Let us say that in a different way and with some emphasis; “you are WHAT, you THINK you are" this way you can see what is being said. Sometimes I wonder just how many people really understand what that saying means. Today we will discuss this subject to make it a bit clearer to all.
Some of you are probably reacting with a bit of anger and wanting to know if I think that you want to be poor and unhappy. Well, no one wants to be poor and unhappy; but the fact still remains that we are what we think. It is so important that you fully comprehend the significance of this subject that we will cover this in a bit more depth. You are a refection of your thoughts. What you think, is what you reflect, therefore what you think is what you are.
Let us start with an example. If a person says “I am not musical, " that person has probably never practiced with an instrument or taken any singing lessons. They say they are not musical, and so they are not. Another example just to make sure; a person who has never worked in a skilled trade will say “I'm not handy with tools, " and it is because they have never learned to use them. Both examples show that a person thinks they are not skilled at something and so they are not. This may seem a bit simplistic but we will continue the discussion even further. You are a reflection of your thoughts.
You have heard, no doubt, people say things like; “I'm not artistic" and “I'm not good at writing" from normal looking people, who if they only put forth some effort could accomplish those things. However they have programmed themselves to not be able to do something and they also plainly state it, in short they are what they think. You may have some area that you think you can not happen for you, and you tell people that very thing, well look at this statement: You are what you think you are.
People's physical bodies do not reflect talent, or the lack of it. In the examples above; is there a physical characteristic that makes a person musical, or able to use tools, or artistic? No: There is no physical mark, gift, growth, look, or any other physical manifestation that gives us the ability to do something. What we must realize is that what we are is a reflection; a refection of the mental image we have of ourselves. Now before I hear a torrent of exceptions, let us understand we are referring to the mentally normal individual. You may think that a person with deformed hands obviously could not excel as a pianist; they hold that because of their physical disability they can not do something. However you have surely heard of the many people with various disabilities overcoming them and achieving their dreams. Like the woman with only one leg who won a dance competition, and a paraplegic writing a novel, and so forth. They had a very obvious disability that should have precluded them from accomplishing what they did, but they did it because they knew they could if they desired and practiced. You can be what you will to be.
When you build a house you first have to think of a design, a layout of where the rooms are, the doors, the windows, one floor or two, garage attached or detached, and so on. Without this design in mind the construction of this house can not proceed. So the first thing you should do is have a plan. Is there a particular skill you desire to acquire, or a different lifestyle, or what ever your hearts desire, you must first decide what your dream is. Some call this setting a goal, or intention, it is still a plan; a plan for action. Once you have decided then you must commit it to paper. Can the contractor build a house while the plans are only in the mind of the architect? The plan must be on paper so that the work of it can proceed. If you can not seem to get around to it, and put your plan on paper, then you have no right to complain that you can't do something. You can do what you choose to do.
Once you have put the plan on paper, you need to know this; and it is some exceedingly good news: If there is something you have always wanted to do, but felt you couldn't because you are not talented in that area, then all you must to do is to gain an awareness that you can, and you will soon be able to. Let us say you desired to play the flute, so you wrote down your plan as “play the flute". Well then, is there even a flute in your house? It is kind of hard to practice something if you don't have one. Do you want to be able to draw fantastic pictures? Are there paper, pens, and pencils readily available for the work? What ever your plan you must now gather the materials needed to build your dream. You will become as you think.
Then you need to learn about the skill you have chosen to develop. Yes people find that word “learn" to be distasteful; associating it with classrooms and going to school, but there are other ways. Let us say you have decided to become a carpenter, but do not have the means to attend trade school. If you wander around your neighborhood you will very well find a person with a shop in his garage. If you offer a trade such a sweeping out the garage in exchange for some training you will find them most agreeable. That person can teach you how to measure, and cut wood, how to use a hammer to pound a nail and so on. Many hardware stores offer free classes on tools, mind you they are trying to sell you a particular tool, but they do teach you how to use it. So if you don't buy the expensive saw they are selling you have still learned how to use one. (You may come back in the future to buy that saw, and that is the seed they are sowing, but that is a different discussion) This is called sweat equity, exchanging your labor for knowledge. Many of the large chain stores offer free plans to build things, and you can study these to learn how things fit together. The local library has many good books that you can borrow to learn about what things are called. In a very short time you will have discovered enough information without having gone to school that you can show enough knowledge to get hired on as a carpenter's apprentice. Then shortly after that you will be a carpenter with the tools and skills you need to be able to be a carpenter anytime and anywhere. You have become what you thought you were.
As a pebble dropped in a pond causes the ripples to go to the furthest edge, this thought regarding your plan will affect everything you are and do. Once you have the thought that you can, then you will. It is just that simple. Now here comes the actual hard part; you have to do it. Having a plan and an entire truckload of materials will not get the house built unless there is some work put into it. If you do not apply your knowledge to the task, your skill will not develop. In short; you have to practice. You do not become a concert pianist just because you own a piano; you have to practice, practice, and practice. The cool thing about practice is it becomes easier each time you do it. Soon you will become proficient at it, then skilled, and then finally a master. Keep the though always to the fore and growing and growing until you can not see yourself as anything else but what you have chosen. You will be as you think you will be.
As an example; the successfully skilled people have thoroughly accepted themselves as they are, they give little or no thought as to how they got that way. To the pianist, they do not reminisce about the hours of practice, rather they play great ballads that are pleasing to the ear, and graciously accept compliments. To the artist, they do not dwell on the hundreds of failed drawings and paintings that have since gone to the garbage, rather they gladly accept the money paid for their work, for it to be proudly displayed in a gallery, business or home. They are what they think they are.
Unfortunately in a large majority of cases, we are what we are from childhood influences. Most of the inhibitions and complexes we carry through life were established in our minds when we were children. It is the suggestions which were given to us while we were very young which we carry through life. Those sayings that so many of us heard as youngsters have influenced our lives as that was what we were taught to think. It has been found that most of those people, who go through life as failures, had the failure instinct instilled in their minds when they were children. Many are held back by planted thoughts which they acquire during childhood. For example" “Get away from that, you'll break it. You don't know anything about tools. " This is the kid who will grow up saying: “I'm not handy with tools. " That person is not handy with them because they were told, early in life that they knew nothing about tools, and believed it. Growing up so as to reflect the thought that they had been given. Countless examples could be given showing why we are as we are; but it boils down to this; a pattern is fixed in our minds to the effect that we are a certain way and from then on we reflect that condition. You are what you think you are.
We must wake up from those planted thoughts and start thinking our own thoughts. Test those old thoughts to see if they serve you and your purpose, if they do not then discard them by replacing them with thoughts of your own. You are not happy, but you are doing what is best. Begging the question: Best for whom? Your life is yours, yours and yours alone to live, you can share it but you can not let someone else live your life for you. You are the one who feels your emotions, so you are the one who must live your life. What you think is what you are. The point is: You can be what you will to be.
Hopefully this discussion has helped you to now understand what is meant by the statement: You Are What You Think You Are. After this you should now understand that, no matter what you have been in the past, you can be anything you want to be, you can do anything you will to do. Just think; think for yourself, and you shall become what you think.
The Guide to Setting Goals
Ralston Heath recently retired from 25 years of active duty. Now that his life is his own again, he is working to share with the world all he knows. Check him out on his blog True Happiness .