Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Julia Santos.

I was working out at the gym the other day and had two thoughts, so I wrote them down in Evernote as soon as I got back to the car.

Thought #1: Stretching at the end of your workout brings oxygen to your muscles and that helps them grow. This is good. However, if you are giving a presentation, competing in a big game, or taking a test and you have insecure thoughts (or any thoughts for that matter) pop up in your head and you make a big deal out of them, they grow and can affect your performance. This is not good. Think of a great performance you have had. Did you have a lot of thinking, or very little thinking? I already know the answer: very little thinking. So it doesn’t make sense to think into your thinking, does it? Thoughts will come into your head, you can’t control that. But you can control whether you give them attention and make them grow…or not.

Thought #2: People say that you are the product of your environment. I disagree. I believe that you are a product of your thinking. Parents say that you shouldn’t hang around the wrong people because you will become one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should hang around with the wrong people, but does everyone that hangs around the “wrong people” become like them? Of course not. Just like nobody’s rude comment can make you feel upset. Only upsetting thoughts can make you feel upset. We live in a world where most people think that something outside of them can affect how they feel, e.g., the weather, referees, parents, the economy, etc. This is simply not true and the more you realize this, the more you are in control and will be able to perform more consistently at a high level. Thought is the source of behavior, not environment.

It’s funny, so often at the gym I have thoughts of “I can’t run any longer” or “I can’t do any more reps,” but I don’t pay attention to those thoughts and pretty soon I have a different thought like “I’ve got this” and I end up running longer and doing more reps. Thoughts are random, they are illusions, and they are made up by you. If you take them seriously, it would be as if you composed and sent a nasty email to yourself, and then opened it and got upset. You don’t see that happening in real life, but it happens all the time on the field, at the office, and in the classroom. People believe their thinking and then they feel their thinking. Our experience is created from the inside-out, whether it’s true or not.

Well, I’ll be heading to yoga tomorrow…I’ll let you know if I have any insights.

Thanks for reading.

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