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Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Morning Check In: It's the Thought That Counts!

"A person is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts." -- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.

Periodically I need to remind myself of the truth and power of the above statement. James Allen's little book sets forth a very powerful message, and I read it frequently. If you do not already own a copy of this work, I highly recommend that you add this to your library. If you do a Google search, you will pull up many websites that offer a free copy. My favorite site is: I also have a lovely book written by Vic Johnson entitled "Day by Day With James Allen." This book contains the complete text of the James Allen book along with 31 daily readings or essays written by Mr. Johnson about various points made by James Allen.

My focus today is about our ability to control our destiny by the thoughts that we have. "We are where we are today because of all the thoughts we have had up until today." Thus Vic Johnson suggests that our present and future will be the result of what we have accumulated in our thoughts until now. This is a hard premise to swallow because it turns the spotlight onto us to reveal our innermost thinking. By revealing our innermost thinking, we have to step up and take responsibility for the state of our lives and for our current problems (and successes).

When you read that last statement, do you feel a wee bit itchy and uncomfortable? I know I do. What a difficult concept to accept, that anything yucky in my life is the result of something that I have created. Do not allow yourself to feel miserable and wallow in this truth. Instead, celebrate the flip side: you can change your thinking and thus change your situation!

Just by changing my thoughts? Probably not just by changing your thinking, that that is a powerful first step to changing the actions that you take. What thoughts we dwell on will encourage us to follow certain paths that reflect these thoughts.

I thought about this issue quite a bit this week. I thought about what discouraging thoughts I had about certain student behaviors in my studio. Rather than continue to dwell on the negative side of my thoughts, I made a conscious effort to frame my desires in a positive way. I chose to think about the student behaviors I expected in my studio. I looked for ways to express the positive things that I desired in current my life. I framed my positive thinking into a series of short affirmative statements in the present tense.

I noticed that my week flowed smoother and more pleasantly. I seemed to have better success all around in my teaching, so much so, that I will continue to examine my thoughts and expectations this week, and keep up the exercise of controlling my thoughts by making sure that my thoughts are statements that will reflect the good things that I want to happen in my life right now and in the future.

Think about it. What are you thinking about? Is it positive or negative? Is it hopeful or discouraging? Is it useful or miserable? It might help to keep up a daily journal where you can record your thoughts and examine them more thoroughly. Give it some thought as to how your thoughts have brought you to the place you are in today. Change your situation by changing your thoughts.

Have a good week!

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