Positive Thinking - Winning versus Not Losing

Mar 8 18:12 2007 Albert Foong Print This Article

Do you play to win or do you play not to lose? This difference in mental attitudes makes a huge difference in almost everything you do – from your business, to your relationships, to martial arts.

Personal Development in Positive Thinking - Winning versus Not Losing

Do you play to win or do you play not to lose? This difference in mental attitudes makes a huge difference in almost everything you do – from your business,Guest Posting to your relationships, to martial arts.

I was watching a martial arts movie and in the middle was an obligatory training session where the hero, with the help of an old teacher, recovers from a severe beating and prepares to exact his revenge on the villains.

One scene stood out in my mind for days afterwards because of his master’s comment after kicking his ass in a sparring session.

“Fear is reflected in your sword. When you dodge, you think ‘don’t cut me!’ When you protect someone, you think ‘don’t hurt them!’ Even when you attack, you are thinking ‘I don’t want to hurt you!’”

“What do I think? When I dodge – ‘you will NOT hit me!’ When I protect someone – ‘you will NOT hurt them!’ And when I attack – ‘DIE!’”

Negative and fearful thinking

Does this apply to you and your life? You get what your predominant thoughts are on. This applies in any endeavour we can undertake. For example, in my boxing training, this was exactly the way I sparred. I boxed in fear – I boxed not to lose, and although I got out uninjured, I didn’t win either. Many fighters in the combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts or Boxing have the same mindset; and they don’t often reach the upper ranks.

What about relationships? I remember approaching a pretty young woman that caught my eye in a bar, and I didn’t do very well. My friend saw the whole event. He said that it was obvious in my body language that I didn’t commit. In a way, I rejecting myself, I was preparing for failure. If you prepare for failure, if fear of failure dominates your actions and your thoughts, what do you think will happen?

The same applies to careers and finances. When I started my first enterprise years ago, my mindset was ‘hope I don’t go broke’. Can you guess if I did well in the first year?

Committing to win and burning all bridges

The moment a person decides to fully commit to a venture, and burns all the bridges behind him so he or she has no way of turning back, the whole situation changes.

Examples of this philosophy abound. Napoleon Hill in his landmark book “Think and Grow Rich” gives several examples of this in a financial setting, and goes so far to state that a man cannot fail if he decides to fully commit.

Among many martial arts teachings, this dynamic is also prominent. The immortal Bruce Lee describes it as “emotional content”. A kick with emotional content will have more power then a kick without the same, even though the body mechanics may be the same. There is a now famous scene in Enter the Dragon, where he shows a young student the way. In it, he also cautions – Do not confuse emotional content with anger.

Remember that business venture I mentioned in the section above? I’m still in that enterprise, but I’ve shifted my thinking. Now I’m out to win, I’m out to succeed. Externally, the actions are the same. I’m doing the same form of marketing, I’m meeting clients the same way, and my prices are the same. But the money and clients are coming in far quicker then in my old way of thinking.

Take action!

This is one facet of positive thinking. Positive thinking is our natural state. Fearful or negative thinking dominates most the minds of most people. That is a bad habit that covers up our natural joy of life.

Making the switch to positive thinking takes much effort. We ingrain this habit so deeply into ourselves over the years that it’s hard to catch yourself when you are thinking negatively.

Remember that your predominant mental attitude is what produces results. You will not get positive results with 10 minutes of positive thinking and happiness if you spend the entire day in worry, regret, and fear.

Further detail

While there are many tools to master your thoughts, such as meditation, I recommend starting with this aspect of positive thinking. If you still catch yourself making negative thoughts, break it down even further. Pick one area of your life that you want to improve. For example, if you are single and lonely. Enjoy your aloneness, or go out and meet new people, but do so with an attitude of joy.

If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, I’m so shy I can’t meet anyone”, immediately switch to the opposite thought, but making sure to acknowledge your shyness – don’t deny it. “I’m shy, but I’m going to smile and talk to someone and enjoy myself.” Say this often enough and it will be your new mental habit, replacing the old. Then watch your whole life change before your eyes.

What’s next 

If there are emotions accompanying your negative thoughts, you might want to try this article in the Emotional Mastery section at the Urban Monk website.

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Albert Foong
Albert Foong

Would you like to live in bliss and find success in any calling?

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