You cannot bypass the principles I want to discuss today. They are immutable laws of life. They are ageless, changeless constants and they can make you or break you.
You will realize amazing benefits if you put them to work in your life. They are that powerful.
Of course, if you ignore them, the consequences are massive.
So, understanding and applying these two principles correctly is tantamount to a great life.
The Two Principles You Need to Know
There is nothing complicated about these principles. Yet, many people don’t really get the essence of their importance.
I’ve been trying to teach them to my preteen daughter lately. I truly believe that if she can understand these two principles clearly, she’ll be well on her way to a happy, fruitful and prosperous life.
That’s how strongly I believe in these fundamentals for success.
Here are the two principles you need to know:
1. Your Thoughts Become Your Actions
Whatever you think about, whatever you dwell upon, whatever you let into your mind – that’s where you will go.
This principle works in the positive AND the negative sense.
For example, if you surround yourself with encouraging, motivated, successful people whose conversations revolve around how to win in the various aspects of life, you will naturally begin following in their footsteps.
On the other hand, if you hang out with negative, lazy, ineffectual losers who are constantly making trouble and failing to get ahead in life, you will soon find yourself in the same sinking boat.
Your life all depends on your thoughts.
This is an enduring and unchangeable law that you cannot escape. It functions whether you acknowledge it or not.
The law works like this: garbage in, garbage out. Therefore, you must guard your mind.
Here’s another way to look at it. Your mind is the soil of your life. Whatever you sow into your mind is exactly what you will reap.
You can’t sow seeds of poison ivy and expect to reap a bountiful harvest of corn.
It just doesn’t work that way.
An Example of This Principle in Action
Here’s a way this works that might not occur to you at first.
Let’s say you overindulge in something. It could be food, shoes, wine, sex or Facebook. The object of your obsession is irrelevant, but let’s use food here because it works so well.
You decide you need to go on a diet. How do most diets work? They direct you to think more about what you eat. You have to research what’s healthiest. You have to find nutrition information. You have to select your food carefully.
What happens? You wind up feeling deprived. Why? Because you are constantly thinking about food.
Whatever you think about is exactly where you wind up going. Therefore, diets usually lead you to eating which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
A better tactic would be to powerfully distract yourself. Completely immerse yourself in something that keeps you from thinking of food.
Hasn’t this ever happened to you? You get so involved in something you absolutely love and when you finally check the clock, you are amazed at what time it is?
Distraction is a powerful way to stop bad habits because it leverages this principle.
Do you see how this works? Are you starting to understand how you might be able to apply this in your life?
KEY POINT: You control your actions by controlling or directing your thoughts in a certain direction.
This key point is massively powerful so please don’t miss it.
Again, this principle is operating in your life regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not, but once you understand it and start proactively using it in your life, that’s when it really has the power to change things for the better.
Here are some practical ways of putting this principle into action in your life:
- Read books that fill your mind with thoughts about the direction you want to go.
- Go to a local meetup to find new friends that will positively influence you.
- Find someone to coach or mentor you in the right direction.
- Find blogs and other media-rich resources online to direct your thinking.
- Do everything you can to immerse yourself in the ideas, culture and attitudes of those you want to emulate.
Your thoughts truly do become your actions. That’s why you need to guard your mind and direct your thoughts if you want to achieve the best results in life. This leads us to the second principle that will either make you or break you.
2. Your Life Becomes What You DO
I know that on the surface this one seems a little obvious, but let’s dig into it a little because there is a powerful concept here that you need to get your mind around.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is this thing we call your life?
- It is the sum of all your experiences.
- It is your circumstances, your relationships and your memorable events.
- It is the culmination of your actions.
Your life is the outward or external results you get from the inner thought life you hang on to.
Let me make this clear. Your life is NOT your intentions, your hopes or even your dreams because all of these things are unrealized.
Your life is a result of what you ACTUALLY DO not what you intend to do, hope to do or dream about doing.
Haven’t you ever heard someone say, “Bob’s a good person at heart. He’s just made a lot of stupid mistakes in his life.”
It is a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t change Bob’s life.
Your life is what you DO and NOT what you wished you did or what you think of yourself.
Let me give you a simple example. I’m trying to teach my daughter that it doesn’t matter that she intended to do her math homework. If she didn’t actually do it, then the grade that gets recorded is still a zero.
KEY POINT: The results you receive in your relationships, your career, your finances, your health and all the other areas of your life that determine your circumstances are a result of WHAT YOU ACTUALLY DO.
Let me make this plain. No one cares for very long about your intentions if what you repeatedly DO (or fail to do) falls short in achieving the desired results.
You can think of yourself as a good person all day long, but if your actions don’t measure up, then your life is going to go downhill very fast.
If you truly desire a great life, then comfort is not an option! Get out there and DO the things you know need to be done to get the results you want.
Put These Principles to Work in Your Life
Here’s how these two essential principles work together.
If you aren’t getting the results you want out of a particular area of your life, then you need to reexamine your beliefs about it because your thoughts determine your actions.
Start at the beginning and evaluate the foundation of why you think the way you do. Perhaps your beliefs about this matter are misguided.
If so, then maybe it is time to seek a new perspective. Fortunately, my daughter has two loving parents to discipline and guide her in new ways of thinking. But, how will you seek out this change?
We often become entrenched in seeing the world (and ourselves) the way we want it to be instead of how it really is. That’s how we get bogged down with our good intentions and fail to actually DO what matters most.
Is this where you are on some important matter? If so, then you are going to have to make a decision.
Do you continue hanging on to your belief (your way of seeing it) or do you start filling your mind with a new perspective that leads you in a new, more fruitful direction?
I urge you to ponder this question and these two principles for awhile. I promise, it can make you or break you.