When It Comes To Thinking, We All Have Freedom of Choice
When it comes to thinking, we all have freedom of choice. We can think positive or we can think negative. The good news is, we are in control and have the power to change our habits of thinking.
When it comes to thinking, we all have freedom of choice. We can think positive or we can think negative. In the simplest terms thinking positive is good and leads to the word yes, and thinking negative is bad and leads to the word no. Thinking is about how we react to the world around us and the things that occupy space in that world. We use our senses to gather information and then form an opinion, which manifests itself as an attitude. This is where freedom of choice comes into play. The challenge is in recognizing that our attitudes, how we think and then behave, are habits formed over the years by our life experience. The good news is, we are in control and have the power to change our habits of thinking. Below are two real life examples that illustrate the idea of being in control of our thinking.
Sam was in sales and his manager wanted him to increase his business development activity by making more outbound cold calls. In his last job, he spent hours and hours on the telephone and got very poor results. As a matter of fact, his experience was one of personal rejection and lack of success. His attitude about making cold calls was very negative.
But, he wanted to keep his job and recognized that others have been successful using this technique so he took control of his thinking. He came up with a plan and got it approved by his manager. He mailed a pen and pencil set and his business card to twenty prospects a week and then made the follow-up calls. It took two weeks before he got his first sales meeting and twenty-five days before he made his first sale. The process was soon adopted by other sellers in the company and he got personal recognition from the CEO for the success of the idea.
John was invited by his boss to play a round of golf while they were at a business conference in Jamaica. The company John worked for won first place in a sales contest, and since he was a major contributor he and his wife were able to attend without spending any of their own money. The challenge was that John had never swung a golf club. The day before they were to play, his boss took him to the driving range and tried to teach him how to hit the golf ball off the tee. That was on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, John and his boss met two other players that worked for the sponsoring vendor. Tee time for the foursome was 8:00 AM. By the time they got to the tenth hole, John was mentally and physically exhausted. In fact, he stopped playing and just sat in the cart and watched his boss and the two other players finish the round. For John, the experience was embarrassing and totally negative.
Six years later a friend from a local photography club asked John if he played golf. His response was in the form of a short story about the Jamaica trip. The following week John got a call from his photography club friend. He said, “John I was thinking about your Jamaica story and would like to make you an offer. No one in the club knows this but, I make my living as a golf instructor at a local country club. How about you and I meet on Saturday morning and I’ll teach you the game?” John agreed because their friendship was more important than what happened in Jamaica. Eighteen months later, John scored a 92 on a really tough course in New Jersey.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes we are forced by circumstance to experience things we never did before, and sometimes we are forced by circumstance to re-experience things that we did in the past. In both scenarios the new experience could be positive or negative depending on how we frame the experience. There is certainly plenty of justification for negative experiences. However, that should not be the bottom line. Thinking, I will try my best gets us nowhere. Doing is the only way to reframe the experience. Sam could have remained dependant on his past cold calling experience and lost his job. John could have refused his friends invitation and never learned to enjoy the game of golf.
Learn more about the author, Howard Dion.
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- positive attitude
- Freedom of Choice
- Negative Attitude