This article has appeared in the Silicon India home page and Facebook……….. – August 12, 2011

4:00 in the morning I was startled when a deep NEGATIVE thought raced my mind, “I have to get back to Mr Customer  with delivery and I do not have a clue when the goods will arrive.  And if I don’t deliver tomorrow it will attract 1 % penalty – I am doomed” .  The harder I tried to wash out the thought the stronger it resurfaced.  I got out from the bed at 6:00 in the morning but the next two hours were excruciating with more NEGATIVE thoughts racing up and about.

I was leaving the house and was already mentally exhausted.  No sooner I sat in my car, I consoled myself “all is well” everything will work out.  This proved like a magic and an hour car journey was like a balm and volcanic eruptions of CREATIVE thoughts that I could work on. “Call on Mr xxx and discuss business”.  Email YYY trading and strike up a business proposition.  Visit Mr RRR and suggest him the training format on shared revenue basis”

Reaching office the work kept me engrossed in the activities and the clock struck 3:00pm and it was time to rush back home for lunch.  While driving back PROBLEM thoughts raced my mind, “I must address this problem immediately on reaching home.  Should send him an email and settle the subject.  Must let him know my views  – must make the return booking for my kids.”

Reaching home, I changed into comfortable clothes and devoured my lunch.  And sooner HAPPY thoughts surfaced.  “My last year trip to Nanital was absolutely divine, must plan my next vacation.  Must watch my favorite show at 8:00pm;  Order Kulfi for desert; the technology forum was fun, must confirm participation for the next forum ”

And sooner it was time for bed.   Does this routine reflect similarity in your daily routine ?  Most probably YES and if your answer is NO.  STOP READING FURTHER.

What is the foremost difference between a successful person and not so successful person?  It’s the same as the difference between a happy person and not so happy person.   And that is…. THOUGHTS and THE ART OF PROCESSING YOUR THOUGHTS.  Buddha said… “We are what we think.  All that we are, arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

The art of processing your thoughts equals expanding time in CREATIVE and POSITIVE thoughts quadrants and reducing time spent in NEGATIVE and PROBLEM thoughts Quadrants.  It’s the engineering to change the ratios of your thoughts that reflects the secret to a successful and a happy personality.     The question is can it be engineered?   And a resounding answer is YES, YES and YES.  But…… it requires 3 P’s; Patience, Planning and Practice. And this article shares the secret to be ……a successful and a happy personality by processing your thoughts right.

Sometime back I observed and journal my past 7 days thoughts.  And realized that I was enamored by 4 different types of thoughts, at a very specific time of the day and they are.

–        Negative thoughts – just before & after getting up in the morning.

–        Creative thoughts – while driving to the office in the morning.

–        Problem thoughts – when driving back from the office.

–        Happy and Positive thoughts – when relaxing at home after office.

This set me thinking why not take stock of my thoughts in a journal and identify the time, place, triggers and types of thoughts surfacing.   Then make a deliberate attempt to change the ratios of my thoughts and also bring a control over my  four different thought types to support my long terms goals and objectives.

Hence here is what I experimented and would recommend you the exercise. Create a journal to take stock of your thoughts. Allocate two A4 size leaves for everyday and divide the two leaves into groups of 3 hours blocks ie. 5am – 8am = Block # 1; 8am – 11am Block # 2 and so on. Now write down your thoughts, what, where and when you encounter different types of thoughts.  Once you have taken stock of your thoughts for the day, a pattern will emerge ie. Specific thoughts at specific time or under specific conditions.   Find the trigger for every type of thought and analyze them as to how you can engineer those thoughts to help you achieve your long term goals and objectives.

  1. Happy thoughts: can you process them to motivate you to work harder towards your goal.  Expand your time spent in Happy and positive thought domain.   The research says children laugh 300 – 400 times a day but as an adult we are lucky if we laugh or smile more than 15 – 20 times a day.  Find the trigger for happy thoughts and practice creating them at your command.
  2. Negative thoughts: are like caveat that enables you to be cautious and also plan for the eventualities.  But on the flip side excess negative with no action also puts you in stress zone.  So craft what is the constructive response to your negative thoughts; and when they do surface put forward the creative solutions.  This will reduce time spent in negative thought domain. Find the trigger for negative thoughts and practice eliminating them at your command.
  3. Creative thoughts: analyze, how they can help you achieve your long term objectives. Put them to practice and align them with your goals. Expand your time spent in Creative thought domain. Find the trigger for creative thoughts and practice creating them at your command.
  4. Problem Thoughts: analyze, how can you transform these thoughts to prepare you towards a better solution or a better response?  How can you become proactive and reduce time spent in problem thoughts domain.

Now step back and you will realize that – negative thoughts are the short term thinking whereas positive thoughts are like counting your blessings and reflection of short term. Problem thoughts reflect activities that need to be complemented whereas Creative thoughts reflect your long term thinking.

Develop routine wherein you use the power of positive thoughts to motivate you.  Use the power of negative thoughts to caution you; use the power of problem thoughts to become proactive and use the power of creative thoughts to craft your life road map.  Successful people have mastered the structured routine to process the four thoughts; and the tactics to engage their thoughts with proven routines to maximize the benefits.

Now for the next one week journal your thoughts and proactively process them and you will see a positive difference in your outlook.  But this is not the end.  You can carry forward this exercise by involving a buddy when analyzing, choosing and responding to your thoughts or better still assemble a group of positive people and share your responses with each other for a finding the best response and align them to achieve your long terms goals.

Our Brain is a powerhouse and the research says that we process over 60,000 thoughts a day and over 90% of them are repetitive. By practice you can create the road-map for your thoughts and extract better benefits.  You can control and create your destiny by changing ratios of your thoughts, time of your thoughts and response to your thoughts.  Just go ahead experiment because the difference between the successful, happy and not so successful and unhappy people is the QUALITY OF THOUGHTS.


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