What do you see?
Is it two faces? Or is it a vase? Or do you see both? How long did it take you to see them?
When some people see this picture they see two faces right away. Others see a vase or a chalice.
It takes some people longer to see.
The point is we all see things differently. Who is right?
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t –you’re right.”
When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
This is one of the biggest “secrets” known to man.
All of our actions originate with thoughts. We eventually do things subconsciously because of beliefs we have.
Most people get this all wrong and don’t realize how important thoughts are.
Thoughts matter and if we are going to have success in any area we need to learn to control them.
I attended a Dr. Gary Smalley seminar once and he said that thoughts are trees. This is called a metaphor. Positive thoughts are big branches with lots of leaves that grow lots of fruit. Negative thoughts are little twigs.
Every thought matters and each one begets another. Similar thoughts grow similar trees and so the pattern goes.
How can we change our thoughts?
This all sounds good but how can we change our thoughts? Here are a few ways that have worked for me.
- Change your environment – Charlie Tremendous Jones said, “You are the same as you’ll be in 5 years except for two things. The books you’ll read and the people you’ll meet.”
- See the possibilities – Start with a small accomplishment and think about what good will happen when small victories start adding up. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Practice Gratitude – Share three things you’re thankful for each day or list them in a notebook and see how much your attitude and life can change.
Even reading this you may be having certain thoughts. Think about two possible thought scenarios. Which do you think would produce better results?
Thought scenario 1: I’m going to do this! I know there are things I take for granted so starting today, I’ll be intentional about recognizing them. I also know that if I have a plan and start taking small steps good things will happen. I’m going to surround myself with encouraging people that will lift me up. I will pour into them in return.
Thought scenario 2: Yeah, yeah. I saw this on Oprah and it didn’t work. What’s the point anyway? Nothing ever goes well for me.
It’s obvious which scenario is better but it’s not necessarily easy to take inventory of our thoughts. Just remember, thoughts become things!
* I’m reading a book with now about George H.W. Bush. Regardless of what you think of his political career, there is no doubt that he had a very colorful life. If you’re like me, you tend to think that some people just get all the breaks. We look at someone like Bush and think that he had so many advantages that we don’t.
While there may be some truth to that, we neglect to realize that his (and others like him) life was anything but easy. He had to sacrifice many things to get to where he got. At 21 years old he was shot down from an airplane over the pacific during WWII. He saw close friends perish. A few years later he watched his first daughter suffer and die from Leukemia at age 3.
He didn’t use these things as excuses. He had an amazing attitude which made all the difference and allowed him to create tremendous impact.
Written by Billy Hofacker