Bored in my office today, I decided to pick up the book The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz again.  I had not yet finished the book so I picked up right where I had left off and wow was that an excellent chapter.  By the title of the blog you can see where the chapter was heading.

The first thing or quote that stuck out to me was this, “The body is what the body is fed.  By the same token, the mind is what the mind is fed.”  For me, my mind went straight to the Bible and feeding your mind with it, but since this book is secular, he took other routes that were very insightful as well.  He illustrates the “mind food” as your environment.  Your environment being the people you associate with, the place you were raised, how you were raised, etc.  This stuff is going to be what shapes the way you think, your attitude, your goals in life, your habits, and your personality.  Your environment shapes the person that you are going to be.  This was a concept that I truly had never contemplated on before until I read this chapter.  And how true is that concept?  Very true.  Think about it.  The book uses an illustration that if you were raised in another country who would you be like, what religion would you be, what habits would you have, etc?  I imagine you would be a totally different person then the one your are now, all because you were raised in another environment.

The chapter goes on to explain the three different types of people today.  The first one being those who surrender completely.  These are the people that look at successful people and think to themselves that they will never be where those people are.  They also have no desire to try to become bigger because they have already talked themselves out of the fact that they could be something better.  The second group are those who surrender partially.  These people rationalize the level that they are currently at saying things like, they like where they are at in life (which could be honestly true for some people) or they say that they are above average and that is good enough for them.  These people enter their adult lives dreaming big, planning, and working hard but after a decade or so, they lose that end goal and that is when the rationalizing takes place.  The third group of people are those who never surrender.  The group of people love success, this group is usually the happiest because they accomplish more.  These people have to fight off the negativity of the other two groups (or your environment) in order to reach your goals you have set.  A quote I like in this section is this, “People who tell you it cannot be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average or mediocre at best in terms of accomplishment.”

Do not let negative people destroy your dreams and goals in life.  Again, this reminded me of the verse, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 Be sure you are in the flock that thinks right.  It still amazes me what you can accomplish by the power of your thought process and the environment that you surround yourself with.  Think big, dream big and let nothing or no one ever tell you that you cannot accomplish something.  With the right heart, mindset, and faith to back up your dreams, you can do anything.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 Do not ever sell yourself short.

I’ll leave you with this list of things that make your environment successful.

1. Be environment-concious.  Just as body diet makes the body, mind diet makes the mind.

2. Make your environemnt work for you, not against you.  Don’t let suppressive forces make you think defeat.

3. Don’t let small thinking people hold you back.  Jealous people want to see you stumble.  Don’t give them that satisfaction.

4. Get your advice from successful people.  Your future is important.  Never risk it with freelance advisors who are living failures. 

5. Throw thought poison out of your environment.  Avoid gossip.  If you talk about people, stay of the positive side.

Schwartz, D.J. (1965). The Magic of Thinking Big. Manage your environment: go first class. Prentice Hall- Inc. New York, NY.