April 9, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

It’s been said that you are how you see yourself, and thoughts are everything.  If you think you can, then you can.  Well, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  It’s all in how you look at yourself, right?  I’m sure everyone has heard of The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.  First published in 1952, it has sold more than 20 million copies and you’ll find that it is still relevant today – the terminology is a bit old fashioned, but it’s not the sort of book that goes out of date.  As the title suggests, thinking positive can be a very powerful tool.  It has been my “go-to” book for the past 18 years and helps me to find balance every time I open it.  I read it at least once a year.  Sometimes I flip through and let it fall open, and then let my finger tip fall randomly on a line to see what it has to say to me.  I also like to go through it to see the things that previously spoke to me enough for me to highlight, underline and write notes in the sidelines.  As you can imagine, it is a very colorful book by this time, and feels like a comfortable, old friend. 

But positive thinking alone is not the answer to success; it is only a beginning.  When you open your mind to possibilities, you open the door to opportunity, as well.  And when the door opens, you need to walk through it.  And quite often, this means risk.  If you don’t take that first step through the door toward your dreams and goals, you’ll eventually be locked out.  I love this quote by Peter Sage: 

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming loudly, “Wow – what a ride!”
As scary as that sounds to me, I still want to be able to say, ‘“Wow – what a ride!”’ So where am I going with all this?  I waited half of my life (is 50 years old half?) to finally take control, and take those risks that could lead to accomplishing those elusive dreams that came under the category of “some day.”  I quit a good job and moved to the mountains to pursue my dream of writing.  I also made a commitment to myself to exercise, eat right and get healthy.  And so running became my chosen mode to complete that part of my goal.  I love sports and physical activity and I don’t know how I ever let it go; baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, biking, hiking – I loved it all, but somehow it all got lost in the day-to-day drudgery that life can turn into if you’re not careful.  And so now I’m getting “it” back. 
I’m a bit of a late bloomer - but I believe it’s never too late to change your life. And this is how I came to be attempting my first half marathon at 50 years old!
I’m coming to the realization that by the time the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon rolls around, I’m actually going to be ready.  13.1 miles originally sounded quite unattainable to me – and yes, it is a long way to run – and very tiring - but now that I’m currently running 9 miles and doing okay, I think I can make it!  I’ll really be ready!  It’s a pretty cool realization, and I owe it all to the power of positive thinking!    
I'm sure you've heard the debate about whether the glass is half full or half empty.  Well, my glass is truly half full.  And it doesn't hurt when it comes with a bottle of wine - just sayin'. 

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