The Power of Our Thoughts in the Financial Crisis – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 29, 2008

The current global economic crisis clearly demonstrates the power of our thoughts to influence the world around us. Markets are case studies in human psychology. They are a kind of collective mind in action. Our thoughts are really the force that drives them up or down.

The issue becomes who is driving the thinking? Who is creating expectation bubbles and who is popping them? It’s another reason to empower your own thoughts rather than allowing them to be driven by “experts”, politicians, or the media.

When housing prices, the stock market, or any other market rises it is the result of our thinking about them and our belief in them.

It’s not brilliant economic strategies, astute politicians, or suddenly realized value in houses and other assets that causes them to rise 15% per year. Prosperity and rising markets are created by our thinking. As long as our thinking is confident, things are good. When our thinking shifts to fear or worry about markets they begin to contract.

There is a certain collective nature to thinking about these things. When the thinking reaches critical mass (one way or the other) changes happen in the market.

As with other aspects of our lives, our thinking inevitably leads to our actions. When belief and confidence are strong our actions reflect the belief that growth will continue. The danger lies in believing that growth is an uninterrupted straight line. It is possible to make poor decisions or take unwise actions that can lead to problems.

That’s what we see in the current crisis. Very powerful financial companies made some bad bets on based on optimistic assessments. They wrongly concluded that the boom would go on forever and they got over-extended. Because of lax oversight and questionable business practices, they stretched optimism to fantasy land.

Mind you, when this happens real – sometimes negative – events happen in the world.  I’m not saying that thinking can avert the results of bad decisions or actions. I’m saying it is the impetus that drives the market one way or the other.

Why am I talking about this today? As Congress ponders an (imho) ill-advised bailout of Wall Street, the seeds of fear have been planted in the market (our minds) by financial and political leaders. They have set up a scenario that creates a crash, if their bill ($700 billion bailout) is not passed.

Planting these thoughts creates the negative thinking that will bring about a crash, if we are not careful.

The bailout is based on a logical fallacy called There Is No Alternative (TINA). TINA happens when someone says there is a problem and offers a single solution as the only possible course of action. This is almost never the case. It limits thinking into a narrow path of possibility. The fact is we live in a universe full of infinite possibilities. As citizens and people, we need to be on guard against people trying to limit our thinking. It smacks of manipulation and pushing us towards an outcome desired by a small group of people.

In reality, though, we can minimize the extent of these economic events by maintaining stable thinking and not over-reacting. Panic is created when the entire herd decides to run off the cliff – again based on a thought that “there is not enough I better get mine.” That’s what happened in 1929 and caused the great stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression.

If optimism creates growing markets and pessimism create shrinking markets, it stands to reason that stable thinking can stabilize shaky markets.

A combination of accountability for those who have made bad choices and stable thinking will get us through this situation. Never forget, though, how important the way you think about these events is to how they will come out. Your thinking is a powerful thing. Never underestimate it.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Psychology of Seasons – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday September 23, 2008

This morning at 10:44 US Central time the northern hemisphere passed from Summer to Autumn. Seasonal changes represent more than climatic transition. They also alter our psychology.

Our ancestors truly recognized and appreciated the meaning of the seasons. They celebrated and revered the cycles of the seasons.

The life that comes to be in the Spring and flourishes in Summer begins to dwindle in the Fall. Today’s post is a poem I wrote in 1993. I hope it captures the magic and meaning of the transition to Fall.

aaa

Psychology of Seasons

A sun-drenched sky
on windy autumn day;
out across open fields
passing clouds make shadow play.

Silent beauty in multi-hues,
but ominous in a sense;
for though today be delightful
darkness soon gains precedence.

Shortly days will end too soon
as the leaves of autumn blow.
The gods withhold their aid
to the lifeforms down below.

A chill permeates the air
and death is all around.
Evidenced by dying trees:
their leaves spread on the ground.

Depression need not be our course;
all things must come to pass.
Death is an integral part of life;
perennial as fields of grass.

For very soon rebirth takes place
and all springs back to life.
To our hearts the glow returns,
bringing end to stress and strife.

