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  • Writer's pictureMichael Baffuto

Can our thoughts actually influence our lives?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right.” Henry Ford. 

If you stop and take the time to really think about what Henry Ford was trying to tell us in this quote, it is truly enlightening. Ask yourself this question: out of all the things in life that you were able to achieve, did you not have to believe it was possible first? What about all those tasks/goals that you let fall to the wayside, all the dreams that you never pursued, were you not crippled by the thought - "I cannot do this, it is impossible"?The moment a person says he/she CANNOT achieve a goal and/or accomplish a task, their mind comes to a screeching halt and no longer works to find a way to achieve it. They failed before they even started the race, game over! Do not pass go; do not collect 200 dollars, go straight to jail! On the other hand, the moment a person says they CAN and WILL achieve a goal and/or accomplish a task, something truly amazing happens. The mind begins to look for ways to achieve the goal. Everyone's heard the old saying "where there is a will, there is a way".

If you research some of the most successful people in the world you will find that the majority of those people truly believed they could achieve greatness. Many of those people were sideswiped with failure, discouragement, setbacks and the likes. However, the one commonality that allowed many of these people to persevere was the belief that they could!

Steven Spielberg is an ideal example of someone who truly believed they could achieve greatness and consequently did accomplish greatness. He set out to become a movie director when everyone thought he was crazy. He had no experience, no education, no prior training, but he was convinced he could achieve his goal. By the time he was 13 years old, Steven Spielberg knew he wanted to be a movie director. He told himself he would do whatever it took to achieve that goal. One day after visiting Universal Studios, as a tourist, Steven decided he had to make this dream into a reality. Steven snuck away from the tour group onto a set where a movie was being filmed. After plotting around all day behind the stage Spielberg walked out of the studio and made sure he spoke with the security guard on duty. He knew he would be able to walk right back in the next day if the security guard recognized him. Well, the very next day he did just that. He threw on a suit and walked onto the lot again. Later he painted Steven Spielberg, Director, on a trailer that was abandoned in the back lot. He dedicated his entire summer working at Universal Studios learning all that he could. People began to notice and recognize him in the studio. He was later given the opportunity to direct a short film, "Amblin". The film had won so many awards, and everyone was so impressed, the studio vice president offered Spielberg a seven-year directing contract. Spielberg went on to become one of the most successful and well known directors ever. The key was that Spielberg believed he could achieve his goal and so he did. If he would have said to himself it was impossible to become a director, many of us would have never seen some of the greatest movies of all times, including Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Jaws, and ET.

Our brains receive a ton of information each and every second. The part of the brain that receives all of this information is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). Think of it like a giant sorting and filing system. Your RAS is a small group of cells at the base of your brain stem. This small group of cells evaluates incoming information and translates that information into prioritized messages that reach your conscious and subconscious mind. If you think of a storage system on a computer, that storage system may become full and you're forced to remove some of the items to allow room for more prioritized items. That is one of the main tasks of the RAS in your brain. 

Do you remember the last time you went out and purchased something that you believed no one else had and then a day or two later you began to see that item everywhere; it happened to me a few winters ago. I went out and purchased a Canada Goose jacket, convinced no one else had it. That very next day I was on the subway and I began to notice more and more people were wearing that exact jacket. Now I know Canada Goose jackets do not go on sale, and the temperature was exactly the same from the day I bought it. What happened was my RAS began to notice the jacket because it was recently brought to my attention by purchasing it. Your RAS moves all information that is frequently analyzed/ingested from the conscious to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind, including your RAS, cannot tell the difference between something that is imagined and something that is reality. This is the reason our thoughts actually influence the outcomes in our lives.

We all have the power to actually change the direction of our lives. We need to feed the right information/thoughts into our mind so those thoughts can begin to reproduce themselves in outward, physical actions and gradually transform themselves into physical reality. It's important that we allow the right thoughts into our mind. What I have found most helpful is to wake up each morning and fill my mind with positive messages. Make sure you're writing down goals and taking the necessary steps towards those goals. Make sure you're reading those goals each and every morning and over a period of time you will begin to truly believe those goals are possible. Our subconscious mind believes whatever we tell it to believe. Instead of telling our minds we cannot accomplish something let's tell our minds we can. Read all the positive books you can get your hands on; Think and Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big, How to Win Friends and Influence People, As a Man Thinketh, etc. These books will help you to develope the needed thoughts and ideas that create abundant lives.

Anything you can dream, you can achieve. The moment your mind conjures up an image, a dream, visualization, you are on the right track to making that image, dream, and/or visualization become a reality.

So yes, our thoughts can actually influence our lives! Which thought will you have, positive or negative? That all depends on how you want your life to turn out! I choose positive today!

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