Think About What You're Thinking About

05/15/2010 05:57 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any change or improvement we're seeking to make in our lives is ultimately geared toward the last word in this quote: we are seeking to impact our destiny in some way (remember the ripple effect: any change, even any small change, will change our ultimate outcome). Two of my recent posts have dealt with the second and third key words in this quote: taking some kind of action that, when done consistently, develops into a habit.

It Starts With Your Thoughts

What I haven't written about is the first key word: thought. Thoughts are the source. According to Emerson, there is a through-line from our thoughts to our destiny. Barring various unforeseen events and external factors, psychology (and a lot of Olympic athletes) would say that, in many ways, Emerson is right on the mark. Our thoughts influence our destiny.

What are your thoughts focused on? What are you thinking about? Are you thinking about your goals? Or are you thinking about the barriers to your goals? Thinking about your goals and thinking positively about them drums up the inspiration to start taking action. Continued focus on those goals gives you the motivation to continue the action so it grows into a habit. When we persist in our habits, they take root in our lives and influence the outcomes we experience, including the ultimate outcome, our destiny.

This week, think about what you're thinking about.