The Secret of Success – Revealed

By Anthony Gold

Back when bookstores were more prevalent, I often found myself perusing the most popular business, psychology, and philosophy books. All these great minds sharing their collective wisdom in one place.

My quest was to find the synthesis between living and producing in the world while experiencing inner peace.

Great books are like great religions – at their innermost core, they all say the same thing. It’s the surrounding fluff that creates sects, schisms, and strong opinions.

The challenge is that strong opinions reinforce belief, the same way repetition strengthens a habit. Thus my focus was moving through the fluff in order to get to the underlying essence of these eminent writings.

And here’s what I discovered: our thoughts create our life.

That’s it.

Master your thoughts and you master your life.

It sounds so trite and inconsequential. Yet it really is true.

James Allen published an essay in 1903 on happiness called As a Man Thinketh. His seminal conclusion: “Man is literally what he thinks. [We] attract not what we want, but we are are.”

It’s hard to believe that something so simple could be so profound. In fact, belief is the key word. Belief is the foundation of opinion. And opinion is the extension of thought. Hence our thoughts, opinions, and beliefs are intimately intertwined.

Belief is not some mystical, religious, submissive letting go trust process. Belief is simply thought made manifest. And how do we know what thoughts we’ve selected? Look at our emotions and opinions.

How do I feel about something? Am I angry, sad, passionate, excited, disgusted, anxious, terrified, disappointed, hopeful? How do I label this? It is beautiful, ugly, worthy, unworthy, boring, exciting, deep, superficial? Behind all these emotions and opinions is thought. Behind thought is belief.

It took many years to realize that the more forcefully I held an opinion, the more that belief actually held me. I had subconsciously presumed that my opinions and emotions were an accurate (and fair) synthesis of the world around me.

The idea that it was the other way around – that my thoughts and emotions were freely chosen by me – was literally mind-blowing.

As William James (philosopher, psychologist and essayist) wrote:

If you can change your mind, you can change your life.

He knew a thing or two about the power of thought, particularly as he wrote on dealing with challenging situations.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

What is so hard to grasp is that (a) we choose our thoughts and (b) our thoughts result in the world we experience.

There are no idle thoughts. All thinking produces form at some level. ~ACIM

The first step in leveraging this not-so-secret to success is observing our emotions and opinions. How am I feeling? How am I labeling this [situation]? The answers to those questions tell us EXACTLY what we’re thinking, which point directly to our beliefs.

The next step is simply changing our thoughts.

As Shakespeare’s Hamlet intuitively utters in Act 2:

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Hamlet’s next sentence tells us exactly which thoughts he’s chosen: “To me it is a prison.”

Join us in Monday’s class where we’ll learn more about this secret to success and how we can transform our lives from prison to glorious, blissful freedom. I look forward to seeing you then.

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