Given time we come to find
and perhaps appreciate
the coming of darkness and death
who’s end gives cause to celebrate.

Copyright 1993, 1997

Stay inspired!

Ray

Possibilities and Options Abound!- The Affirmation Spot for Thursday August 21, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I find opportunities everywhere I go.” (audio version)


Possibilities and options abound! A gentle rain is falling in Kansas this evening. It’s a rather cool night for mid August and the smell of the rain is strong. I always love these early glimpses of the coming Fall.

Possibilities and options abound! The rain was not falling all in one place. It was falling everywhere. When the Sun comes up tomorrow it will not shine all of its light in one spot. It will shine equally on everything. Life is ubiquitous! It grows everywhere. Try to stop it. You can’t.

Possibilities and options abound! There is more than one way to do or think or feel about everything. In most cases, there is more than two ways. Why do we limit ourselves or allow others to limit our thinking?

Possibilities and options abound! Life is a both/and not an either/or. Pay attention today to how many times your mind or someone else tries to tell you that the world is either this way or that way.

Possibilities and options abound! When it happens, ask yourself, “If the rain falls everywhere, and the Sun shines everywhere, and life fills every empty space, why must I be so limited in my thoughts, feelings, or actions?”

Possibilities and Options Abound! Either/or thinking really limits your options to one course. That way of thinking usually leaves you with one “perfect” option and one “terrible” option – a black and white decision. In other words, it leaves you with no choice.

Possibilities and options abound! By moving beyond either/or thinking an entire colorful world of possibility emerges. A thousand maybes create a richer life than either/or ever could.

Possibilities and options abound!

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.





Dreaded WWOPT Disease Paralyzes – The Affirmation Spot for Friday July 18, 2008

 

We hear a lot about diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and even hypothetical epidemics like bird flu. Because of their impact and ubiquity, these conditions deserve the attention they receive.

However, there is a condition that afflicts more people than all of these diseases combined.  In fact, it’s very likely you will be impacted by this condition, or its side effects, several times today. It can stop your life cold.

Symptoms include sweaty palms, a racing heart, self-consciousness, stress, headaches, and life paralysis. This condition affects poor and rich, famous and obscure, young and old. No one is immune.

It has prevented more great thoughts, limited more potential, destroyed more possibilities than anything on the planet. The condition is “What Will Other People Think (WWOPT)?”

Perhaps because our society is so enamored with popularity and status, many of us are deathly afraid to do anything that might be seen as being “out there”. We prefer to stay safely in the herd. Thinking the herd’s thoughts. Following the herd’s lead. Parroting the herd’s conventional (and usually disempowering) wisdom.

This is one of those instances of a positive attribute being turned against you. Humans are social creatures. Most of us have a strong need to be part of a group. These instincts help us cooperate and collaborate to get things done.

That attribute must be balanced, though, by empowered selfhood that can break from the group and create something unique and special – something all your own. That’s one of the main reasons you are here – to contribute your uniqueness to the universe.

When that process is short-circuited by WWOPT we become paralyzed in our lives.

  • “That dress is a little crazy and I like it, but WWOPT?”
  • “I don’t agree with the politcal mainstream, but I can’t express it because WWOPT?”
  • “I want to wear a bathing suit at the beach, but my body’s not perfect and WWOPT?”
  • “I want to be a romance author, but WWOPT?”
  • “I’m not happy in my spiritual life, but I can’t change because WWOPT?”
  • “My wife and I want to sell our possessions, buy a mobile home, and travel America, but WWOPT?”

The mass media uses this instinct against you to create a kind of subconscious servitude to what’s trendy, acceptable, and popular. It really is a form of not-so-subtle mind control. It establishes boudaries of what is acceptable and what is not (at least in your mind). It’s very powerful and gets more so every time you fail to establish a powerful selfhood as a counterbalance.

It seems OK because almost everyone you know is also stuck in WWOPT. We often provide negative encouragement by using WWOPT to convince our friends to stay where they are (where we are) – comfortable and uninspired.

Here’s what you can do to treat WWOPT. Sometime today – I can almost guarantee it – you’re going to have a thought or an idea that brings you momentary satisfaction at the thought of pursuing it.

