“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” (Buddha)
One doesn’t lift a hand or finger without first the thought to do so, even at the unconscious level. The feelings we feel are the result of thought.
Just this evening, my 10 year old daughter said, regarding my 6 year old son, “He never listens! He doesn’t obey!” I said to her, “You’re programming his poor behavior by defining him negatively. If you think he’s bad, he will too. It’s better to say: ‘Wow, I bet you can pick up those toys before I count to 50!’ or ‘You’re so fast and strong, I bet you can pick up those toys with one hand in your pocket!’”
We’ve heard it said, “Whether or not you believe you can do a thing, you are right.” We’ve heard it said, too, that a child will rise or fall to your expectations. Defining a child in terms of praise will elevate him to be as one deserving of praise. The converse is true; defining a child in terms of negativity will lower him to be as one who disappoints.
Apply this to yourself. What do you think of yourself? What do you say of you? When you’re praised, do you graciously accept the compliment with “Thank you,” believing you deserve it, or do you say things to indicate you feel you don’t deserve the compliment?
Consider the body to be a manifestation of the inward self. Consider how thoughts affect the body. How do beginner athletes respond to the pain of muscular growth? (Ouch! That hurts! I don’t like the way this feels! I’m going to slow down or stop now.) How do veteran athletes respond to the pain of muscular growth? (Yes! That’s what I’m looking for! That’s the feeling I want! That feels good!) It’s the same sensation, to be sure. The micro-damage done to muscle fibers during strength and conditioning exercise causes a similar sensation, interpreted by the brain in similar fashion, in every body. The difference becomes willful interpretation of similar data. Over time, the developing athlete experiences a metamorphosis of attitude which becomes one of seeking after a desirable sensation once defined as unpleasant. It no longer hurts. It now feels good to work hard. It feels good to sweat. It feels good to grow and become strong. It feels good to become healthy and fit.
The journey may seem long. But it’s real. Do you believe it? Believing is a choice. Think first, then, feel your way. Think about it. Hope for it. Desire it. Make it happen. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” So, what do you think?
Sally Windham is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in Blanco, TX. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org