The Key to Successful Thinking
I am still running a little behind on the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal as well as in our Wisdom Notes due to my July 8th accident falling from a ladder that will change my life for weeks to come. In fact, I would say as a major life event, it will impact my outlook for the remainder of life. I am producing a series of podcasts on Tuesdays and Thursdays detailing the accident and my trail of recovery. The first three episodes can be found at Day-645 Day-647 and Day-650.
In our trek to change our thinking we have visited waypoints 1-5, so we are making good progress on our trek. Today as we search for waypoints 6 & 7 on our expedition, let us see what advice we can gain so that we can continue to change our thinking.
As we continue on our trail of life this beautiful day, enjoy the sunshine, the soft mountain breeze, and the fragrances of summer after a brief shower. As we visualize this, we soon come upon our 6th waypoint and find our first instructions.
6. Explore Possibility Thinking
To be a possibility thinker you must believe that solutions exist to even the most difficult problems. When you believe something challenging can be done and then succeed at doing it, doors open and others are attracted to you. When you make things happen, it inspires others to create possibilities. When you approach difficult tasks, you have the potential to attain exceptional results. When you embrace possibility thinking, you believe in what you are doing and are energized by it.
There are six different ways to stimulate possibility thinking:
- Do not focus on what is impossible. Instead, focus on solutions to your problems or challenges in any situation.
- Stay away from experts. This may seem counter-intuitive to have a mentor, but an expert may see all that could go wrong and may discourage your dreams. It is good to take wise advice, but be leery of those individuals who are self-proclaimed experts.
- Look for possibilities in every situation. Opposite of the first point, regardless of the circumstances, try to look for positive possibilities.
- Dream bigger. To encourage possibility thinking, try to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone. Bigger dreams that are realistic will force you to grow.
- Question the status quo. It is impossible to stay the same and also improve. Greater possibilities mean that you do not settle for the status quo.
- Find inspiration from great achievers. One way for you to learn more about possibility thinking is to study great achievers. Anyone who has already achieved a level of wisdom and success also has a story of failure or tragedy.
If you embrace possibility thinking, your dreams will go from molehill to mountain size, and because you believe in possibilities, you put yourself in the position to achieve them.
Focus Question: Am I unleashing the enthusiasm of possibility thinking to find solutions for even seemingly impossible problems?
“If you embrace possibility thinking, your dreams will go from molehill to mountain size.”
Now that we have explored possibility thinking, let us continue on to our next waypoint in thinking.
7. Learn from Reflective Thinking
Today’s fast-paced society does not encourage us to practice reflective thinking, but this practice can help you learn from past experiences and identify what should stay the same and what should change. There are many benefits associated with reflective thinking.It provides you with true perspective, lends emotional integrity to your thinking, clarifies your situations, and increases your confidence in decision making. One of the most important aspects of reflective thinking is your ability to transform your experience into insight.
There are five ways to improve your ability to think in a reflective manner:
- Set aside time for reflection. If you do not dedicate time for reflective thinking, it is unlikely that you will.
- Avoid distractions. Reflection requires that you find a place that provides solitude and an escape from your interruptions.
- Regularly review your calendar or journal. Although calendars are a useful planning tool, they are also good to use during reflective thinking to show how your activities align with priorities.
- Ask the right questions. Much of the value that is derived from reflective thinking comes when you ask prudent questions.
- Cement learning through action. You must be intentional about putting your thoughts into action. Once you learn something new, take action on what you have learned so that it will benefit you and help in the process of changing your life.
Focus Question: Am I regularly revisiting the past to gain a true perspective and think with understanding?
Psalm 119:5, “Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!”
Psalm 119:15, “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.”
Psalms 119:55, “I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions.”
We need to explore the possibilities in life and dream big, but we also need to reflect on what is most important in our lives. As this type of thinking becomes a habit in our lives, it will allow us to grow wise and successful.
For me, being grounded in God’s Word is foundational. I should always put into practice what I am learning each day. As Christ’s half-brother James put it in chapter 1 verse 22, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
It might also be said that “Action is the foundational key to all success.”