Norman Vincent Peale have written a book on positive thinking. He advises on chanting positive thoughts to influence outcomes in life. To bring about positive changes in life, he advises on recanting positive affirmations throughout the day. These positive affirmations use religion as crutches. If we disregard the religious overtures of these affirmations, the main question becomes visible. Are these techniques effective?
Recently, I was reading Tina Seelig's book named "Insight Out" when I came across the answer. Tina refers to what most of the behavioral experts endorse. Reframe your mind. By chanting positive affirmations, you retrain your mind by giving it a new frame of reference. This process helps in looking at events in a different way. The best example she quotes in her book is by Mauricio Estrella. I am quoting it verbatim below. Mauricio used a simple technique to reframe and retrain his mind. He decided to use passwords that will propagate positive thoughts and retrain his mind.
Letting all the frustration go, I remembered a tip from my former boss, Rasmus. Somehow he combined to-do lists with passwords, and I thought to use an augmented variation to that.
I'm gonna use a password to change my life...
My password became the indicator. My password reminded me that I shouldn't let myself be a victim of my recent breakup, and that I'm strong enough to do something about it.
My password became "Forgive@h3r"
During the rest of the week, I had to type this password several times a day...
In my mind, I was reminding myself to "Forgive her". That simple action changed the way I looked at my ex-wife. That constant reminder that I should forgive her led me to accept the way things happened at the end of my marriage, and embrace a new way of dealing with the depression that I was drowning in.
In the following days, my mood improved drastically. By the end of the 2nd week, I noticed that this password became less powerful, and it started to lose the effect. A quick refresh of this "mantra" helped me. I thought to myself I forgave her as I typed it, every time. The healing effect of it came back almost immediately...
One month later, my dear exchange server asked me again to renew my password. I thought about the next thing I had to get done.
My password became Quit@smoking4ever.
And guess what happened. I'm not kidding you. I quit smoking overnight.
One month later, my password became Save4trip@thailand.
Guess where I went 3 months later. Thailand!
Mauricio's story is simple and thought-provoking. We are all forced to change our passwords every few days in our organizations. Rather than thinking about the biggest problem we are facing, we could adopt this style of formulating passwords. A friend of mine implemented a slightly different way of Mauricio's example. He swore a lot while exercising. He did it when he had expended all his reserves of energy and needed a sudden boost. This technique was not working out. When he came across Mauricio's story, he decided to think positively while energy levels sank. As a result, he felt a sudden burst of energy flowing through him. This was in stark contrast to his earlier experience.
Now, are you ready to try out Mauricio's technique? Tell me how this worked out for you when you have tried it out. I am interested in knowing.