My wrestling coach dad, Jimmy Miller, had a poem hanging on the Cornell University grappling room wall in the 1960s. Still burned into my brain, here’s an excerpt from “The Man Who Thinks He Can”:
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a person’s will,
It’s all in your state of mind.
Powerful stuff, for sure. If that’s not a poem about mindfulness, I’m not sure what is. And “mindfulness” is a hot topic!
In the QBQ! book we write, “The old stuff is the good stuff”—so in line with that poem, here’s an old idea that is forever good:
Everything I feel, do, and become begins with my thinking.
Said differently, thoughts drive emotions which drive behaviors which (over time) become habits leading to success or failure. The sequence:
1. Thoughts 2. Emotions 3. Behaviors 4. Habits 5. Results
So if everything begins with thinking, lousy thoughts like these won’t take us far:
My spouse does not do enough to help out …
If I’m firm with my kids they won’t like me …
My friends do not care about me …
My daughter doesn’t respect me …
My son won’t listen to me …
I am entitled to more …
Life should be fair …
Those are bad enough, but what about these?
I never do anything right …
Nobody appreciates me …
I can’t succeed …
I am so stupid …
I’m unlovable …
Do you talk to yourself?
The truth is, we all talk to ourselves and how we talk to ourselves–how we think–affects everything in our lives. Again, only when I enhance my thinking will I experience positive emotions leading to productive actions and habits—and life success.
Do you need to elevate your thinking?
Now that we agree it all begins with our thinking, I’m recommending a book to you—one that I didn’t write!
For over two decades, David Levin has added tremendous value to all-things QBQ! If you think well of the QBQ! book and our message of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, then know that David is partly responsible. He co-authored QBQ! with me, as well as Flipping the Switch and Outstanding! (QBQ.com/books)
Is it time to raise your game?
David’s new book, Raise Your Inner Game, is now on the market and you should rush to buy it today.
My final thought is David’s thought, straight from Raise Your Inner Game—and couldn’t be truer:
“This is what the inner life is like for most people—we spend the vast majority of our time locked in an endless stream of mental noise. We’re not focused on the task at hand, not present with the people in our lives, and not working anywhere near our full potential.”
Powerful stuff, for sure. So raise your game and be the person who thinks you can!
Leave a comment sharing ONE negative inner thought you need to eliminate. And let us know if you pick up a copy of David’s book!
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Order Raise Your Inner Game today!
Great article again, John! I just ordered David’s book and can’t wait to read it. Reminds me of a book I read early in my career about ‘Telling Yourself the Truth’, which has made a huge impact on me to this day, along with ‘QBQ!’.
Loved your message today John! While I feel I am capable, strong and confident there are times when I can be hard on myself – when I don’t put in the proper effort. I have assigned the term “stupid” to myself for not following through or doing the best I could. It can certainly be destructive. I think part of not assigning negative terms to ourselves is understanding who we are and where we come from. Knowing we are on a journey of greatness and success comes after many failures along the way. QBQ is a great way to avoid focusing on what I didn’t do or think I can’t do. QBQ teaches us to be responsible for our path of and to greatness. Thanks again for the message!
The negative words I tell myself are “You can’t do that!”, then I immediately tell my brain the truth, “Of course I can!”