Your Best Thinking Helps You Get What you Want
Have you read those books, "thinking to change your life" or "thinking to grow rich" or "thinking your way to success"? I have always been a bit skeptical about those types of books. However, after my discussion with neuro-axiologist Peter Demarest, from Axiogenics, I've changed my mind. You CAN think to make change and you CAN THINK to get WHAT YOU WANT!
Introduction to Axiology
Have you heard of Axiology? Axiology is the philosophical study of value. Right, so what does this have to do with our wants?
In my previous posts, How To Use Positive Want Phrases and Be Selfish With Your Wants (and the story of the 4th son) we've seen that emotions and wants are intrinsically linked. Knowing this, I ask Peter to help us understand this link and how we can change our thinking to activate our BEST thinking and get what we want.
Most of our negative emotions (anger, upset, stress, frustration, overwhelm, etc.) arise from perspectives that trigger a self-centric mindset. That’s good news because it gives you a way to recognize when you are at your worst: when your emotions “get the best of you.”
Knowing that, if you can be mindful of when a negative emotion starts to take hold, you can switch perspectives before it takes over completely.
How do we do that? How do we shift our perspective?
By asking ourselves questions. We do it all the time. We ask ourselves “what shall I wear today?”, “What time is it?, “What is he thinking?”. Whenever we ask ourselves a question, our brain immediately goes to work seeking an answer.
The first key to activating your best thinking is to recognize that real success in any worthwhile endeavor occurs when we are conscientiously focused on creating value greater than the value we want or expect to receive.
This is the path to abundance. Contrary to what some “new-age” teachers may have your believe, abundance is something we create not something we merely receive. (Through THINKING, I may add.)
So, how do we "create value"?
To think is to value. Think of value as a measure of quality of life. The human brain is wired to pursue value (quality of life) in many forms ranging from survival to ecstasy and a thousand expressions of value, goodness or quality in between.
Wants are included in this.
To value something is the act of determining the value of something, often in comparison to something else. We tend to value things that we believe add to our of life more than things that we believe don’t. Of course, we don’t also get it right.
Here's an Example
You want a new house. Perhaps you believe it will add value to your life, by giving you a roof over our head. Or you may see it as a status symbol. Either way, this thought could also be a misjudgment. Perhaps you haven't considered the cost of running the house and it may end up putting you in a worse off situation. So, let's see how we can activate our BEST thinking to make sure we make the right decision for our wants.
We all have multiple ways of thinking. Essentially, each different “way” of thinking is a different perspective. As individuals, we can be good at thinking one way and not so good at another way. Depending on which way we are thinking we will either have good judgment (and make decisions and take actions that lead toward success/greater quality of life) or poor judgment (that causes us to make mistakes – mistakes in judgment – that lead toward failure / reduced quality of life).
To “activate” our best thinking means to shift our perspective such that our thinking leads to good judgments, decisions, and actions.
The Lightbulb Moment
This was a lightbulb moment for me as I applied this thinking to a decision I made last year.
I wanted a new shirt, that I knew was too much money, but I wanted it. I tried it on, looked in the mirror and turned around admiring myself in the mirror. I felt good, my emotions were at the forefront as I engaged with the self in the mirror. I felt successful, I felt wealthy, and I felt good.
When I took it off, I looked at the price tag and realized it was too expensive. That's when my "old" thinking began to work. I think all of us are very good at justifying wants, especially when the price or the risk of the want isn't that great. But what I also did was to think about how I could pay for this later - later! I didn't think about creating value in this decision NOW.
What I should have done is ask myself the central question that Peter kept harping on about...
“What choice can I make and action can I take, in this moment, to create the greatest net value?”
Or in layman's terms, "does this choice or action really create the greatest value?"
Since creating value is the path to success and since your best thinking occurs when you are thinking about creating value, one thing you can do to activate your best thinking is to shift your perspective to think about the value in all your decisions.
It's THIS THINKING that will help you get what you want.
If you want to read more about how to create the greatest value in life, by activating your best thinking, have a look at Peter's book: Answering The Central Question, available on Amazon.