No. 69 - "SELF-TALK"

No. 69

My wife and I have a wonderful relationship, but every once in a while when she is deep in thought, I come up on her blind side and when I say something or make a noise, she almost "jumps out of her skin." This is always followed by, "Don't do that!", along with some other stern admonishments, especially if she thinks I did it on purpose.
Because of the way the human mind is constituted, we all spend some time each day in deep thought, and we also spend a great deal of this time talking to ourselves. I don't know about you, but I spend a great deal of time talking to myself, "out loud", especially when I am alone. This self-talk may be more important than many people realize and this is what I want to talk with you about. In his wonderful little book, Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talks about "repeated affirmations" of one's chief aim in life. This is simply the process of self-talk being used to systematically reinforce a purpose or a goal into the recesses of our subconscious mind.
In terms of achieving personal success, the problem for most people is that they don't have any specific, written goals. Because they have no goals, their thinking is not focused or directed to achieving anything that is truly worthwhile. We live in a negative world, where the news of the day is constantly negative, and for this reason it's much easier to think negative than it is to think positive. It's just common sense to realize that if our thinking is negative, then our self-talk will also be negative.
One of the best examples of negative self-talk that I've ever heard, can be found in the following story: Late one night, before most people had a telephone, a young man and his girl friend were driving down a lonely, deserted gravel road and they had a flat tire (really!) When the young man got out and opened the trunk to change it, he discovered he didn't have a jack. At this point, they both realized the dilemma they were in, because they had passed just one house and it was about a mile back up the road. After some discussion, it was decided the best thing to do was for the young man to walk back to the house to see if he could get help or at least borrow a jack.
As he walked along, he began to talk to himself. At first, he was very hopeful about his prospects to get help, but then his thoughts began to turn negative. As he continued to walk and the closer he got to the house, the more negative he became. Soon he was completely overcome by his negative thinking and he said to himself, "this fella is probably going to be mad when I wake him up and he sure won't be willing to help someone like me who is too stupid to make sure he has a jack in the car." By the time he reached the house and knocked on the door, he was so upset that when the man finally opened the door, he yelled, "you can keep your old jack! I didn't want to borrow it anyway."
The moral of this story should be obvious: This young man had already defeated himself mentally before he even had a chance to succeed. If you will think about what I said earlier about "repeated affirmations" of your purpose or your goals in life, I believe you will see how your own positive self-talk can help you achieve even greater success and happiness in your life. If you would like to know what works for me, I will be happy to share it with you. I spend a good deal of time talking to myself about my own plans and goals, and especially during the day when I'm working to reach them, but I also spend some quality time early each morning talking to the Lord. When my priorities are right, my “self-talk” makes life so much easier. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)