Remodel Your Thinking

Mary Kay Ash said it best when she said, “If you think you can’t, you’re right!”  Dale Carnegie said, “Remember happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have: it depends solely upon what you think.”  And Shakespeare said it this way, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

There is no such thing as a bad day.  If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.   You might label your job as boring. Sixty percent of the people in America today don’t like going to work according to the radio show I was listening to.  You might label something demeaning, ugly, bad, or a problem.  Remember Shakespeare?  Stuff isn’t good or bad – it’s our thinking that determines the assignment.

The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to grow mentally every day, who love good conversation, listen to good music, read good books, focus on beauty, and have amazing friends.  And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.  Why?  Shakespeare?

So in a world where ninety-five percent of what you see, hear, and read is negative, maybe it’s time to remodel our thinking.  Maybe it’s time to stop assigning the “negative” to the situation.

The following parable offers a good example of why it’s important to remodel our thinking:

A wise old farmer was considered rich by the villagers because he owned a horse. One day the horse ran away and the villagers said to the farmer, “How unfortunate, your horse ran away.” He responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”

The next day the horse returned bringing with it a wild horse, thereby increasing the farmer’s wealth. The villagers exclaimed, “How fortunate!” Which, in turn, prompted the farmer to again respond, “How do you know it’s fortunate?”

The following day the farmer’s son, while trying to break in the wild horse, was thrown and broke his leg. The villagers again commented, “How unfortunate!” Once again the farmer responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”

The next day, the king’s men rode through the village conscripting all the young men for service in the army. They didn’t take the farmer’s son because of his broken leg.

The lesson of this parable is best explained by its author, Paul Jacobs, M.D., who said, “Things are not always as they appear to be. Life presents us with situations and conditions that, in themselves, are neither good nor bad. We assign meaning to these conditions, thereby creating our own fortunes and misfortunes.”

According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less than one glass of water.  That amount of water is divided into about sixty billion tiny droplets.  Yet when those minute particles steal over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from your sight.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we “remodeled” our thinking?  Think of the meaning we would get out of life and our situations.  Think of the fog that would be lifted.

Stay tuned for some “blueprints” for those who are serious about remodeling.

And these are just my thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon.

The People Builder,
Steve Siemens, CSP


Listen to the news…read the newspaper…go to coffee with friends and you find yourself being surrounded with negativism, questioning, doubts, and fears. People have lost their perspectives about some issues and have unrealistic expectations.

We are living in tough times. There are uncertainties and instability in many areas of our lives. Yet, rough times don’t last but tough people do.

Resolutions at the beginning of the year don’t work for me, so I write a theme for the year. Then during the year, everything I do is tied to the theme. It has worked and made a positive difference in my life.

To keep everything in balance this year, why don’t you decide along with me, to SHINE IN 2009? If that is your decision, here are five ideas I’m working on and I hope you’ll also consider:


Focus on the goal not the obstacles. What we pay attention to, we empower. A single focus will make you; a lack of it will break you. Just like a horse needs a bit, a ship needs a rudder, and a winning team needs a coach, our lives will not ever grow until we are focused, disciplined, and determined.

Question: What is one thing you need to have a single focus on this year?


Make every Sunday the day you recommit to living your healthiest life by making healthy choices. Some of the healthy choices we can make include: making regular exercise fun, spending time with people we love, working weekly on mind games and solving puzzles, getting enough sleep, smiling continuously, and reading. Studies are now even saying that red wine and dark chocolate have benefits. Do everything in moderation and make every day count. And one more thing, teach yourself to relax, to turn distractions off.

Question: What are two things you are going to change this year to make healthy choices?


What holds so many people from reaching their potential is they have no imagination. Imagination is the true magic carpet according to Norman Vincent Peale. And Les Brown says it this way, “Live out your imagination instead of out of your memory.” This year, unleash your imagination. Soar where you’ve never soared before and dream of going places you’ve never been. It’s not time to worry and wait, it’s time to unleash, remembering worry is a misuse of imagination.

Question: What do you need to eliminate so your imagination can soar?


There is no place ever for a negative attitude. Ever! 95% of what you see, hear, and read is negative. So be careful what you look at, listen to, and read. Starting your day reading the newspaper might need to be reconsidered. Going to lunch or on break with people who are always criticizing others, focusing on what’s wrong, or talking trash might not be the best way to spend your time. Eliminate the negative so the positive can grow. You’ll shine because people want to be around people who have hope, passion, and are gracious. This year being negative-free is not an option, it is a requirement!

No question: Just decide you are going to be negative-free. It is a choice and it becomes a lifestyle.


Real heroes, in my book, are people who fall, fail, and are flawed. But in the end, they win because they’ve stayed true to their beliefs. What you believe is what you get. Our beliefs come from our character, integrity, and values. The world needs people with extra-ordinary beliefs. Make it your desire and goal this year to be one of those people.

Question: What are three beliefs you will live out this year? In fact, you will go to the top of the mountain and die for them?

Life is tiny changes. Will you join me this year in making some tiny changes in five areas? Will you work hard to shine?

If you do, you’ll SHINE and be “mighty fine” in 2009! The challenges will be great but the opportunities will be greater! Together, we can be a beacon of light in a world that needs some sunshine!

And these are just my thoughts on a Monday morning.


Steve Siemens, CSP