The Sin of a Negative Thought

In this daily motivator, Ray Davis of The Affirmation Spot debunks the sun of a negative thought concept. Having a negative thought is a normal and natural human response to certain situations. Ray sets the record straight on this topic.

Take Back the Driver’s Seat in Your Life

Today’s Affirmations:

“A new day dawns…I am a new person today; a better person, a healthier person, a happier person.”

“Even amid adversity, I endeavor to succeed to the maximum extent of my abilities.”

“I am a strong and capable person.”
(Click an affirmation to hear it or get the mp3 version for your music player)

drivers-seatIf your strategy is to let life happen to you; it will. It’s time to put you back in the driver’s seat in your life in 2009. Ask yourself, honestly, “Am I the driver or the passenger in my life?” Yes, I know we can’t control everything that happens to us. I also understand the wisdom of just being and going with the flow.

Neither is a reason to not be the driver in your own life. Things out of your control are going to happen whether you are the driver or the passenger in your life. That’s no reason not to be steering the things you can control. There is wisdom in “just being”, but it is so much more beneficial when done as a conscious choice to enhance your life rather than as the result of sitting in a rudderless boat.

Wayne Dyer talks about being not only the actor in your life, but also the director and producer. Actors are just given scripts that they then play out. They have no say in how the story line progresses. Directors make conscious choices about how the story is going to be told. Producers select the ideas that become the storylines created by directors and actors.

CHOOSE your storyline in 2009. It’s not enough to just tell or act someone else’s vision of your life. Put yourself in the driver’s seat.

Here are a few tips for putting you in the driver’s seat.

  1. Be the driver – stop seeing yourself as the passenger in a life where things “just happen” to you. You have a say and you have a lot of control over what happens in your life and how you react and adapt to it.
  2. Make the decisions – if you have become a passenger in your life, you have probably given control to someone else. Take it back. Be ready to accept advice from others (many heads are better than one), but make your own decisions.
  3. Take credit and responsibility – give yourself the credit for your achievements and take responsibility for your failures. Others play a role in successes and failures, but you are ultimately responsible for the results and choices in your life.
  4. Get back up – getting knocked down or facing a setback is an event not a way of life for people driving their lives. Life is full of bumps and bruises. Adapt and move on.
  5. Empower your thinking – practice empowered thinking. Here are the three aspects of empowered thinking.
    • Thought aspect – you have to think positively. Belief and commitment are important in any endeavor. Show me two people of equal talent – one who believes in his or her ability and one who does not – and I can tell you with high accuracy who will succeed. Positive thinking is imperative to maximize success potential in any endeavor. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t; you’re are right.” Positive thinking is the basis for empowered thinking, but empowered thinking is more than just positive thinking. It incorporates two more elements.
    • Knowledge aspect – you have to be informed. In achievement pursuits, know what you are trying to achieve and be informed on what is going to be involved in succeeding. Knowing that ahead of time can help you prepare mentally for it. When empowering your thinking to critically evaluate information you need to know as many of the facts as possible. Positive thinking without information does not allow you to take powerful action. When you combine positive thinking with information you lay the groundwork for powerful action in your life.
    • Action aspect – empowered thinking is more than just thinking and knowing. Empowered thinking includes action. If you have incorporated the first two elements, your actions can be motivated and informed. Until there is action, informed positive thinking is just wishful thinking. Your world is supported by intentions, but it is built by actions.
  6. Take action – the driver’s seat is a place of action. The passenger’s seat is a place of passivity, paralysis, and fear of moving forward and making change. Take action. Some actions don’t work out, but you cannot allow that fear to stop you from being the driver in your life.

If you’ve been the passenger for too long, make 2009 your year to shift back over into the driver’s seat. Take the wheel and start steering! If you’re already the driver in your life, keep the momentum going into the new year!

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Tips for Becoming a Positive Thinker

In the training world, there is constant discussion about what constitutes a learnable, trainable skill and what falls into the realm of motivation or determination. For instance, I can train a sales manager with the knowledge and the skills that can make he or she better at coaching sales representatives. However, I cannot train a sales manager to be motivated to use those skills.

