The Law of Re-enforcement

This is a term that I have just come across again. In essence it says that if you re-enforce any action (or thought) it will become ingrained. It makes me think of the idea that Earl Nightingale developed all those years ago. “We become what we think about”.

Other similar sorts of homilies are: what you focus on grows in importance and fact, you reap what you sow and so on. In other words, what you are focusing on is very important. It sets you up for more of whatever you are focusing on.

Note: it does not work in the negative. The human brain does not process negatives. A negative is a concept that our brain just does not deal with. If you tell yourself not to think of a pink elephant, guess what the first thing to come into the mind is. Yep, there is that pink elephant. In other words, if you try to focus on not having or doing something, you will actually be reinforcing the exact opposite. You will get more of what you do not want.

As we know, life is all about choices. Choose carefully what you choose to focus on. It is perfectly fine to think about a problem but we must be careful not to focus on the problem and how terrible the effects are on us. Rather, identify the problem, think briefly about the terrible consequences, and then move ahead to what outcome you really want. If you have financial troubles, shift the focus onto having sufficient funds. If you have poor health, shift the focus to better health and feeling happy anyway. If you are sad about a happening in your life, shift the focus to how you can find things to be grateful for and be happy again.

There is a sort of gyro-scope in your brain that will work hard to notice opportunities to fulfill your goals and re-enforce whatever it is that you are focused on. Focus on what you want more of. Your brain will point out opportunities that you might have otherwise missed. When you see those opportunities, act on them right away. Remember the law of re-enforcement. If you do not act, you are re-enforcing the behaviour of seeing opportunities and taking no action. Eventually, you will not even see any opportunities and you will convince yourself that you really cannot change anything in your life. Take action!

We are where we are – now what?

This is one of my tools to deal with outside events that happen to me that I might not really appreciate or want at all. If you think about it at all, you will realise that there is not one thing you can do to erase what has happened that you do not want in your life. There is a great poem by Omar Khayyám (The Rubaiyat) that describes it well.

from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám

  • The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
  • Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
  • Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
  • Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar Khayyám

(1048? 1122)

Omar Khayyám was a scholar and astronomer who lived in Iran. His poetry reflects his thoughts about the deity, good and evil, spirit, matter, and destiny.

It is sort of like looking at the wake a boat leaves as it moves forward. No matter what you do, you cannot change the wake. All you can do is look forward and make plans to control where the boat is going next. I will not dwell too long on this right now because it will be a theme going forward.For now, just make yourself much more aware that you need to ask yourself better questions. Don’t just focus on “why me?”. Rather, focus on “we are where we are – now what?”.

What, Me Worry?

not happen, it makes no sense to worry about them. Think clearly and logically, what is the likelihood of this happening? If very unlikely, let it go and stop worrying about it. While thinking about the likelihood, consider, is there anything I can do to reduce the bad outcome and increase the positive outcome? If yes, start doing someting about it right away and let go of the worry.

If someting that you worry about is just beyond your control after you have done what ever you can to change things to the better, it makes no sense to worry about it does it? Let it go. Think about what you have to be grateful for. Think about your list of things that bring you great joy and peace and happiness.

Remember Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret: You become what you think about! Focus on the good around you. Look up, not down (in the dumps). Maybe Bob Marley was right to say “Don’t worry, be happy” after all. Live well, love always and laugh out loud every day!