The title of this post was inspired by a quote from one of my favorite movies—”Cool Hand Luke”. The quote was from the warden of the prison to Luke after Luke was returned to prison following his second escape. The movie is loaded with quotes that I love, and although the most often repeated quote from the movie is probably: “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate” I love the first quote because it reminds me of what we need to do if we want to make any type of sustained change in our lives. If we want to lose weight and keep it off we’ve got to “get our mind right—and I mean right”; if we want to stop smoking we’ve got to “get our mind right—and I mean right”—-and on and on. How many times have you tried to change a habit and after a long, or sometimes very short, struggle you backslid into your old habit?—if you’re like me—a lot, and it’s because you’re gonna get your mind right Luke if you want to make lasting change.
How do we “get our mind right”?—First we have to recognize the negative self-talk that we may be engaging in, such as; “it’s no use—no matter how hard I try I can’t lose weight” (which is not a medically true statement except for maybe some extreme cases), “I can’t remember peoples names—I just don’t have a good memory” (some people do seem to have a natural talent for remembering things but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t develop a good memory) and _________ (fill in the blank with your own negative self-talk). If you listen closely to your self-talk you’ll often hear yourself repeating the same negative self-talk over and over throughout the day. Some of the things we say to ourselves over and over is so offensive that if someone else were to say them to us we would be very angry with them but we tolerate it from ourselves. Just because we sometimes talk bad to ourselves does that mean we don’t like ourselves?—not necessarily it could just be that we’ve formed bad habits of negative self-talk. So now that we recognize our negative self-talk how do we get rid of it? Since our self-talk is really just our thoughts we can’t just stop it (even in deep meditation we can only slow down our self-talk (thoughts) so instead we must replace it with positive self-talk—which is created by repetition and proper use of positive affirmations.
Émile Coué (February 26, 1857 – July 2, 1926) (a French psychologist and pharmacist) may well have been the person who introduced Personal Development based on the use of positive affirmations—at a minimum he was a very successful pioneer in the field. Dr. Coué is not only credited with helping thousands of people overcome mental and physical ailments with the use of positive affirmations, such as his famous affirmation, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better” he is also credited with being a major influence on 20th Century Personal Development masters; Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Shuler, and W. Clement Stone.
I’ll close this post with a reminder; if you’re going to change something in your life—you’ve got to change something in your life, and if you’re going to change something in your life “you’re gonna get your mind right—and I mean right”.