In 1951, Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca delivered the fateful pitch that Bobby Thompson hit for a home run for the New York Giants that has become known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” (with obvious apologies to the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord). Legend has it that the final words a teammate said to Branca just before throwing the pitch were along the lines of, “Whatever you do, don’t throw it up and in.” I’ll leave it to you to guess the pitch’s location.
What we think about and how we think, like for Branca, have more power than we realize. Being disciplined in your approach to each day of your life and accomplishing the things you dream of starts by disciplining your thoughts. So embrace the power of positivity. Focus on those things that you want to see happen, not on those you don’t. Here’s how the power of positivity will affect you versus thinking negatively.
Avoid self-fulfilling prophecies.Whatever we tend to think will often be the outcome of any given situation.
I’m not suggesting that life will be easy or blessings will be showered upon you if you simply start thinking positively, but what I am suggesting is that negative thinking can’t help but set you back. Whatever we tend to think will often be the outcome of any given situation. I’m inclined to think there is an actual law of “self-fulfilling prophecies,” and if there isn’t, there probably should be.
I have watched too many teams that have taken the field feeling as if it isn’t their day only to find out at the end of the game that it indeed wasn’t. I have also been a part of many more teams that have headed out of the locker room—at the beginning of the game or after half-time adjustments—expecting to make every tackle and block, execute every play, and come out victorious at the end of the game. And they did. Sure, preparation and talent go a long way toward creating that positive belief, but more often than not, it’s the expectation of success that defines championship teams.
Build the right expectations.
We all have to build expectations. It’s hard to graduate from college when no one else in your family has done it and no one seems to expect you to do it either. How can you develop those positive thoughts and nurture the belief that you can do it?
Removing the imaginary ceiling.
You won’t always rise to the level of the expectations you have for yourself, but you will never be able to rise above the imaginary ceiling you construct in your mind. How high do you want to set those expectations? How high would you like to go?
Focus on the goal.
Your life will also be affected by how much you allow the things around you to affect the direction of your journey. You will not be able to do anything about removing all the distractions you find along the way. The key is to continue to focus your thoughts on where you want to go, regardless of those distractions. What do you want your tomorrow to look like? Allow your mind and heart to embrace that direction.
Sound off: How hard is it for you to visualize success?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “When you speak about yourself, are most of your words positive or negative?”