The Power of a Changed Mind
By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus
There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind.
We have all probably heard this impactful, anonymous saying before (or some version of it, anyway). It is certainly a powerful idea year-round, but right now, in the closing days of January—at a time where 7% of the year 2021 is already behind us (can you believe that?)—it is more compelling than ever.
On the blog this year, we have already done our best to share some important lessons:
If you are already struggling with 2021, if you have already given up on your 2021 resolution, or if you are still just working on putting 2020 totally behind you, we suggest approaching this day, this week, and this year with one, powerful adjustment—a changed mind.
What Exactly is a Changed Mind?
We all kind of have a concept in our heads of what a “changed mind” looks like—but what exactly is a changed mind, really? We are glad you asked.
The process of a changed mind is best explained like this:You can change all of your outward appearances, but until you have a changed mind, the same outcomes and experiences will perpetuate over and over (and over) again.
In other words, without a changed mind, you will end up in the same relationships, you will procrastinate like you always have, and you will only find the same results. Sure, you might try harder, but you will end up with the same outcomes!
Why? Because even if you have changed other things, you have not changed your thinking.
In math, this idea is called the identity property of 0.
How does this work? It is simple. If you add or subtract 0 from any number, the result will be that number.
So, even if you keep changing the things you do, you will not see results if you are not changing the way you think.
This is the perfect example of what happens when we break-up with someone because the relationship is in a bad place, but then end up in another bad relationship right after. We have changed the person, but we have not changed the way we think about relationships or the way we think when we are in a relationship. Oftentimes, we end up in the same place—a poor relationship.
The same can be true with jobs, diets, spending habits, and beyond—the list truly goes on and on.
If you are a mathematical guru, you might say that we should have used the zero property of multiplication as a better example. That property states that any number multiplied by 0 = 0.
Either way, if you use 0 (and remember, we are using 0 to represent not changing the way you think), no matter how many different diets you embark on, jobs you try out, or relationships you get into, you will end up with same result every time.
As the cliché goes, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. It makes sense, does it not?
Changing Your Mind: How Do You Do It?
If you are still reading this, you are probably thinking something along the line of, “So, if a changed mind is the key, how exactly do I obtain a changed mind?”
Here is your first stop: STOP GIGO.
GIGO—otherwise known as garbage in, garbage out—was first coined by software designers, and it is a term that we definitely agree with.
Stop allowing garbage to fill your mind. Why? Because you are what you think.
As the bible tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Napoleon Hill, author of one of the most successful self-help books of all time, Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” In other words, you become what you think about—you become what is in your mind.
All of our habits, idiosyncrasies, facial expressions, and non-verbal communication are conducted in our minds before we actually express them outwardly—they are all perpetuated by our subconscious mind.
Want to understand this better? Read Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book, Blink, for an amazing explanation of your subconscious thinking and how it plays into your everyday decision making.
While this is not always easy to practice, the concept itself is simple. Good stuff in = good stuff out. Henry Ford was quoted once as saying, “Whether you think you can, or you think you you can’t – you’re right.”
The next step? Examine what you already have in your mind.
Your self-talk—those phrases and sentences that we continually tell ourselves each day—are the backbone of your internal operating system (IOS). If your IOS is not giving you the outcome or result that you want, it is time to upgrade your operating system.
For example, many of us think and believe what our parents, teachers, past relationships, and friends have told us about ourselves. We strive to make them true. Following this argument, if your parents told you that you were not good with math, chances are you are not pursuing a math-related field.
In the same vein, if you were always told you were a good athlete, chances are you still strive to prove that you are a good athlete.
Why? It is a form of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We are trying to perform or become what we believe we are supposed to be. In a study from Business Insider Magazine, it was demonstrated that a person’s name has a direct correlation to how successful you become. In this instance, it is not what you may believe about yourself, but rather what others believe about you based only on your name. Therefore, the words that we speak to ourselves have an amazing ability to change who we are and how we relate to the outside world.
In another study describing the science of words and how they can change the way we behave biologically, some participants could see objects that others could not, just based on the words that were spoken to them. In an article, The Science of Words, the point of positive self-talk is driven even further home. It implies that self-talk has a direct impact on performance-related outcomes and that words do actually change our perception.
Where you are today is a function of your mind. You are an expression of all that is in your mind, too, because what we think about and how long we think about it turns into our focus.
Our focus drives our energy and passions. In turn, where we place our energy and passion will determine our results.
If you want to travel more, then fill your mind with travel blogs and visit websites devoted to traveling, and there is a very high probability you will be traveling more in 2021. If you spend your time thinking about a past bad relationship and do not change your IOS, there is a high probability you will end up in another bad relationship.
If you want a different outcome in 2021, we suggest you change what you put into your mind and change the self-talk you have created in your head.
If you need any help with creating a changed mind in 2021, we are here to help you accomplish this goal! Just send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.