They may break into words at any time. Earl Nightingale, in his classic “Strangest Secret,” said, “We become what we think about.”

W. Clement Stone, in “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude,” said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe it can achieve.”

I worked with Paul J. Meyer for 28 years and have repeated his famous saying hundreds of times. He said, “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Paul Meyer also said, “You are where you are and what you are because of the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind.”

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones influenced me early in my career when I heard him say, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”

Zig Ziglar offers a corollary to “second-hand smoke” when he talks about SNIOP, i.e. Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Other People. These “other people” could include family, friends, business associates, strangers, and 24/7 negative news. This “second-hand negativity” is even more dangerous than second-hand smoke.

In addition to SNIOP, I offer a shorter and even more dangerous version – SNIO: Susceptible to the Negative Influence of Ourselves.

Our results (success or failure) come from our behavior – the way we act. The way we act is driven by our attitude – the way we think. An attitude is a habit of thought. Habits are automatic and reflexive. Thinking is “talking to yourself.” In other words, your attitude is the habitual way you talk to yourself.

How do you talk to yourself? Do you affirm your strengths? Do you look for the good in yourself, others, and situations? Do you state things in term of what you want rather than what you don’t want? Do you encourage yourself in tough times? Do you encourage others? Do you beat yourself up when you forget something or do you tell your subconscious mind, “I’ll think of it in a minute.”? Our subconscious mind is a servo-mechanism and it believes everything we tell it. So why not give it data that it can use to help us be successful and get the outcomes we want – in spite of or even because of our situations?

We have 100 per cent control over our thoughts – thus, our behavior. When a negative thought creeps (or rushes) in, push it out with a positive thought. We can’t always choose the situations we’re in or the cards we’re dealt, but we can choose our reaction to the situation or choose how we play the cards. When we control our thoughts, we control our outcomes.

What are your dominating thoughts? What do you vividly imagine? Do you focus on abundance or scarcity? Success or failure? Results or activity? What you want to happen or what you don’t want to happen? Health, happiness, prosperity, peace of mind, positive relationships, etc.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Choose your words, for they become actions.

Understand your actions, for they become habits.

Study your habits, for they become your character.

Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

– Author Unknown

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