How we think affects the way we react to events, situations, people - everything in life. Learning what and how we think can give us the power to dramatically alter our life, says Steve White, author of Please Change Your Mind: Because You Are What You Think.
White has consulted with such businesses as Ingenico, U.S. Bancorp and GTE/Verizon to help employees become more strategic and companies more profitable.
"Each of us places laws on our lens, things we hold to be true: Fire is hot. Grass should be cut at an angle to the house. My self-worth is dependent on being accepted by my peers. Those laws, then, control our emotions and behavior," White says. "By learning how to control our thoughts - the laws on our lens - we can learn to create the results we want to achieve in all parts of our life."
White, founder of several management consulting firms, has personal experience with the efficacy of what he calls "thought examination." He was hospitalised with depression 18 years ago and underwent cognitive behavioral therapy.
Please Change Your Mind is an easy-to-understand guide written by a layman, not a doctor or a psychologist. He knows firsthand how thought examination can help identify thinking patterns that lead to unhealthy and unproductive behaviors.
"For those who are unhappy with the results they keep getting in business, in relationships, in any part of their lives, an alteration of thoughts is the best remedy," White says.Steve White is CEO of Steve White Today (legally incorporated as Glory Daze). He previously was a partner at Arthur Young and the founder of several management consulting firms. Now, he helps companies develop strategic plans, and he writes books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Sherrie. Take advantage of free assessment resources and learn more about the author at www.SteveWhiteToday.com
Please Change Your Mind: Because You Are What You Think
Author: Steve White
Question: Why did you decide to write Please Change Your Mind: Because You Are What You Think?
Steve White: I wrote the book because I had changed my own life using the same techniques so I knew it could help others.
Question: How did changing your way of thinking, change your life?
Steve White: We all see life through a lens. On that lens we place laws (principles, beliefs rules, etc.) that we hold to be true. Whenever something happens the first we do is think something. Your thoughts drive your emotions, your emotions drive your behavior, and your behavior changes the results in your life. It always happens in this sequence. For example, if I have a law on my lens that says, "Dogs are vicious," (maybe I was bitten by a dog when I was three). Whenever I see a dog the first thing that will happen I'll think, "That dog is vicious." Next I will feel something - fear. Next I will do something - run. Running will create results. I'll never be bitten by a dog. Other laws are much more complicated. Like, "My self-worth is dependent on whether or not boys think I'm pretty." That's not such a healthy law and worthy of change. In the book there is a diagram of this process on how the mind works.
Question: How can we implement this in our daily lives to change our lives, in many different aspects?
Steve White: We have laws about everything. When your results do not meet your needs over time, there is probably a law on your lens that should be changed. Examining your behavior should help determine what you were "feeling" that drove your behavior. Your feelings should give you a clue about what you were thinking that made you feel that way. Then you have to determine if those thoughts could or should be changed. Take the dog example again. Why did I run? I was scared. Why was I scared? Because dogs are vicious. Is that thought really true? Can I consider modifying that to, "Some dogs are vicious?" See if changing your thoughts about dogs changes your results. All human growth is the process of changing your thoughts to create better results for yourself. You can apply this model to any law on your lens, in any aspect of your life.
Question: Are you able to give us a case study where changing the way employees thought made the company, as a whole, more profitable?
Steve White: Employees have hundreds of laws on their lens relative to their employer. "My boss never listens to me" "I do as little as I can to get by" "I always look for ways to help cut cost" "Our products will never sell in Europe."Any one of these laws could be changed to create positive results. The key here is to give the employees a vision. When the janitor and the CEO both know their roles and share a common vision, laws tend to improve. If all you're doing is laying bricks that can be pretty boring and uninspiring. But if instead the bricklayer sees himself building a cathedral, that can be very powerful within an organization. Compelling visions become a law on your lens.
Question: Can you talk about the free assessment resources that are featured on your website?
Steve White: The assessments are really a diagnostic tool for me to see if I might be able to help someone in their personal life or their business. I respond personally to everyone who submits an assessment.
Interview by Brooke Hunter