I find the above quote by Jim Rohn to be very true- in fact, I’ve learned a lot from reading his book, The Treasury of Quotes. The book carries his quotes from seminars and speeches that he had given over a span of 39 years.
At the same time, I am also aware that there is a new school of thought that is emerging: “The Secret” and “Law of Attraction” that places a lot of emphasis of the power of affirmations. Some of the principles taught in “The Secret” or “Law of Attraction” such as:
- believe in yourself and your capabilities
- always try to think positive- repeating positive thoughts till you believe in it and you will attract positive thoughts. If you believe you will be rich, then you will be rich.
- block out as many negative thoughts as possible
While I fully agree, a person who had experience emotional pain or always harbors thoughts of negativity, pessimism will initially benefit from these lessons. These books have valuable lessons to pull one out of the sea of darkness that is threatening to drown them. And you will be amazed at the role of positive thinking plays in your life- your body will respond and thank you for it, you will feel better- even health conditions, food addictions and dysfunctional emotional behaviours can be greatly improved once you set yourself into believing in positive thoughts.
But, the possible danger also arise when one person have the belief that he can be richer than Bill Gates and keep chanting these affirmations like it is a mantra. Then, years later, when he fails to achieve that financial status, he may be told that the reason of his failure is that:
- he did not try hard enough, or that his affirmation is not ‘pure’
- he may have allowed negative thoughts to intrude, thus sending some kind of message to the universe so the richness is not within his reach, etc, etc
If the person believes the above explanation, the person is going to be filled with deep feelings of inadequacy, of thoughts of ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I am doomed to be a failure’, etc, etc. The person then goes back to Square 1- right at the point that he had started.
We cannot totally override negativity
With the exception of enlightened beings, I do not believe that anyone can prevent themselves from indulging in negative thoughts. The difference between the good and bad guy are:
- how often the negative thoughts arise vs positive ones, and
- when the thought arise, how the person can restraint himself from acting on it, either by giving it more power in thoughts (ie allowing the negative thoughts to weave itself into a full blown saga), speech and deed. Or dismissing the thought and due to conscience and in born goodness, do not allow the thoughts to flourish further
Our bad thoughts is like a child- if we do not discipline or be firm with it during the initial stage, we will give it power and it slowly goes out of control. So we have to work on to ‘discipline’ ourselves internally.
So, the notion of using positive affirmations to flush out the negativity in our lives is totally absurd- positive and negative both exist in this world of duality- there is light, so there is darkness; there is happiness, so there sadness; and so on. Anyone who have lived their lives long enough will know that we cannot only choose happiness- there will be moments of sadness. We cannot only choose a person and hope they have all the good points- we still have to accept the bad.
Follow up your affirmations with labor and effort
Affirmations are good for the stage of your initial change. It’s very much the promise that you make to yourself to be better. Follow up on the affirmations with a good plan. Again, I find what John Rohn said to be very true:
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their own lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change”
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much”.
“The reason why most people face the future with apprehension instead of anticipation is because they don’t have it well designed”.
You already have an affirmation- you want to achieve certain things in life. Sit down and detail out the path on how you want to get there- to your destination. Then make sure you work on your plan everyday.
Some people hate their jobs and want to leave it- but they never got around updating and sending their resumes to prospective companies. Some are stuck in destructive relationships but always find the excuse to stay even though it destroys their self esteem and self-worth. And they blame the world, the government, their education, their parents, etc etc for their shortcomings.
Let’s say you are in the share financing industry and realised that your life’s calling s to write a book, run motivational seminars or become a photographer- what’s stopping you? You cannot make the giant leap by suddenly quiting your job (especially if you have financial and family commitments) and go after the profession of your dreams with no preparation whatsoever. You need to lay out a careful plan. Take up a part time course, sacrifice some nights and weekends to learn the skill. If you love it, it doesn’t become a drag or an effort. Then, get to know people in the industry that you want to go- join clubs, research in the library or the internet, offer to do for your friends and ask them for honest opinions for improvement, etc, etc. Before you quit, you also have to make sure you have enough savings to get you through. It can be 6 months, 2 years or 5 years before you make the transition. Then you can get up every morning, repeat your affirmations like a mantra but at the same time you are working on it. And one day, you will see results.
But if you only make affirmations and do not seriously work on it, you will most often meet with disappointment and failure. So make your affirmations, develop a plan and work towards it. Remind yourself again and again on your affirmations especially when the going gets tough and you felt like giving up. Find out authors that inspired you- constantly read their books or mix with successful people.
I will conclude with an excerpt taken from Jim Rohn’s book (I really recommend his book as they’re really motivational and carries the insight of a man who possess very high level of emotional intelligence):
“People often ask me how I became successful in that six-year period of time while many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple:
The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do.
I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to.
I found it easy to read books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found it easy not to.
I found it easy to attend the classes and the seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn’t matter.
If I have to sum it up, I would say what I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do.
Six years later, I am a millionaire and they
are all still blaming the economy, the government, and company policies, yet they neglected to do the basic, easy things. “