If you’re afflicted with WWOPT, your self-talk is going to shoot down your idea. It’s going to tell you all the reasons that would never work and it’s going to employ WWOPT as its closing argument in squashing your dream. Or, maybe the idea survives your self-talk long enough to be shared with a friend who dismisses it as “crazy talk”.

You could feel stupid for even thinking such a thing. You know the drill because you’ve done it a hundred, a thousand times before. You chastise yourself. You feel your happiness drain away as your dream dies…the victim of WWOPT.

Or instead, as soon as this happens, and every time it does from now on, you can choose a different path. You can shout (not literally unless you want to because you’re no longer worried by WWOPT), “I have a right to be me and to think for myself! I am choosing to pursue my dreams!” Say it to yourself two or three times, if that’s what it takes.

Put your internal and external naysayers on notice that you are not going to be stopped by WWOPT anymore. Once you break through that fearful barrier, you will see it was nothing but smoke and mirrors.

You’re going to explore what it means to be you, to think like you, and to act like you. That’s what you’re here to do, my friend. Success comes not to those who wait with the herd, but to those who step out on their own and create something different.

Oddly enough, the herd really loves to follow someone like that. :o)

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.


Identifying Your Negative Thoughts – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday March 27, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

I create my own life everyday and I work hard to create a life full of growth and expansion.


panic.jpg Are you consciously aware of the negative thoughts that are impacting your performance or your happiness in life? Knowing what those thoughts are is the first step in dealing with them.

One of the key benefits of affirmations is their ability to replace negative or destructive thoughts with positive and productive thoughts. This process is referred to as “thought replacement” or by psychology professionals as “cognitive restructuring.”

The process is simple. Let’s say you are a baseball player. You have this thought stuck in your mind, “I can’t hit curve balls.” Well, guess what? When you have a thought like that firmly planted in your mind you are going to struggle to hit curve balls. This is a perfect example of how our thinking can get in the way of our performance.

Affirmations are a very powerful thought replacement tool because you can – through repetition of a countering positive thought – replace the thought, “I can’t hit curve balls,” with a thought like, “I am a great curve ball hitter.”

Notice that the skill to hit curve balls is present, but the belief by the player that he or she can is limiting performance.  In a case where actual skill is the issue, an affirmation such as, “I get better at hitting curve balls each and every day,” is more effective.

When the negative thoughts or negative thinking process is obvious it’s easy to figure out what kinds of affirmations you need to counter them. Sometimes, however, the negative thinking is a bit more cloudy. You know it’s there and that it’s impacting some aspect of your life, but are not consciously aware of the problematic thoughts.

There are several effective techniques for uncovering your negative thoughts and getting them out in the open so you can deal with them.

Here are a three techniques you can use to expose your negative thoughts so that you can deal with them.

  1. Journaling – journaling is an effective way to get feelings out of your mind and into the real world for analysis. You may think your internal thinking is catching your true thoughts and feelings, but journaling can really surprise you.
  2. Recording – while journaling is a conscious effort to write down thoughts and feelings at an assigned time, recording is making note of the negative thoughts that occur to you as you go through your day. Try stopping and writing down every negative thought that comes into your mind for a day. You will be shocked at how many there are. Don’t beat yourself up over it. We all have negative thoughts. It’s not having negative thoughts that is the problem. It’s how we deal with them.
  3. Affirmation Therapy – this is one I’ve used to great effect. I’ve never seen it mentioned in any professional literature. If there is an area of your life that you know is causing you trouble, start using some affirmations targeted to that area of your life and wait. A natural process that occurs when you use affirmations is that the negative thoughts (conscious or unconscious) rise to challenge the positive thought for their supremacy. This causes the negative thought to come out into the open.
  4. Meditation – meditation or a quiet time with eyes closed is another effective way to identify negative thoughts. Just sit and “thought watch”. You will experience a whole range of thoughts from euphoric to depressing (the mind is an active thing). Write down the negative thoughts you observe and want to deal with.

Be peaceful Be prosperous Be positive!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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