Do our thoughts shape our lives? Albert Einstein believed so. He said, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” James Lane Allen, author of the book “As a Man Thinketh” states, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

It’s easy for us to focus on the negative parts of our lives. In doing this, we sub-consciously shape our future responses toward the negative. If you want to move in a positive direction, you have to shape your thoughts with positive thoughts. One way you can focus on the positive is to have a pride-experiences list.

List past experiences that are positive for you; things you are proud of, that energize you as you recall them. Include your earliest memories. They can be anything from building a house to drawing a picture or running a race. It only matters how you feel about it. The standard for items on this list is your own pride in feeling, “I did it myself.”

Examples of pride experiences are:
  • Coached my baseball team to a winning season
  • Created an innovative new procedure and trained staff how to use it
  • Designed a go-kart with 2 friends and won first prize in a race
  • Doubled the sales volume in my product area in a two-year period
  • Earned enough money to travel through Europe by holding three part-time jobs
  • Helped solve an important personal problem for an employee or neighbour
  • Initiated a program, product or procedure at my job
  • Learned to swim and dive at age seven
  • Organized and led weekend Girl Guide camping outings
  • Raised $1,000 organizing a raffle for my children’s school
  • Remodelled and redecorated part of my house
  • Set up and ran a summer business that earned enough profit to pay for my school tuition
  • Successfully managed a difficult project to completion
  • Taught myself how to create a web site by studying a how-to book
  • Wrote an innovative database program to help my class manage a research project

This is not merely a mental exercise; write the list on paper or in your mobile device. Refer to the list regularly. In particular, when you feel negative thoughts coming on, pull out the list and remind yourself of the things you have and can accomplish.