Early in my career, I worked for a department of state government. One summer our office joined a local softball league and we fielded a team. The name of our team: Government In Action. That is, that was our name if we won the game. If we lost, we changed our name to Government Inaction. Thirty years later, I still find humor in the juxtaposition of meanings.
In my career, I was a health care professional assisting people with disabling conditions improve the quality of their life. One of the key issues that we grappled with pertained to the area of personal identity. If you have ever been labeled with a diagnosis, then you know the impact that the “label” can have on your self-image and sense of your future.
Unfortunately, it is not just “labels” that impact our thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. Juggling multiple priorities, financial setbacks, debt, relationship problems, among many possibilities, can overwhelm us. Our sense of hope, future, purpose is downgraded. Positivity is replaced with negative thinking. Action slows, eventually becoming inaction.
What is your thought life?
Let me ask 5 questions about your thought life:
- How were you taught to think about yourself? So often our thoughts work against us because of what we were taught to think about ourselves when we were young.
- Do you find yourself thinking the same thoughts that you thought about the day before? In a training sessions last night, the presenter stated that over 50% of our thoughts today, were thoughts that we had yesterday.
- Do you ever challenge the thinking patterns that you established for yourself or the thought patterns others have ascribed to you? Many people experience “rut thinking” which Zig Ziegler once defined “as a grave with the ends removed.”
- Do you ever use your imagination to create “what if” scenarios? What if you imagine a new “what if” scenario can lead to a new “what is”?
- Do you get frustrated and find yourself thinking, “is this all life offers?”, when you know that you should be aiming higher in life?
From INAction to Action
Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or think you can’t–you’re right.” Our thoughts matter and how we express them, in words, in deeds, in actions matter!! What has your thinking cost you? Have you ever really thought about that? My mentor suggested this last night. These are wise words. Today, write down five thoughts that you have about yourself. Then ask yourself this question: what would my life look like if I thought different. Unleash your imagination. Align your new thinking with who you were truly meant to be. And new action will come to life.