There is a widely knowing saying that we are what we eat, which means how we look and feel depends on food that we put in our bodies, it’s quality and quantity. Everything that is going on inside our bodies is visible on the outside – if you are dehydrated, your lips and skin will start getting dry, if you are tired – you have bags or black circles under your eyes.
So then, how about our thoughts? The thought process is constantly happening within us and the results of what we think are also visible on the outside, as anything else happening inside us.
Have you noticed how you feel when you have good positive thoughts and when you have a negative self talk going on inside your head? When we are stressed or worry about something, most likely we are constantly thinking about the cause of our worry or the problem that we have. As a result we become even more stressed and our body responses with headaches, backaches, colds and flues. At the same time, the more we think about our problems, the more problems we seem to get.
And the opposite is also true – the happier we are, the more positive thoughts we have, the more happiness we have in our lives. We do really have in our lives what we think about.
Our thoughts have a tremendous impact on every area of our lives. So instead of sabotaging our lives with negative thoughts and self talk, we can learn how to change the way we think and get the results that we want.
Here are 5 frames of thinking that will change the way you look at the things and the world around you. By working through each one of these frames you will notice a huge difference in your life and start achieving the results that you really want.
Cause and effect
In life you can either be at the effect of what happens to you or you can be at cause and own your experiences. People generally tend to be at effect in their lives, especially if it is in an area where they have unresolved issues. When they are not getting the results that they want in their business, relationships or some other activity in their life – they are at the effect of certain conditions, certain causes, they believe that it has been done to them, that they have no control of what is going on and they are not responsible for what is going on. They might be feeling terrible at work because their boss communicates with them in a certain way. And every time their boss communicates to them in that particular way, they go into unresourceful state. The person will be thinking that it is the boss’s fault that they are feeling so bad. The boss’s communication is the cause of their bad feelings, which means that they are at the effect of whatever they think their boss is doing and there is nothing they can do about it.
Here is how to find out whether you are at the effect or the cause.
Whenever you catch yourself using the word ‘because’ – ‘I feel this way, because’; ‘I haven’t achieved my targets, because’; ‘I haven’t been able to resolve relationship problems I am having right now, because’ or ‘I can’t lose weight, because’; ‘I haven’t been able to quit smoking, because’ and so on. Whenever you are using the word ‘because’, what you are effectively saying are the reasons and excuses as to why you don’t or can’t have what you say you want. Most people are at effect most of the time.
People, who have issues in their business, are usually at the effect of whatever they are having the issues with. In any area in your life, that you are not particularly happy with and nothing is changing in that area, you can be sure that there is something you are at the effect of.
So what does it mean to be at cause?
It means that you take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in your experience. You own it totally and accept it as your creation. And, I do mean everything.
Are you in fact responsible for everything that occurs in your perception? Maybe, maybe not. But if you act as if you are, then you will find that your results in the world and your feelings of empowerment will be absolutely transformed.
For example, if you are in debt, by taking the responsibility and accepting that you have created the situation, no matter what, even if you are utterly convinced that it was some other person, organisation or situation that created the problem for you, by taking the responsibility, you will feel empowered to take action. You will take different actions, and, therefore, you will be more likely to get the results that you want, as opposed to the mess that you have right now.
Again, by acting as if everything that turns up in your world is your creation, you feel empowered and you feel responsible and you will take the action necessary to achieve the goals, dreams and desires that you have.
Results vs Excuses
This one is very simple – in your life you have either results, or you have excuses. You have the results that you want, or you have the reasons you give, as to why you don’t have whatever it is. ‘I didn’t get that job, because I haven’t slept well the night before’ or ‘the applicants were smarter than me’ or ‘the interviewer was very obnoxious’ and so on. ‘I don’t have the relationship I have, because I can’t find the right person’, or ‘people don’t find me interesting’, or ‘I have a bad breath’. Some people have the most ridiculous excuses, when they try to explain why they don’t have the things they want or didn’t get the result they wanted to get. They got a result, but not the one that they wanted. So, you either have the result you want, or you have a bunch of excuses. And you usually find that the excuses are related to the limiting believes that the person has.
A trainer I know has recently told me about someone on one of his recent trainings who arrived an hour late. And he knew that the list of excuses was about to start. So he asked the person to stop for a moment and asked him one question – ‘if I were paying you a million pounds for arriving on time, would you still be late? You would have just lost a million pounds’. And the person’s response was – ‘if you were paying me a million pounds, I would be here a day early’.
So, to put it simply, if the reward was greater for him, he wouldn’t make all these excuses for being late. He didn’t have to be late, it is just that he has not taken responsibility for getting to the training on time, so instead, he made excuses and the result that she actually got was to miss the first part of the training.
The thing to notice about Results vs Excuses frame, is that it does not matter if you decide to focus on the result that you want or if you think that your reasons and excuses for not getting those results are true. In both cases you will always be right.
So, what do you want? Do you want to be a person who has excuses or do you want to be the person who gets the results that you want?
Anytime that you hear yourself making excuses – stop. Take responsibility for what you want and change your approach until you get the result you desire. Being a person who does not accept their own excuses and instead takes responsibility, will put you in a top 5% of the population that actually do what it takes to get the results they desire, without accepting any excuses from themselves or other people.
Perception is Projection
We are receiving about 2 million bits of sensory information a second from the outside world. There is no way for us to be able to consciously experience all of that data or that sensory input. Your brain filters that information by deleting, distorting and generalising it. George Millar, a Cognitive Psychologist from Prinston University’s department of psychology wrote in his 1956 paper the magical number 7 +/- 2 – we can process 7 plus /minus 2 chunks of information in working memory at the time.
