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1/6/16 6:50 P

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I always did poorly in sports of any kind and could never keep my breath after running for one minute, and I doubted my manhood as I grew up. I never seriously thought of exercising or consider myself capable of excelling in any physical activity until after retiring. However, my health insurance provider said I needed to lose 32 pounds which is why I considered running in the first place when my daughter announced plans for her and her daughters to run a 5 K. At 67 I ran and walked 2 miles of the 5K my daughter and granddaughters participated in before my leg cramp started to up, but I completed the 5 K which was my first. I’m 69 now and have run several more 5K’s. I went from 190 pounds to my goal weight of 158 pounds but gained back 7 pounds in December. I aim to run a 10 K this year at age 70 and get back to 158 pounds in the process. The process of calming the mind, in order to be better able to have creative positive thought, described below, works.
It was not until after I retired that I began reading personal development books and learned to control my negative thoughts. One book, “Creating a Bug Free Mind” , by Andy Shaw, said that all thoughts fall into one of two categories: those that move us forward to success and those that hold us back and we should purge the thoughts that clearly hold us back and substitute thoughts that are positive. Also we should substitute more positive thoughts for those thoughts that are of questionable value. Also, Andy taught me that the mind works like a power saw which sometime stops if overheated by running for too long a period or forced to go too hard or in a too different a direction at once, but works fine again if allowed to cool down. