“Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.” Stephen Covey
“You reap what you sow.” The Apostle Paul
What kinds of thoughts do you sow? What do you allow yourself to think about? Just because a thought enters your mind doesn’t mean you must entertain it and let it grow.
An ancient proverb talks about the need to take our thoughts captive to ensure what we think about leads to life. When we entertain a thought, when we allow ourselves to ruminate on it – or when we choose to embed a thought into our psyche and heart through repetition – it shapes who we are.
For good or bad.
Eddie Lemoine, a speaker and author of the book, Bring About What You Think About, recently spoke to our leadership group. He talked about “Stinking Thinking”. Stinking thinking is negative thoughts, pessimistic thoughts, rotten thoughts – thoughts that really don’t lead to life and success.
Stinking thinking is allowing yourself to dwell on thoughts that keep you limited, they keep you small, they keep you less than you can be. And, they keep you from creating the kind of impact you can have in the lives of other people.
Every thought you have will either move you toward your goals or away from them.
You have probably heard of the term “limiting beliefs”. Limiting beliefs are the beliefs you carry about yourself that keep you living a small life. They keep you limited.
What you believe about yourself is formed by what you choose to continually think about. And, by what you allow yourself to think about. We all have a choice about our thoughts. If we are passive and not intentional in our thoughts we will drift toward stinking thinking.
What kind of thoughts about yourself do you choose to think about? Perhaps more accurately, what do you allow yourself to think about yourself?
Many people aren’t that intentional about their thoughts about themselves. They’re not very aware of what they’re thinking about themselves. However, if we’re to move beyond ordinary into extraordinary, we must take charge of our thoughts – take them captive – to ensure we’re reaping the actions, habits, character and destiny we desire.
Covey also said we need to start with the end in mind. What kind of destiny do you want to create? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? It starts with what you think about. And in particular, what you think about yourself.
Henry Ford understood this principle. He said, “If you think you can do a thing, or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”
As a person thinks, so we are.
Don’t allow yourself to participate in stinking thinking. Don’t allow yourself to think less of yourself. You have a choice to think and believe the best or the worst about yourself.
“Who am I to think I can do this? Others can, I can’t. I am not smart enough. I’m not good enough to do this. I don’t have what it takes. I will never succeed. I am small and always will be. I am an underachiever. I can never measure up. I can never change. This is a good as it’s going to get…” These are all examples of stinking thinking.
We are all tempted to think these limiting thoughts. But we all have a choice: we can either entertain these thoughts, or choose not to dwell on them, and counter them with thoughts that lead to personal growth and development, and success.
One of the most intentional, disciplined, and strategic leaders I know confessed to me that he has often thought that he didn’t have what it takes to lead his company to the next level. Even though, that under his leadership they have grown over 4 times into 9 figure revenues.
However, he doesn’t entertain those thoughts and will find a way to do what needs to be done – even if that is hiring a leader smarter than he is to lead the charge.
Don’t engage in stinking thinking – choose thoughts that lead you toward your goals.