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Between You and More

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Most of us would say we want more–more money, more time, more love, more ease, more health. That’s fine. And there really isn’t that much standing between us and having it. The problem is that we misuse the best tool available to us for having what we want: our thinking. Here are the top 3 thoughts that keep away whatever “more” we want:

  • It is bad to want or have it.” If we think that it’s bad, how can we ever allow it into our lives? This thought sometimes takes the form of humility: “If I have it and others don’t, that wouldn’t be fair; so I won’t have it.” The funny thing is that we cannot help others by being poorer, lonelier, busier, or sicker. We can do a better job helping others by filling our lives–even just a bit at a time–before trying to help others. Yes, think of the airplane safety instructions: put on your mask first.
  • There is something wrong with me, others, or the world that keeps me from having it.” When we think (complain) about things like our unworthiness, their greed, or the limited available resources, we are saying that we can’t have what we want due to something being broken. Nothing’s that broken, mes amis.
  • Having it means I’d have to change my idea of who I am.” This one is the most insidious and most powerful. We care very deeply about our identity. If we can find a way to be the people who have and enjoy what we want, then we will have tapped a huge source of success.

The clue to changing these three thoughts is how they feel to think them. They all feel awful. We should feel good. Find a way of replacing the bad-feeling thoughts with good-feeling ones. Try flipping, “this is me”, or the ladder.

 

In your corner,

Mike
Today’s photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

Invest in Good Thoughts

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Effectiveness Habit #2 is titled “Feel good. Then act.” This habit reminds us that taking action when you feel bad leads to less than optimal results. Part of the reason: in a low-energy, bad-feeling state, your opinions about the world and yourself will distract you from what you want.

For example, consider thoughts like “I am too busy. I am not any good at this. I always struggle with X. Others will criticize me for Y.” They feel bad.
 
And what about thoughts that say you are smart, capable, kind, worthy, contributing, loving, and loved? They feel good, ya?

Which set of thoughts, if you thought them, would get you closer to the results you want? Which ones would distract you more?

Right. Think the good ones.

To your continued success,

Mike

PS: I think the thoughts about you being smart, capable, kind, etc, are more accurate, aren’t they? Heck, yeah!

PPS: Thinking the good thoughts is easier than you imagine. And investing in that kind of thinking pays off huge dividends.
 

Unstick Your Strategy with an Often Ignored Type of Thinking

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 3 min.

When getting the right strategy for you or your organization is proving difficult, it may be down to an odd way we all tend to think. To have what your want in your life, career, or organization, use a better kind of thinking when it’s time to think about your personal or organizational strategy.

When what you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

We have been trained to be very good at one type of thinking: critical, problem-solving thinking. We’ve also learned to value it highly. We usually judge whether we or others are smart by how good we are critical thinking. Look at what is considered important in school, at work, in politics to see all of this is true.  And so we use critical, problem-solving thinking everywhere, usually to good effect. Sometimes, however, our habit of using critical thinking gets in the way.

When the future is uncertain–when either the goal or the path to the goal is unclear–critical or problem-solving thinking is not appropriate. In fact, it and our habit of using it everywhere get in the way. What’s really needed when looking to the future is creative thinking.

And, please wait. Before you are tempted to apply the hammer of critical thinking to my above assertion (e.g. “Yeah, but, I’m not that creative” or “Yeah, but, critical thinking is important.”), hear me out.

Creative Thinking and You

Let’s start with these simple, practical definitions of creative and critical thinking:

  • Creative thinking is no more than considering and answering three questions: What is true now? What do I/we want to be true? And, why?
  • Critical thinking is no more than considering and answering these three questions: When? How? and Who?

Can you see how creative thinking is exactly what’s needed when the future or the path to the future is unclear? And can you see how, despite what you may have thought, you and all of us can be very creative thinkers? We just have to answer some simple questions.

Critical Thinking, at the Right Time

Of course, critical thinking is still important. Once we have a direction, a strategy, or some other path to the future, we will tap our critical thinking to help get us there. We just have to use it at the right time and not use it when it’s time for creative thinking.

Hint: if you apply critical thinking when it’s time for creative thinking, it often takes the form of a “Yeah, but…” statement. And “Yeah, buts” have a nasty tendency to kill off good, creative thinking before they even see the light of day. More on that in the next post.