Entrepreneurial Energy

What do you think of when you hear the word “elimination?” Does it have a positive or negative connotation? What could “elimination” possibly have to do with entrepreneurship? Is it a sinister plot to get rid of the competition? Happily, “elimination” is a very positive concept for entrepreneurs. Let me explain.

Nature has installed a regular elimination process within our bodies. We eat and drink foods and liquids which provide nourishment. But not all of what we consume is useful and our system eliminates this as waste. If this elimination process did not exist we would eventually become so bloated we would explode – or at least that’s my speculation!

I read a staggering statistic recently. Apparently the National Science Foundation published a paper in 2005 stating that the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day! The paper went on to say that 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% of them are repetitive. If true, this is astounding. It’s no wonder that the older we get, the harder it seems to remember things – it’s probably because our minds are so cluttered with the cumulative effect of our thoughts.

So, what does this mean for us as entrepreneurs? Having a fresh mind that is able to think clearly is paramount to our success. And of course mental clutter and negative thoughts impede our creativity. If truly 80% of our thoughts are negative, we are living in a danger zone when it comes to flourishing entrepreneurship. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we need to change our mindset. But that is easier said than done. After years of “practice,” negative thoughts may come naturally to us.

The answer is to embrace a process of elimination. The first step is to realize when negative thoughts have crept into our consciousness. Keeping a “thought journal” for a few days might be helpful in this regard. Every time we have a negative thought, we write it down in our journal. In a short period of time, we will become very mindful of our thought patterns and actually identify the triggers for negative thinking. The second step is to eliminate the negative thoughts. This might be accomplished in a symbolic way by taking the negative thoughts we’ve transferred into our journal, then tearing out the page at the end of the day and burning or destroying it in some manner.

Because nature abhors a vacuum, the elimination of negative thoughts will create a void into which we can pour positive thoughts. A few that come to mind are gratitude, enthusiasm, optimism, exhilaration, confidence and fulfillment. It’s these positive nuggets that will provide us with the “entrepreneurial energy” to reach the pinnacle of success. Just remember that the elimination process is just as important as the positive thoughts we think. Without elimination, the negative thoughts of fear, lack, limitation, envy, jealousy, hurt and unworthiness, continue to hang around and fester. They make it that much harder to usher in the positive energy that allows us to thrive. The bottom line is that we must be very intentional about the process of elimination.

There’s one more thing we can do that will physically reinforce the notion of elimination to make way for more good in our lives. If you are like me, we have all sorts of “stuff” that has accumulated over the years – material things in our garages, attics, basements, storage sheds – you name it and it’s probably there. While cleaning out these areas may not be our idea of a fun Saturday project, it certainly can be therapeutic when we see it working in tandem with eliminating negative mindsets. And it never ceases to amaze me that I save some of the darnedest things. For example, I’ve received a monthly financial publication for decades and have saved every one of them. I guess I figured that I might go back and look at them at some point in the future. Except that I never have – not one single time. And now all of that information and more is easily available on the Internet. So, I found it somewhat liberating to get rid of all of these magazines (and my house is less of a firetrap to boot). The point is that eliminating unneeded physical possessions is an act that supports the elimination of unneeded and unwanted thoughts of mind.

Entrepreneurial energy can be gained when we intentionally practice the process of eliminating negative thinking. Then the creativity and positivity that flows into the void will help propel our success like rocket fuel.

You can also listen to a weekly audio podcast of my blog. What you hear will be different than what you read in this blog. Subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also click on this link – Click here to listen to Audio Episode 97 – Rabbit Trails.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

And So It Is

Question: When the world seems to be crumbling around them, some people seem to be able to stay positive no matter what. How do they do it?

Answer: This isn’t as hard as it may seem. I’ve said it before; we all make choices. When the sledding gets tough we can wring our hands in despair and play the victim card. Or we can maintain a positive outlook and move through the difficult situation. The choice is ours and only ours. Personally I find that it takes less energy to stay on an even keel all of the time than it does to ride the emotional roller coaster.

Staying positive doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice. The first step is to truly understand the physiology of positive thinking. Dr. Richard J. Davidson, director of the University of Wisconsin’s Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, reports that “activation of brain regions associated with negative emotions appears to weaken people’s immune response to the flu vaccine.” There are many other physiological benefits that have been proven to occur with positive thinking. Thus, we have to make a concerted effort to stay positive in order to protect and enhance our health. If we begin to feel a bout of negative emotions and thinking coming on, we must consciously remind ourselves that we must break this cycle in order to stay healthy.

There’s another thing that we can do to practice positivity. Some call it self-talk. I call it positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements that are meaningful to us – kind of a positive pep talk. We need to say them often and with gusto. We say them throughout the day when we’re feeling good and also when we may encounter the opportunity to move into negative thinking. For prosperity we might say, “My life is filled with unlimited abundance!” For health we might affirm, “I am healthy and whole in mind and body!” For relationships our statement might be, “I am harmonious with each and every person in my life!” At first it may seem a bit weird to be saying words like this. Why? Because the world may see this as a bit woo-woo. But that’s OK because I absolutely guarantee that it works.

Try saying positive affirmations in groups of ten, at least ten times each day. Eventually you’ll give a great deal of feeling to the affirmations and they in turn will become ingrained in your psyche. You will absolutely believe what you are affirming. Then, when a negative thought creeps into your mind, you’ll gently release it and replace it with a positive affirmation.

We are blessed by the fact that we have the power to make our own choices. And one of the most powerful choices we can make is to always remain positive about our lives. We affirm a positive thought . . . and so it is.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Winston Churchill