Thursday, January 31, 2008

Positive thinking; Believe in your self and your dreams

A whole month has slipped by in silence, as far as my blog is concerned, but much has gone on behind the scenes. I have started, but not finished a few posts, and I will pick up those threads later, or I will discard them.

I have spent a lot of time with grandchildren lately, and I count my blessings for every moment. Each one of them is absolutely precious. They offer fresh eyes with which to view life.

I recently had the privelege of spending a day with students in Ryegate, at a small Montana school. The next day, I met many more kids while signing books at the Montana Winter Fair in Lewistown. I got to spend the night at a friend's house and get better acquainted with her three wonderful kids. She took her horse, "Starlight" to the WinterFair so that kids who came to my table could see him "in person," pet him, and get his "autograph. I witnessed, as I have many time before, the natural bond between child and horse.

Tomorrow, I will visit 130 fifth graders at Lockwood school in Billings and, in the evening, be on hand at a gift shop downtown, to talk to people and sign my books. As I have said many times, children are my first love and my best inspiration. When I talk to them, I often quote Napoleon Hill, who inspired me to go for the career of my choice. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, he said, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

It's easy to allow adversity (or what seems to be adversity) to throw a person off that tract, but I was reminded this morning, as I picked up a copy of Hill's book at my son's house, that positive thinking is the answer to whatever situation in which we find ourselves. In order to think positively, however, it is necessary, as Napoleon Hill says, to prepare the mind by clearing out three impediments to success: indecision, doubt, and fear. "Indecision is the seedling of fear. Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend and become fear."

Hill also mentions an even greater enemy, which, he says, is more deeply seated and more often fatal than all fears. He calls it "susceptibility to neageive influences." As I perused this chapter on fear, this morning, I asked myself just how much negative influences have exacerbated fear in me this past month. Then an even more important question came to mind. "Have I been a negative influence for others, increasing their fear, and thus promulgating negative thinking in them?"

This is the food for thought that I will be chewing on today and the days ahead as I work to replace doubt with hope, fear with courage, and indecision with action.