Lately, I’ve given a good deal of thought into whether positive thinking is a learnable, trainable skill or whether it relies completely on the motivation of the individual. It’s fair to call any ability that can be enhanced with practice or additional knowledge a learnable skill.

By this definition, positive thinking meets the criteria. There are teachable techniques that can help people see the world or themselves in a more positive light. A couple that I have employed successfully over the years are thought stopping and tick-marking.

Thought stopping involves mentally or verbally saying, “stop” when a negative or unwanted thought comes to mind. Sometimes the process requires you to say, “stop” multitple times to discontinue the negative thinking. This process is most effective when you can replace the negative thought or visualization with one that is positive or healthy. This technique is effective for people battling depression, obsessive thoughts, or addiction. However, anyone can use it in their daily lives. The fact that you are not dealing with a serious mental condition makes it that much more effective.

Tick-marking is another way to stop negative thoughts and embark on a positive thinking program. When we are afflicted with negative thinking we often don’t realize how many times during the day we are thinking negative thoughts to ourselves (negative self-talk). For some, there is a constant stream of negative thoughts, self judgements, and critiques of everyone and everything around them. Because we are what we think about all day long, unchecked these thoughts spill out into their lives – their view of the world, their self-esteem, and their interactions with others.

Tick-marking is a technique where you have a little note pad with you all day long. Every time you think a negative thought you make a tick mark on the note pad. Some people find it effective to categorize the negative thoughts. This is an awareness tool. Once they become aware of how many negative thoughts go through their minds in a day, many people become motivated to do something about it. Until there is awareness there cannot be action.

So, I come down on the side of those who believe positive thinking is a learned skill. That said, it is very much a commitment too. Developing a positive outlook on life has many of the same characteristics as a diet or an exercise program.

  • Motivated to change – until you see negative or demotivated thinking as a problem in your life, you are not going to commit to change. You must commit yourself to chaning the way you think and react to things.
  • Stay on the program – if you begin an exercise program, you will reap the benefits of it only as long as you continue exercising. If you stop, your muscles will atrophy and your fitness level will drop to previous levels. Replacing negative thinking with a positive outlook works in much the same way. It requires an ongoing commitment and you will see the benefits only for as long as you work at it. If you don’t provide constant positive fuel and apply techniques that work for you, the negative thoughts can return. Face it, we live in society where there is a lot of negativity and fear perpetuated for a number of reasons. If you don’t take charge of your own thinking, it is easy to fall into the societal malaise.
  • Keep the end in mind – when someone goes on a diet they are going to be successful as long as they continue to visualize their life at the goal weight. What happens along the way, often, is the demons of the present take control and steer the person off course. The dieter falls back into old habits and the diet fails. A positive thinking program has the same pitfall. Especially when you are using positive thinking to improve a certain area of your life, it is critical to keep the end result in mind. Your old negative thought patterns are going to rise up and try to get you off course. In fact, the closer you get to your goal, the more intense they may become. The only way through this gauntlet is to keep moving step by step in your new, positive direction.
  • Believe – you have to believe that change is possible. You have to believe that by using affirmations or other positive thinking approaches you can change your life and your mind. Without the belief, the commitment to reach your goal is not going to be there.
  • Accept incremental success – change of any kind in life is a process not an event. Know that you are going to have negative thoughts and doubts. Know that a certain amount of it is just incurable human nature. Commit yourself to keep moving forward and replace those negative thoughts with something positive.
  • Claim your victory – reward your successes along the way and the big win that is your destination. Through hard work and a commitment to see the you and the world that are possible, you can change your outlook from negative to positive.

Once you know how all that is left is to do it!

Stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

anunnaki_cover_full_color“My mind is officially blown!” “I’m loving this book. There’s only one problem. I was so into the story that I missed by bus stop.” “I need Book 2. Now!”

These are some of comments from readers about Ray’s new speculative fiction novel – Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation. This fictional novel follows White House Correspondent Maria Love on her quest to learn the truth of human origins and the Anunnaki’s role in our emergence. She discovers their intervention never stopped, but can she act quickly enough to change the destiny of two worlds? Author Graham Hancock said, “We are a species with amnesia.” Let your Awakening begin today.