When you think of a phone number like 01623 471 882 – this is 3 chunks. When your working memory is full, between 5 and 9 chunks, then something has to go. Here is the thing – information arrives at your senses – light, sound, pressure and heat and is converted into impulses in your nervous system. The brain takes all this data and breaks it in to pieces for analysis. For instance, you have separate modules in your brain detecting vertical lines, horizontal lines, movement, colour and so on. All of these things are detected separately. Then, somehow, the brain puts it all together along with the information processed from the auditory and kinaesthetic systems to create an apparently real external world – a world that really seems to be out there. Not only that, but all this data gets filtered through your personal experiences and memories, before you become consciously aware of it.
To great extent you only see what you expect to see.
If you have experienced any visual illusions, they are a great example that the world is not necessarily the way we think it is. So again, the external world that you perceive is actually a projection of your mind, based on a heavily cut down stream of external information, filtered through your expectations and desires. Your perception is a projection.
If you have a piece of paper and a pen handy, write a name of someone you really admire. As you look at this person’s name on the piece of paper, think about one quality that you really admire in this individual – it could be their confidence, or their charisma, or they might be a great presenter or a great parent, or maybe they are someone who is tenacious and always seem to follow through. Whatever it is – write it down.
Now, here is the thing – whatever you have written, the quality that you really admire in this person – that is a projection from you, from inside you. In order for you to see that quality in other person, you must have that inside yourself already. Maybe you are not expressing it yourself that much at the moment, but it is there. So that is great news, because whatever qualities you love or admire in other people, you already have a template for it within yourself. It is just a matter of how to express it more fully in the situations that you are currently not doing that.
Mind – Body connection
The whole Mind – Body split up has been going for a long time. Some scientist in the last century came to a conclusion that there is no such a thing as mind, because you can’t see it. Actually, what they decided to do is to ignore it completely as unscientific and unnecessary.
Around 1985, however, medical scientists discovered something that they called neurotransmitters – chemicals that pass signals between nerves in the brain. It turned out that our nervous system is electro-chemical in nature – that is partly electrical and partly chemical. At first, it was thought that the neurotransmitters are only active in the brain, but more recent research has shown that they are active throughout the whole body.
Deepak Chopra in his book “Quantum healing” says that every single cell in your body is bathed in neurotransmitters and, as a consequence, every single cell in your body is eavesdropping on your internal dialogue. Your inner voice that is either talking to you in a positive way or that you are using to give yourself a hard time.
Bruce Lipton, who wrote the “Biology of believe” takes you all the way down to the insights of a cell to explain how thoughts can affect the tiniest components of your body. So it really does seem that your body is affected by your internal representations. Not only what you are saying to yourself, but also the pictures you hold in your mind, the sounds you hear, the feelings you have in your body. This means that the way you talk to yourself inside will not only affect your behavior and your results, but will also have a critical effect on your health, your physical wellbeing.
It is not really accurate to talk about mind and body, because, really, they are not separate. Mind-Body is one thing.
What sort of suggestions do you give your body day by day, week by week, year in year out? It’s been said that we have more than 60,000 thoughts a day and, if the mind and body are interconnected, as we now know that they are, could it be that you imagine things that are not useful and by doing so, create them in your world? And, if that is so, the opposite can be true too – you can imagine good things happening in your world now. And how would it be when you find your body going where your mind asks it to go?
Responsibility for results
So you understand that to begin to create the life you want, you need to move from effect to cause, and, you either have a result or a bunch of excuses. You can see that your perceptions and projections based on the bits of information coming from the outside combined with a lot of memories, expectations, believes, values and so on. And that your Mind-Body is a network of connections where an event at one point in the system, will affect the whole system.
So the question is – where does the responsibility for creating change lie?
And, of course, the answer is – with you. Now, do you think, that if you were, let’s say, 75% responsible, would that work? How about 90%? I hope you can see that in both of those cases you still are trying to blame something outside of you for the things that are not working out or that you don’t like. Even 99,999% is not going to cut it. You are 100% responsible for everything in your world. Nobody else can create result for you. So, in order for you to get the results that you desire, you should take 100% responsibility for every single result that turns up in your world.
Now, where people get confused, is that they think “responsible” means “blame”, as in ‘who is responsible for this mess?’. That is not what this means. Perhaps it is better to think about it as response able, able and willing to respond, to own what is going on.
Think about a big issue in the world that bothers you and notice how much responsibility you have been taking for that thing in the way it is. I would guess that for most people it would be between 0% and 60%. Notice how it feels inside to be that responsible and how much personal power you feel in relation to that issue. Now, take on board that you are 90% responsible. Notice how that feels and how much personal power you feel now and how that feels to still be putting the blame for that situation outside yourself. So, just as an experiment, try it out and see how it feels to be 100% responsible for that issue. You are creating that issue in your awareness, adding your values, believes and opinions to it and projecting your perception out into the world. You are creating it. How powerful and ready to take action do you feel now?
The excuses that you give are just limiting believes that you have.
Imagine this – imagine a time in a future when you have no excuses, and there is only one thing left for you to have – the results that you want.
To create the life that you want, you need to move from effect to cause and take 100% responsibility for everything happening in your world. You either have results or bunch of excuses. The responsibility for making change lies with you.