Life is more than talk. When I speak to my Student Success course students, about the power of our self-talk, I tell them we have to move beyond our positive self-talk. Changing our negative thoughts to positive is helpful but with no working action nothing will be accomplished. We need to actively work out our positive thoughts for progress to occur in our dreams, or profitable changes we want for our lives. The book of Proverbs 14:23 tells us, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
Let’s say for example, my self-talk is about getting in better physical shape. I may say things like, ”I am going to exercise to improve my health for my self and to be a better me for my family.” I even go so far as ordering a Leslie Sansone DVD to do walking at home. Then if all I do is sit in my recliner stuffing cupcakes in my face while I watch the DVD, is that going to help me get in better physical condition? No, I have to rise up from the chair and start walking, go outside for a jog, or join a health club if the recliner is too much of a temptation.
Another example I use with my students, many who struggle with Math, I suggest they can change their self-talk from, “I am no good at math-I just can’t do it.” to “I need to pass Algebra I to receive my degree, so even though I don’t love Math I will do whatever it takes to pass it.” What is the “doing whatever it takes”? The student needs to work on going to tutoring, place extra time in his schedule to increase the number of math problems he practices. For those students struggling with math I tell then when they start dreaming of numbers chasing them in their dreams they are probably doing the right number of math problems in their personal study time.
What I am getting at, is once your self-talk has been changed into a positive mode you need to jump into active work on what you want for yourself. Here is a helpful quote from Napoleon Hill: “Do not wait; the time will never be "just right'. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” When we need to make a change, it is easier to make excuses and stay stuck in the soft comfort of the recliner with remote in hand. Waiting for the right time to change will not work, as time will eventually pass us by and the positive changes for possibilities in our life will pass us by. I know from past experience in my life. I like how Napoleon Hill says to start with the tools you have at your disposal to get moving. Again move away from the excuses of waiting for the “right”-- time, people, circumstances, or God. I love the God excuse. Mind you, as a Christian, I do believe in seeking God’s guidance, but many times sitting around waiting to hear from God, is a cop-out to keep from moving into the tough work of action. Seriously, the move from positive thinking to the hard work of action is tough but necessary. As we take the first step with the tools we have available more helpful tools will come our way as we progress in our journey toward what we want.
Sometimes as we are working hard at accomplishing what we want, we begin to be tired and want to give up. A reality check reminds us that hard work is called hard work for a reason. It is hard and difficult at times. When you are ready to give up, think over these ten positive benefits to hard work in our lives. Use them as reminders why you need to keep pressing on, working for the changes in your life. They come from the book Life’s Greatest Lessons by Hal Urban:
1. Hard work helps us realize our potential.
2. Hard work helps us face up to life.
3. Hard work makes us feel good.
4. Hard work builds character.
5. Hard work earns the respect of others.
6. Hard work earns self-respect.
7. Hard work adds meaning.
8. Hard work gets the best results.
9. Hard work becomes a habit.
10. Hard work is healthy.
Begin working today on improving your Life More Than OK!