Set Direction, Work Hard, Think Positive

Posted on May 14, 2009 in Blog, Health, Reflections on Counseling

Just in case you won’t read this whole post here is what I am going to tell you:

  • You already possess the knowledge to create change in your life.
  • You could walk out the front door tomorrow morning into a better reality but choose not to.
  • The process involves three steps: set direction, work hard, and think positive.
photo by Brian Ferrel

photo by Brian Farrell

Setting Direction

Ask anyone what is their worst physical feature or to identify their biggest weakness and they will readily have an answer for you. I like when things connect to a believable story so let’s uphold that it’s an evolutionary trait to notice deficiency from our caveman days. It’s a realistic story after all… Grog “the caveman” noticed that there are fewer fish in the cache on the riverbank than his family requires so he sets about sorting it out ahead of the long winter. Grog notices how horrible the rain clouds look but doesn’t pay much attention to sunny days. We are still brilliant at noticing our faults but not always as capable of sorting out the solution.

Take a minute to evaluate your cache.

If you were already the person that you wish you were, what kind of person would you be?
What would you be doing if you were living as you would want?
Is what you are doing at this time taking you closer to or farther away from your goals?*

If you are having trouble coming up with answers ask yourself:

What don’t you want to think about?
What are your hesitating to address that would be important for you to consider?

Work Hard

One of the other aspects of reality to accept and harness is that change requires work. In one of Neil Richard’s, former YIS headmaster, final speeches before he left the school he said, “The secret to a lucky life is hard work.” While all work needn’t be hard, the essence of these words holds true. Change will not happen without effort. Set direction and take proactive steps toward seeing those goals to fruition.

If you don’t know what steps to take elicit help from people you trust and respect. Counsellors are also a great source of support in this way.

Think Positive

In a current study Richard Wiseman, psychologist, extensively interviewed, over 400 men and women who considered themselves either significantly lucky or unlucky. Participants kept diaries, participated in laboratory experiments and responded to various assessment instruments. Wiseman found that both “unlucky” and “lucky” people held almost no insight into the true sources of their good or bad fortunes. What he did find was that their thoughts and behavior held significant influence. I’ve mentioned behavior above in terms of working hard to make change but what of the thoughts.

Wiseman found that “Lucky people create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations”. Athletes and other performers can attest to the power of positive thinking and visualization but we often forget about this in our own lives on the day-to-day challenges we face. Think positively and positive things will happen.

Tomorrow morning when you walk out of your front door, ask yourself what choices you are making that day. Do you allow yourself time to check your cache and set better direction? Are you willing to work hard for the changes you’d like to see? Do you allow yourself to expect the absolute best?

* These questions from p34. Corey, G. (2008). The art of integrative counselling (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole.


  1. learningIT
    May 14, 2009

    good post sir!
    i like the setting direction area.
    goals! we all need them to keep motivation up!
    well done.

  2. admin
    May 14, 2009

    Thanks for having a look, Frank. I agree, goals make it happen.


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