Strengths and Thinking, Part One

October 2, 2015

Our thoughts and views are affected and fed by outside forces.  The strengths provide productive and instructive food for thought.

Where do thoughts come from?

Conventional wisdom would tell us that all thoughts come from one place: our brains.

If that is so, how did they get there in the first place?  After all, we are not born with all of our thoughts pre-formed.  Each morning our brains don’t select a folder with that day’s thoughts in it.  No way.  Fact is, we really have no clue what thoughts we will have as we roll out of bed.

We gather ideas, beliefs, interests, judgments, opinions, and views moment by moment—the whole time getting input from outside sources.

We develop our mindsets by living, observing, feeling, and interacting with others as well as our environments.  Day by day we construct and cultivate the type of thoughts we have based on the types of situations we create and experience.

The people we spend time with, the places we go, the books we read, the sites we visit, and the shows we watch actually craft our worldview.  Each one encourages a certain type of thinking.  Each one promotes a specific idea about the world around us.

What we expose our minds to has an effect on how we perceive the world around us.

An easy way to see this is when people say, “I don’t watch horror movies because I don’t want to be scared all the time.”  Whether a person sees a movie or not does not change the world itself—however, it does change the way that that person sees the world.  The ideas from the film (outside) are carried with them (inside) and affect their thoughts elsewhere in the future.

We are constantly in this process.

Big picture.  Let’s consider the current impression that we hold of ourselves.  Whatever that may be, we were not born thinking that.  In fact, as babies we didn’t even know that we were a “self”.  We just were.

Life, through our experiences, conditions our self-image.  Many of the thoughts we have are social and cultural constructs, ideas that literally start outside of us…and then work their way in.

So, if the outside affects the inside, isn’t it worth considering who and what we are subjecting our brains to?

The strengths give us a consistent language to tap into, one which describes the world and others in ways that are productive, generous, and solution-minded.

The strengths give us something valuable to focus on.  When they become our dominant thoughts, we have created a strengths mindset.  And when we have that, we have powerful glasses to view the world through.

The more we tune our inner-language to a language of strengths, the more we attract meaningful situations and interactions.  Why?  Because we begin to look for strengths and share them.  This doesn’t mean that everything has to be roses.  No.  Instead we develop an awareness that we can grow from our interrelations with the world around us—that life can be a process of building up as opposed to breaking down.

What have we been feeding our brains with?  Who has been teaching us how to think and react?  Who have we been teaching to think and react?  How often do we thank our true teachers in life?

Be your greatness. Start. Do. Go.

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