What Are You Thinking?

“If your reputation is stinking,

you must change your thinking” ~ Jim Rohn

I was recently reading Andy Andrews’ newest book – The Noticer Returns – and he talked about how we must change from within. He went through the progression of how what we think ultimately determines our reputation. The progression goes like this:

Your thinking determines the choices we make.

Our choices determine the action we take.

The action we take determines our results.

Our results determine our reputation .

In other words, Andy has built upon Jim Rohn’s quote. In the end, what this ultimately means is – if your reputation is suffering you must change your thinking. This pertains to any aspect of life whether personal, business or spiritual. If your reputation in any of these areas is suffering it is because you are not achieving the results that are expected. If you’re not getting the proper results it is because you are not taking the right action. If you’re not taking the right action it is because you are not making the right choices and if you’re not making the right choices it is because you are not thinking correctly, so ultimately, to change your reputation, you must change your thinking.

Andy’s break down of the topic is excellent, but it falls short of complete. There has to be imagesCA6RLR3Aone more step. How do you change or expand your thinking? You are what you think, so if we need to change what we think, how do we go about that? In a word – VOCABULARY.

If you are what you think, then what is thinking? Thinking is limited to our vocabulary in that we think in terms of words and we can only think in terms of the words we are familiar with, so if we need to change our thinking, we must expand our vocabulary. Let me explain: you have two people, person A and person B. Person A has an expansive vocabulary. Just to pick some numbers out of the air, person A has a vocabulary of 5,000 words. Person B has a very limited vocabulary of only 300 words and 10% of those words are what we call “colorful metaphors”. Person B is going to be very limited in their thinking and therefore is going to have very limited choices to make, take a very limited set of actions, produce very limited results and will have a less than great reputation. Person A on the other hand, with their expansive vocabulary, will have an expansive thought process which produces better choices, better actions, better results and will enjoy a much better reputation.

Jim Rohn wrote the quote above in the form of a poem and you probably understand that. But what if I told you he wrote an antithetical distich? To understand what I meant you would have to have in your vocabulary the words “antithetical” and “distich”. A distich is a two line poem. Antithetical means one line is negative – your reputation is stinking, and the second line is positive – change your thinking. This is a theological term used to describe many of the two-line poems of the Book of Proverbs.

Let’s look at three examples of limited thinking. Person B has a teenage son who is struggling with American History. He doesn’t understand what it means when he reads that we have a “bicameral” congress. If person B does not possess this word in their vocabulary, they will never be able to explain it to the child. The best answer they can possibly give is “look it up”. How is that going to reflect your reputation as a parent?

In business, suppose you are told something on the budget is based on an accrual. If you don’t understand the full meaning of “accrual”, how is that going affect your performance in meeting budget? It could reflect it in a very big way and possibly in a very negative way. That’s not going to give you the reputation you want in business.

Spiritually, you will never understand the saving work of Christ on the cross if you don’t understand the Doctrine of Propitiation. If it’s not a part of your vocabulary, how can ever possibly understand the full extent of what He did? Simply put – you can’t! Your thinking must change and before that can happen, you must add ‘propitiation’ and it’s full meaning to your personal vocabulary before your thinking can ever fully encapsulate the meaning and put the word to work in your thinking. Once you have it firmly in your vocabulary, you can change your thinking on the work of salvation.

It is true – we are what we think, so who we are is limited by our thinking and our thinking is limited by our personal vocabulary. This applies not only to what we now have in our lives, but it also applies to any new undertaking. Every topic imaginable has its own unique vocabulary, so if you want to learn something new, you will have to expand your vocabulary. Say your present thinking tells you need a new hobby and you decide to take up woodworking. For your first project, you decide to build a small cabinet with one drawer. If you don’t already know the words, you’re going to have to learn and understand the difference between a dado joint and a miter joint. If you travel to England and decide to take in a cricket match, you will need to know the difference between a stodger and dibbly-dobbly.

Since we’re talking about reputations here, let’s look at another example. Among slick talking used car salesmen, women have a reputation of not knowing much about automobiles. Suppose a woman is primarily concerned with a smooth ride and ease of handling. Because she is unfamiliar with the terms, a slick talking salesman may convince her she wants MacPherson struts when what she really wants is a double-wishbone suspension. For her to change her reputation with Mr. Slick-talker, which is caused by her results, which are caused by her action, which is caused by her choices, which is caused by her thinking, she needs to first expand her vocabulary! If she tells the salesman she wants a smooth ride and ease of handling, if she has a limited vocabulary he will sell her whatever he has that he needs to get rid of. On the other hand, if he tells him she wants a smooth ride with ease of handling and is really interested in a double-wishbone front suspension. Instantly, her reputation with the salesman has improved because of her vocabulary.

If your reputation is stinking you must change your thinking. To change your thinking, improve your vocabulary. You are what you think and your thinking is limited to the words you possess in your personal vocabulary.

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About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
This entry was posted in Growth, self image, self improvement, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What Are You Thinking?

  1. Pingback: Book Review: THE NOTICER RETURNS | montyrainey

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