RE: How to Harness the Positive Power of Negative Thinking

Today’s Thought:

The optimist sees the half-full glass as ready to overflow. The pessimist waits for the water to evaporate and claims victory.

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CI came across an article titled “How to Harness the Positive Power of Negative Thinking” by Oliver Burkeman on UC Berkley’s Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life website. This is a well-conceived article promoting a book by the author that takes positive thinking to task. Burkeman’s book is apparently aimed at showing us how positive thinking is overrated and negative thinking is beneficial.

I left a comment about the article on the site, but I wanted to expand a bit on my response there. I encourage you to read the article before reading my response.

Response:

It is important to keep all things in balance – positive thinking included. Clearly the overzealous goal-setting and perfectionism, described by Burkeman, are a danger in our positive thinking. We can stress ourselves out in the constant pursuit for more, more, more. When we don’t get the desired results, we can feel disappointment and more negativity for a time. And certainly, there are people who cheat and cut corners to reach their goals. None of these, however, are indictments of positive thinking. They represent positive thinking misapplied.

Clearly, some of this go, go, go win, win, win mentality has been driven by some of the giants in personal development. Burkeman touts ancient Stoic and Buddhist philosophies as an answer. He points out that these schools of thought sought a less strenuous way to be happy without the constant pursuit of something. I agree.

However, Buddhism and Stoicism are both self-denying, and to some extent, world-denying philosophies. They were not designed to create achievement of goals in the world. Where I believe philosophies like that can contribute is in keeping us balanced and sane and as we make the necessary push required to “make things happen” in our world. If your goal is simple serenity, then by all means choose Buddhism or Stoicism. If you have goals and things you want to achieve in the world, these philosophies, while comforting you, are not the ticket.

When I read articles like this one, it reminds me why I work to move my own thinking in positive directions. For negativity is the human default setting and much easier to maintain than positivity. There is also this strain of thinking here that sees negative thinking as somehow more realistic than positive thinking. This line of reasoning goes that we live in a harsh world where disappointment is commonplace and we can protect ourselves by expecting little. The message is “play it safe”. Don’t risk your happiness, when it might end in disappointment.

For the dreamer, though, this will not do. He or she sees a bigger pie and possibility everywhere. He or she knows that avoiding defeat is not the same as victory.

When you risk, you do chance setback and disappointment. We live in a Universe where risk is the cost of reward. The dreamer accepts this as part of the game.

You don’t have to be stressed or narcissistic in the pursuit of those goals. You don’t have to harm others or think only of yourself. You see, real positive thinking wants not only the best for you, but the best for those around you and the best for the world. When it is selfish, it is misapplied. When it makes you tight and stressed about achieving a certain goal by a certain date, it is misapplied.

The real issue here boils down to this, assuming you don’t plan to retreat to a mountaintop and meditate yourself to Nirvana (a worthy goal in and of itself). You are going to need to act in the world to achieve your goals. When that action is driven by fear and negativity, success is rare. When it is driven by a positive outlook and the belief that something more, even though risky, is possible – success comes more often.

We can spend our lives steeling ourselves against disappointment and defining that aversion to setback as happiness. Or, we can spend our lives working to achieve our dreams and expanding our horizons about what happy means.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

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Dreaming While Awake

Today’s thought

“Most people think dreams are only experienced when sleeping. A few enlightened souls recognize that dreams happen only when we become fully awake.”

Of course, our awakening occurs gradually over the course of our life or lives (depending on your belief). Some days it’s two steps forward and three steps back. Some days the chaos and the noise around us obscures the mountain summit.

However, the more we commit to our own awakening; the more we make it the focus of our lives; the more clearly our dreams come into view. We seem to be treading water, treading water, treading water, and then one day we realize we have slipped right into living our dream.

There is a kind of unconsciousness about the last step that allows us to ease right into a life we only, well, “dreamed” about.

Today, no matter what physical or psychological weather you face in your life; keep treading and keep your dream in focus.

Sleep is for rest. Our dreams are meant to be experienced with eyes wide open.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!