Well, today there is a lot of controversy swirling in the media over some comments that presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney made at a fundraising event.  In short, Mr. Romney said the following about those voters whom polls indicate will instead vote for President Barack Obama:

“There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

He then goes on to state that his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Now, we will not get into the details of politics in this post as that is personal opinion and everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint.  However, there is one thing that is clear in the last statement, the belief that you can influence change in your life.

At some time or another, each of us fall susceptible to the thinking that there is nothing we can do regarding a particular situation.  “I’ll never be smarter. I’ll never be a climber. I’ll never lose weight. I’ll never finish college. I’ll never be any good.”  Statements like the foregoing are views that we have of ourselves, however, they are not fact until we make them so.  Thus, here is the question at hand; how powerful is thought and can you think yourself into another situation?

Outlined below are six steps that we believe allow one to go from thought to change over the course of time.

Changed Thinking Transforms Your Beliefs.  Beliefs are nothing more than the perception one has of something based on past or historical experiences/information.  For most Americans, we believed that a fellow named Santa Claus brought us presents and cookies on Christmas for some time of our lives.  Then one day that changed.  Why?  Did the facts of receiving presents and cookies change? Nope, your thinking surrounding how they got there did.  This changed thinking then caused you to alter your beliefs and you no longer believed in Santa Claus.  With that said, thinking can yield changes in all your beliefs.  Being creative is when you think about your thinking, being innovative is when you begin to act on your ideas.

Altered Beliefs Modify Your Expectations.  What you believe in guides what you expect in life.  For the most part, all of us can take a look at a task or challenge and know whether or not we can succeed at it.  Thus, in belief lies power; the power to give us clear vision, outline our opportunities and make our visions reality.  In essence, our beliefs control just about everything we do in life.  If we believe we will fail, we often don’t begin the journey of attempting a feat and thus the result of failing materializes.  However, if we believe we can, while it is true that we may ultimately fail, we also move that much closer to ultimately succeeding.

Modified Expectations Give Way to A New Attitude.  “Blessed is the one who expects nothing, for he shall receive it” – Benjamin Franklin.  We’ll finish our analysis by looking at the story of a minister named Frank W. Gunsaulus who lived in the late 1800’s.  While going through college he observed many defects in the educational system, defects which he believed could be corrected if he were the head of a college.  He didn’t have the large sum of money necessary to start a school and could not make any real progress in attaining it for almost two years.  However, he set his mind on attempting to make a difference which impacted his belief and attitude that he would eventually find a way to open a college.

A New Attitude Transforms Your Behavior. One day while in his room thinking of ways to raise the money to carry out his plans, it dawned on Mr. Gunsaulus that he had done nothing but think. He finally resolved that the time had come to take action.  He still didn’t have a clear plan on just how he would raise the money, but he did do one thing, he called a newspaper and announced he would preach a sermon the following morning, entitled “What I would do if I had a million dollars.”  Had it not been for his “new” attitude, Mr. Gunsaulus probably would have forever been locked in thought.  William James was right when he said, “That which holds our attention determines our action.”

Transformed Behavior Revises Your Performance.  By spurring himself to action, Mr. Gunsaulus preached a sermon to a well attended church with all the heart and soul that he could muster.  He shared what he would do with a million dollars.  He described his plans for organizing a great educational institution where young people would learn to do practical things, and at the same time develop their minds.  Mr. Gunsaulus could have never gotten on that pulpit; many of us would rather stay in a routine than make changes.  Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of a change.  However, Mr. Gunsaulus did give that sermon and the results were quite astounding.

Revised Performance Changes Your Life.  When Gunsaulus finished and sat down, a man arose from his seat and made his way toward the pulpit. He approached Mr. Gunsaulus with an extended hand and said, “Reverend, I liked your sermon. I believe you can do everything you said you would, if you had a million dollars. My name is Phillip D. Armour.”  Gunsaulus would eventually get the money he sought and became the first president of the Armour Institute of Technology (now IIT).  The performance that Gunsaulus exhibited in the end changed his reality, yet it all began with his thinking and beliefs.

While thinking yourself to a different place in life is not easy, instantaneous or at times even pleasurable, it is something that can be done.  The reality is that change makes a person feel alone, even if others are going through it. Yet it is easier to turn a failure into success than an excuse into a possibility.   A person can fail and turn around and understand their failure and then make it a success.  However, a person who makes excuses for everything may never truly succeed.  With that said, if you are thinking of doing something different in life, take the first step and think your way to a new place.  We’re confident you’ll be happy with the results!