“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”

“We are the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts.”

—Napoleon Hill, 20th Century American author of Think and Grow Rich

Image from Unsplash by Philippe Oursel

Perhaps one of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of the coaching industry is its ability to significantly increase our mindfulness and self-awareness. The phrase “Wherever you go, there you are” is poignant in that we always bring along our minds, which strongly influences and creates our worlds.

The majority of my work with clients focuses on executive leadership and business matters. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed considerable attention shifting to more personal and soulful issues and the idea of living a far more meaningful life.

EXERCISE:

If you, too, wish to dig deeper into being your own soulful captain of life, I strongly recommend the book Toward a Meaningful Life by Simon Jacobson.

“Not all things are to be discovered. Many are better concealed.”

“Not all things are to be discovered. Many are better concealed.”

—Sophocles, 4th Century BC Greek Writer

Image from Unsplash by Mohamadreza Ashdari

Before you speak: T.H.I.N.K.

T: Is what you are about to say TRUE?
H: Is what you plan to say HELPFUL?
I: Will what you say IMPROVE the situation?
N: Is saying it NECESSARY?
K: Is it KIND?

EXERCISE:

How would your professional and personal relationships improve if you did more thinking before you spoke? Where would more silence and concealing your inner voice be the best approach to take with selected individuals? What other aspects of your life would be better off concealed?

Friday Review of Posts on Thinking

FRIDAY REVIEW: THINKING

How often do you think about the way you (or others) think? Here are a few thinking-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

 

“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”

 

 

 

“Great minds like a think.”

 

 

 

 

“If you see the world in black and white, you’re missing important grey matter.”

 

 

 

The thought is father to the deed

“The thought is father to the deed.”

—Sigmund Freud, 20th Century Austrian founder of psychoanalysis

Image of Sigmund Freud

Image from wisdomtoinspire.com

Sigmund Freud, who lived between 1856 and 1939, was the founder of psychoanalysis, a method used for treating mental illness, and a theory which explains human behavior.

Among his various contributions, he developed a topographical model of the mind. He proposed that the mind was analogous to an iceberg, with the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious minds representing different levels of awareness.

I suggest a bit of editing in today’s quote. Consider replacing the word “father” with “mother,” or at least adding it, given what is required for the conception and eventual birth of an idea, a person, and of course, their deeds.

EXERCISE:

How can you examine and explore your thinking on all levels to more fully conceive and give birth to your most meaningful and inspired actions, to better your world?

When the heart is afire

“When the heart is afire, some sparks will fly out of the mouth.”

—Thomas Fuller, 15th Century British historian

Image from Unsplash by Jamie Street

Today’s quote is about leadership. Take a moment to consider the sparks flying out of people’s mouths these days. Gun control, global warming, nuclear proliferation, politics, and the economy are just a few of the hotly debated subjects.

What topics have your heart afire? To what degree do you share your own thoughts and opinions on those topics with others?

EXERCISE:

Where is the status quo unacceptable in your personal or professional worlds? Where can and will you play a greater leadership role and let a few more sparks fly out of your mouth, sharing your heartfelt beliefs?

As soon as you trust yourself you will know how to live

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 19th Century German Writer & Statesman

Image from wordandspiritministries

What is it to live a good life?

How does one measure a life well lived?

What intrinsic and extrinsic factors are your gyroscopic guides on this great adventure?

Many people are giving more thought to this, particularly as they look in the mirror and see the aging process in effect, or pine on what they were once able to do years earlier.

Many experts, happiness gurus, and people who live “in the moment” encourage all of us to explore our emotions and feelings in order to tap into these trustworthy cornerstones of how to live.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you more fully tap into your thoughts, emotions, and feelings to assure yourself that you are indeed on the right life path?

Nurture Your Mind With Great Thoughts

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”

—Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman

Image of a psychedelic tree

Image from Twitter @HighestThinking

How often do you eat junk food? How often do manufactured foods with excessive sugar, fat, or mystery ingredients find their way through your lips?

When you do, what are the results on your physical, mental, and emotional vitality and well being?

How many junk messages enter your mind from news, social media, books, or even the people with whom you associate? What impact do these factors have on your abilities to better yourself?

EXERCISE:

How can you make more efforts to ingest and digest more nurturing ideas and thoughts, to take your life higher?

How can you reduce or stop detrimental thoughts and influences that hold you back in order to  make room for empowering and uplifting ideas?

The Tree of our Thinking Minds

“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”

—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader

Image of a person sitting in the shade under a tree

Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man

On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.

Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.

If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.

EXERCISE:

How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?

Words are Thoughts with Wings

“Our words are our thoughts with wings. We open our mouths, our minds fly out.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation

Image of a flag reading "Watch your words"

Image from A Place to be Encouraged

We humans have a superpower not shared with any other creatures on Earth.

Given today’s quote, you would be correct in labeling language as our superpower.

With it, mankind has literally shaped and manifested all kinds of wondrous things, and some horrid things as well.

I’ve been watching a National Geographic Channel series called Origins: The Journey of Humankind, which points to a wide variety of moments that have shaped our society. Consider the impact of language on technology, medicine, government, monetary systems, and even war and terrorism on our world today.

EXERCISE:

Consider your inner voice and the words you choose to let fly into your personal and professional worlds. Be sure you are giving only your best when you decide to give others a piece of your mind.

If you check out the Origins series, let me know your thoughts!

Want to Forget

“To want to forget something is to think of it.”

—French Proverb

Image of pink elephant with glasses

Image from Flickr by Eric Wilcox

Did you know that there is a perpetual motion machine? Not necessarily in the physical world, since energy is always required, but in terms of our minds.

Consider past events and memories of negative or bad things that have happened in your life. What happens when you make the effort to forget these events and leave these thoughts in the past? You might even say to yourself, “Don’t think about X,” and in doing so, X is all you think about.

A common example of this is when we try to fall asleep, when our active minds keep us from getting the rest we need and crave. Sadly, this is the norm for many people.

EXERCISE:

Rather than trying to forget something you don’t wish to think about, consider how you can replace those thoughts with more desirable and intentionally relaxing ideas.