The secret of If

The secret of If

20110909-022053.jpg

What’s your mood right now? On a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling in this moment? Ok, good. Don’t forget your number.

If I succeed in my goal for this blog then you are going to feel great when you finish reading it! Read that last sentence again. I’ll wait here.

Good. Chances are you already feel better than you did when you started reading. And it’s all because of the ‘if’ at the beginning of the sentence. How would you feel right now if I would have started the blog with this sentence instead . . . “if I fail in my goal for this blog then you are going to feel terrible when you finish reading it.” It seems like a minor difference but I assure you that it’s quite significant.

‘If’ is one of the most powerful words we have yet it’s power is transparent. You see, every ‘if’ holds a secret and here it is – most of the time we get what we expect to get. When I start a sentence with ‘if’ then what comes next is of monumental importance. Imagine the Wright brothers saying “if we get this plane in the air then we will most likely die in a ball of flames trying to come down.” Instead, they said “if we get this plane in the air then coming down will figure itself out.” The first sentence would have ensured that they would never become the fathers of flight.

Famous psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger noted that “attitudes are more important than facts”. You don’t have to be a famous psychiatrist to know the truth of that statement. Take a minute to think through some of your greatest personal triumphs and most miserable stumbles and recall the attitudes that preceded those moments. You too will reach the same conclusion as Dr. Menninger. I found that when I start my day with the attitude “this is going to be a rough day” I am seldom wrong. Surely the best part about assuming the worst for yourself is that you always get to be right.

If he shows up late . . .
If I mess it up again . . .
If you don’t know what you’re doing. . .
If I can’t figure this out . . .

But thankfully “if” cuts both ways.

If we can figure this out . .
If I will continue to endure . . .
If things go well . . .
If I keep pursuing my goal . . .

In ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ Norman Vincent Peale tells us “We are beginning to comprehend a basic truth that has been previously neglected, that our physical condition is determined very largely by our emotional condition, and our emotional life is profoundly regulated by our thought life.”

If “if statements” are emotional precursors of our life’s circumstances then I’m choosing the positive side of “if” as my default mode.

I hope you will do the same.

Now, create a positive ‘if statement’ for the rest of your day and say it out loud. Go for it.

Feel better?