Did you know that it has been estimated that most people think between 12,000-70,000 thoughts per day? Don’t ask me how they figured it out, but just trust me – it’s a lot of thoughts. A lot more than you’d guess.
If you have a basic understanding of Quantum Physics, you know by now that our thoughts have a huge impact on our physical reality.
You think you’re going to fail at cleaning a weight and you usually do.
You believe you’re going to PR on that deadlift and, again, you usually do.
We become what we think about.
The thing about those 12,000-70,000 thoughts is this: About 90% of those thoughts are the same exact thoughts we thought yesterday. And every day. Day in and day out. Sure we may think them in a different order, or with a slightly different emphasis. We may be a little more positive one day and a little less the next day. But, on balance, our thoughts tend to stay within a certain bandwidth. Neither too positive, nor too negative.
This is why most people tend to live within a certain level of success throughout their life-times. Most thoughts aren’t horrendously negative, and most thoughts aren’t fantastically positive, and so people tend to have neither horrendously terrible lives nor outstandingly amazing lives – they sort of balance out with little highs and lows, and hover around that mediocre mark.
If you’re anything like me, that thought alone is enough to kick me in the butt.
Do I really want to spend the rest of my life hovering around a not-too-terrible / not-too-great range? Or do I want to change. To grow, to be better and to achieve more? I think if we all look deeply enough, on some level we all want more.
But wanting more does not equate to getting more. If we really want more, we need to take positive steps in the direction of those wants. And that all starts with our thoughts.
Think the same thoughts day in and day out and you’ll never lose the weight, get that strict pull-up or make a million dollars. Change your thinking, and you set in motion the possibilities for change.
Think about Newton’s laws of Motion:
An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force.
The vector sum of the external forces F on an object is equal to the mass m of that object multiplied by the acceleration vector a of the object: F = ma.
When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.
Still with me?
If your knowledge of Physics is anything like mine these days, here’s the simple version:
If an object is stationary, it means that the force of whatever is pushing it in one direction is the same as the force of whatever is pushing it in the opposite direction. In other words, the forces are canceled out and the object remains unmoved.
Let’s apply this to our lives. If our lives are pretty much the same day-in and day-out, ie. we are moving neither towards our dreamed of achievements, nor away from them, then this means the positive thoughts we have about our abilities are being canceled out by our negative thoughts.
So, if you are hovering around the same body weight, occasionally losing a little, but then regaining it – you are basically yo-yoing between conflicting thoughts and beliefs about your body’s ability to lose weight.
Same thing with strength. Are those strict pushups STILL impossible, even after years of coming to the gym 5-6 days a week? Maybe it’s time to change your thinking and start to actually embody all Sham’s great coaching cues!
I remember the weeks before I was going to give birth, so many people tried to tell me that having a natural (drug-free) birth was impossible. They told me giving birth is horrifically hard and painful and that I’d be screaming for drugs within a couple hours of going into active labor. Thankfully, I had decided that birth did not have to be that way and I spent every day visualizing the calm and comfortable birth I was going to have.
I went into my birth super calm and with no fear whatsoever, and BOOM! I had a perfect, easy birth that felt no more challenging than a Brit WOD. I didn’t even once wish for drugs.
The opposite also holds true. Everyone I know who went into their births afraid and believing it was going to be unbearable for them, ended up with difficult, complicated births.
I tell this story because, if giving birth can be done easily and without the need for external “help” simply by changing our mindset (and trust me, that is WAY more important than genetics), then surely we can all take that same positivity into our workouts. Or into every other avenue of our lives.
Our thoughts and beliefs are incredibly powerful.
Obviously we need to take action too. But if we take, even small steps forward, with our minds in the right place – we will move quickly towards our goals.
Change your thinking (and by extension your beliefs) and you will change your performance, both in the gym and throughout every aspect of your life.