You have to act on what you think about. You can’t act on anything else. The ancestor to every action is a thought. So if your mind is on what you don’t like, then what you don’t like is going to expand for you. Now please know this: Every problem that you have in your life — every single problem — you experience in your mind. You experience it in thought first — always. In thought, it’s how you process things. It’s what you do with it in your thoughts that makes it a problem. If you’re in a coma, you wouldn’t be experiencing it. It’s your mind.
So if you know that the problems you have in your life are in your mind, then you must know that the solution to those problem also has to be in your mind. It can’t be in something or someone else changing in order for you to get better or happier. If you think that someone else makes you miserable, you get those people and send them to me. And I will treat them, and then you will get better! Now, of course, that’s absurd.
So the solution, as well as the problem, is within. I spent two years writing a book called What Do You Really Want for Your Children? If you want for them what I think we want for our children, that is to be self-reliant, that is to have a sense of mission and purpose in life, that is to be creative, that is to be happy, fulfilled, blame-free people who take responsibility for their lives, rather than people who wear the right clothes and have the right labels, and do all of these things, then what you really want for your children is something based on strength. You can’t build anything when you start with weakness. So that if what you’re doing with your children is always seeing them doing things wrong, that is your problem, that’s what’s difficult for you. If you see them doing things wrong all the time, how do you change that? You change it by looking for the things that they do right. By catching them doing things right. By focusing on their greatness, their grandness, their divineness, their beauty, and reinforcing that. Giving away what’s inside.
And the more you catch them doing things right, the more you find them doing things right. And the more you catch them doing things wrong, the more you find them doing things wrong. And it’s all your experience. You create that.
The same thing is true for all of your physical maladies. If you’ve got a sniffle in your nose, and it’s Monday morning, you may say, “It’s in my nose, but tomorrow it will be in my throat. I know it.” There goes your mind again. Those are your thoughts. That’s 99% of who you are. And you say, “Well on Wednesday it will be in my chest. On Thursday I’m going to have a fever. I’m going to have to take Friday off.” And it’s still Monday morning! Monday morning you’ve got a sniffle, and all of a sudden it’s Friday with a fever.
Earl Nightingale stated, “You become what you think about all day long.” Earl Nightingale is the man for whom I was honored to write the introduction to his book The Strangest Secret. Yes, you become what you think about. “As you think, so shall you be.” And that is true for virtually everything in your life. So that people who are looking at their partner and looking at what makes them miserable, it’s not surprising that misery expands for them.
“You become what you think about all day long.” What you think about is what expands. Now what do most people think about? Take salespeople for example, especially salespeople who are not very effective in their careers. If you’re going into a sales encounter and your mind, your humanity, your connection to eternity, your total being, which is invisible, just sort of trapped in this package called Wayne or Mike or Sally, if it’s focused on “This isn’t going to work out,” then what do you have to act on other than “This isn’t going to work out.” Or “I’m not very good at this” or “I’m not experienced at that” or “This person has been beating me around the bush for a 1ong time anyway, and they’re just not going to close on this sale. I know they’re not going to close.” What are you going to act on? What else do you have to act on? What you think about expands. And that’s why it’s so critical to not have your mind, your humanity clogged up with negativity, with judgment, with the news. You can always find something negative if that’s what you’re looking for. If you want to see an increase in racism in the world, you just have to look around and you’ll see it. But if you want to see an increase in brotherhood, you’ll see that too, and you can be a part of that and convert it all. Because a collective consciousness starts with each one of us.
What you think about expands. That’s the first rule.
The second rule is that what you think about is already here. In the world of thought, everything you think about is already here. That’s really important. It’s not like it’s someplace else. And everything you think about, every thought you have is conceivable in your mind; you can conceive of it in form. Boy, do you need to know that and do your children need to know that every time they tell themselves something that they can’t do.
