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Positive thoughts are the start

Finding success throughout each working day means knowing what you want and having a plan to get it. 

How do we decide what to wear each day? According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, psychologist and author of the seminal 1990 book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, we receive more than 2 million pieces of information each second and our mind filters in what we need to create meaning for the situation we are dealing with at the time.

For example, when we consider what to wear, we may hear or read the daily weather report, look out our window to see the weather elements, feel a chill or heat on our skin or smell rain in the air. As we filter this information, we think about what clothing will be most comfortable for the expected climate. We make a choice about the clothes we will wear and then we dress ourselves.

In summary, we receive information, create a thought, get a feeling about that thought then take an action.

Remember a time when you went to work dressed for a warm spring day, only to find that in an hour’s time you started to feel chilled? You realised you were not dressed adequately for the climate and you adjusted your clothing. You put on a cardigan, and you did this with little conscious thought. You started to become uncomfortable, then you adjusted your attire. This simple act produced an outcome that had a positive effect on what you continued to do for the rest of the day at work, and even when you went home.

Our thoughts ultimately create our reality. You think, “It’s going to be warm today, I need to dress in light clothing”, and you go to work dressed in light clothing. You created the reality of dressing to suit the expected climate for the day after thinking those thoughts. Then you thought, ‘The weather’s not what I expected, I need to put something else on’, and you donned a cardigan.

The same principles can apply to how we establish our daily mindset. Regardless of who you are, or how experienced you are, you can program your mind to have a productive and satisfying day at work if you understand the process of success.

How then, do we establish the best mindset for our work practices each day? We must set positive intentions, devoid of negative connotations and dread. If we keep our thoughts positive, we will actualise positive experiences in our day. With a conscious awareness of what we wish to experience, we will be open to accepting those experiences as we become aware of them. So it is important to be clear about what we want out of our day; our positive intentions must have a goal. If we are clear about the types of experiences we wish to have in our day, we will focus on those opportunities as they present themselves. But if we allow our thoughts to be defined by a sense of impending dread, we will notice the issues we were dreading and they will become the focus of our day. If we are vague and uncertain about what we want from our day or how we want it to play out, we will find it difficult to have experiences that exceed vagueness. We are then vulnerable to becoming overwhelmed.

It takes more than having a great thought to have a great day. The following five principles of success are a great way to structure our path towards our goals.

• Know your desired outcome – know what you want; if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can’t find it

• Take action – determine how you will work towards your goal for the day

• Sensory awareness – helps you determine whether you are on track to achieve the outcome you want

• Behavioural flexibility – if your action is driving you away from your goal, do something else to put you back on track

• Adopt a physiology of success – You have experienced success before, so when things feel a bit tough in your day, recall into your present moment the physiology you experienced when successful – when you were selected for a job you wanted, for example. This will change your thoughts from ‘things are tough’ to ‘this is achievable’. Successful thoughts are congruent with a physiology of success.

Moira Maraun is an RN, MHSc, master practitioner NLP and certified trainer NLP. She has been working as a private nursing consultant since 2010.

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