success.” That’s an affirmation. “God, in the midst of me, is guiding me. My life is filled with harmony, health, and success.” When you make an affirmation, such as this, and you affirm it often, soon your thoughts will begin to dwell on that kind of attitude, that kind of feeling about health and harmony and success. The more you consciously dwell on them, the deeper these thoughts will continue to sink into your subconscious mind and the more quickly the Powerhouse of your mind begins to bring them into manifestation, because, you see, the subconscious has but one work, and that is to make manifest the thoughts that you implant there.
Many people, unknowingly, cancel out the good of such affirmations, by talking about the things and conditions that they don’t want in their life. In other words, they may affirm the Truth about their health, and then go right along and talk with friends and loved ones and workers (sitting around, or standing around the water cooler at the office), talking about how much sickness there is, how it’s going to be a bad winter for colds, how the economy is going, and all the wars overseas, and “all this, that, and the other.” So, all the good of the positive realization is very quickly cancelled out…and quite effectively, too. If you spend the rest of the day, after you’ve spent a few minutes of prayer, complaining about your finances, talking about what a miserable failure you are, your negative thinking will very soon overshadow the few moments of positive realization. You will certainly begin to manifest negative conditions in your life. This is the way thought works. When you change the balance of your thinking, making the positive outweigh the negative, then you begin to see a change for good in your conditions.
Our failures and disappointments can help us to grow. Our setbacks can make us reach higher, but only if we look at them with a positive viewpoint — only if we use the obstacles in our way as stepping-stones, adopting a positive viewpoint. Certainly, this doesn’t mean ignoring the problems that confront you, pretending that they don’t exist, but it does mean facing them squarely and asking yourself, “What can I do about this?” And then, you do what you can by going ahead and following constructive thought with constructive action.
The negative thinker, when presented with an obstacle or a problem, lets his mind become so filled with thoughts of self-pity that he has neither the incentive nor the energy to do anything to solve them. He just keeps going on in circles, digging a deeper and deeper negative rut for himself.
People who are successful have reached that success not because life has flowed along without any problems, but because they have dealt with their problems with a positive mind. They have assumed a certain amount of mental mastery, and their problems have actually helped them to grow. They have become what they have achieved not in spite of their problems, but, actually, because of them, because of the growth that came through them.
Open-mindedness often leads to new opportunity. You will not be able to see the opportunities for growth if you rivet your thoughts on the negative aspects of things that come into your life from day-to-day. Worrying and complaining about a situation you don’t like is using precious energy and time that could well be used in finding a solution to the problem. You have to work at being positive minded — it takes effort, discipline! It is often a test of faith to look through a problem, knowing that somewhere there is a solution, even though the appearance, for the time, is quite to the contrary. It also requires a lot of persistence, “stick-to-it-ness.” Keep on and keep on keeping-on — especially when you’re in the company of negative thinkers and talkers, because thoughts are contagious! Another person’s thoughts or words can lift you up or pull you down. It is well to be positive-minded and be with positive-minded people as much as you can be. You may be, frequently, in the company of some very negative thinkers, so you have to learn to immunize yourself from their congestion. Here again, you need to exercise a lot of discipline. You can deliberately attempt to keep your thoughts on the positive side. You can deliberately insist that you will see the good in all situations, regardless of the negatives that people around you may be talking about.
Try to make it a habit to be a positive thinker — be habitual positivity. Whether you are positive or negative is simply a matter of the habits that you have formed. It is the way you habitually see things. So, why not try to form a habit to see things in the best light? Always, when you face some situation or condition, ask yourself, “What is the best thing that I could think about this? What is the highest way I can see it?” Now, you may not be able to change things overnight, but you can work at becoming [positive] and see improvement — practice, practice, practice!
Your faith in God, in Good, is your greatest bulwark against negativity. As your faith becomes stronger, and your discipline becomes greater, the negation of other persons will have less and less effect upon you. Their gloomy outlooks and views will no longer have the power to pull you down to their level. In fact, in many instances, you will find that you can draw them up to a higher level of thought and, thus, completely freshen the atmosphere.
The positive approach has “pulled many a chestnut out of the fire” and has solved many sticky problems. The negative approach has never accomplished anything! It simply causes headaches and ulcers and general misery. So, the choice is yours, as to which approach you will take. And, I’m suggesting to you, very strongly and lovingly, that you become a positive thinker — that you set for yourself the course, during this year, of really becoming a masterful thinker, in which you take control of your life by controlling your thoughts. Be a positive thinker!