Happiness and success are habits of thinking

Updated: Jun 8

One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.”

With a look of wisdom in his eyes the grandfather said; “I feel like wolves are fighting in my heart. One is full of anger and hatred, jealousy and resentment and the other is full of love, forgiveness, joy, humility and peace.”

The boy looked intently into his grandfather’s eyes and asked, “which one will win?”

The grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”

This simple story highlights the powerful point that, in life, you become what you think about.

Our mind is a powerful creator and it is up to us to direct our thoughts to focus on what it is we want to create in our life, not what we don’t want.

Quite simply, if you want to change your outcomes, you must master your thinking.

Change your thoughts and your reaction to your thoughts and your world changes too.

The more I studied in the area of positive psychology and neuroscience the more I became intrigued with this concept. What was truly amazing was when I started to put it into practise – I noticed when I stopped myself thinking thoughts of what I did not want and replaced them with more positive and empowering thoughts that I got more positive things showing up in my life.

If you want to make a positive change in any area of your life this is the key. Have you ever noticed the more you focus and think about something you don’t want, the more it seems to show up??

Remember, the most important thing to understand is that our inner turmoil is what causes the outer chaos (not the other way around).

Psychologists estimate that, on average, we have as many as 60,000 thoughts in a typical day. If we sleep 6 to 8 hours a day, then we are having about one thought each second.

When I started noticing my thoughts, I found my head filled with constant chatter. And the interesting thing is that I wasn’t having 60,000 new and useful thoughts. Instead, I was repeating a series of unproductive thoughts—worries about work, imagining challenging conversations with difficult people and difficult situations, judgments of myself and others, and analysing everyone and everything (and not necessarily in a positive way).

So how do we create our success and happiness?

In his book Psycho-Cybernetics, renowned doctor and professor, Maxwell Maltz gives the answer to this very question.

Discoveries in the science of Cybernetics points to the conclusion that your physical brain and nervous system make up a servo-mechanism which you use, and which operates very much like an electronic computer and a mechanical goal-setting device.

Maltz explains how your built-in servo mechanism functions both as “guidance system” to automatically steer you in the right direction to achieve certain goals, or make correct responses to the environment and also as an “electronic brain” which can function automatically to solve problems, give you needed answers and provide new ideas or inspiration.

Maltz became interested in why setting goals works. He learned that the power of self-affirmation and mental visualisation techniques used the connection between the mind and the body. This is also directly linked to your self-image. Your self-image fundamentally provides your brain with direction. So this is why we need to have a positive and healthy self-image to ensure we steer our servo-mechanism to get the results that are important to us.

Happiness and success are habits so it is up to each one of us to change the way we think and create new habits of thinking to enjoy more happiness and success.

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