When my daughter Summer was little, I’d lie down on my back and put my arms back and lift her up. Each one of my other children I could lift them all the way up, right up to the ceiling, and they could do it by balancing themselves on my arms. But every time I would do that with her, she would start to fall back. I said to her, “Summer, what’s the name of daddy’s new program?” She said, “You’ll See It When You Believe lt.” I said, “Well? Do you believe?” She said, “I believe.” I said, “Come on. I want to hear it. Do you believe?” And she said, “All right. I believe.” I said, “Well, what do you believe?” “I can do it.” And then we’d go through this whole thing. “Do you see yourself doing it? Can you balance yourself? Can you do this? Do you have the capacity to do that?” “I can do it. I can do it,” she’d say. I said, “Al1 right.” She then said, “Well get on with it!” And, sure enough I’d lift her up, and she’d go all the way up to the ceiling, as soon as she changed her thoughts.
What do you think the difference is between a child who can swim and a person who can’t? Do you think that the moment a child knows how to swim that suddenly he or she has new physical capacities that he or she didn’t have before? No. The child has a new belief and is acting on that belief. Or riding a bike or anything like that. It’s changing around the thought. The physical will just adapt to it. Or as the Sufis say, “If you don’t have a temple in your heart, you’ll never find your heart in a temple.” It’s about having that temple in your heart. It’s about knowing that what you think about expands. Every thought you have is what your humanity is. And every thought you have is already here.
The third rule is that you must be willing to do what it takes to bring your thought into form. Now, you notice I didn’t say you have to work hard, I didn’t say you have to struggle, I didn’t say you have to fight, that you have to go out there and make it real tough. That is not it at all. The key word in making this philosophy of believing is seeing is the word willing. You must be willing.
I want to be someone who has always been willing to do what it takes to move forward. Always. From the nine years I spent in an orphanage in Michigan, for years, I was the one who was willing to do what it took to make those into pleasant days. For myself and all the children who were there with me, including my older brother.
When I wrote Erroneous Zones I was told, “Oh, we don’t have an advertising budget” and “No, we can’t do this” and “No, we can’t send you out on the road.” “You can’t get on these shows and you can’t do that.” And every time anybody said that, I always sort of thanked the person in my heart, because that just gave me the impetus to do what it takes, to be willing to do what it takes. It made me stronger. So I became willing to do whatever it took. Buy up the first printing, which is what I did. Buy up the whole second printing. I put them in my car. I took them across the country. I spent two years out there on the road. I was told that the only way you can talk to everybody in America is to get on all the big talk shows. But all the big talk shows never heard of Wayne Dyer at that time. So there’s another way to talk to everybody in America, and that’s to go to everybody in America, go on every little radio show in every little town across the country.
Most of those, like AM Columbus and Good Morning Jacksonville, I mean if you’ve got a new avocado dip, they’ll put you on. So I thought, “Take the books with you. Just do it.” And don’t tell yourself, “I’ve got to struggle.” There is a better way.
The fourth thing is you have to understand that you cannot fail in this process. There’s no failure here. Failure is an editorial judgment imposed by others, not you.
See, you want to unclog yourself of judgment. When you judge another person, when anybody judges another person, always remember that you do not define that other person with your judgment. You define yourself only as a person needing to judge. Each one of us is defined by our thoughts and the actions subsequent to those thoughts. Each one of us. That’s how we’re defined. Not by other people defining us. When my children ask me about their reputation, I say, “Forget your reputation. You have no control over your reputation. Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what a reputation is.” I speak to thousands of people who have thousands of reputations. I can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character, which comes from your thoughts and the love that you have, love that you have to give away. Not your reputation or what other people think of you. That’s outside of your control. It’s your thoughts and the love you have; that’s what it comes down to.
What you think about expands. That’s the first rule.
The second rule is that what you think about is already here.
The third rule is that you must be willing to do whatever it takes to bring your thought into form.
The fourth rule is you have to understand that you cannot fail in this process.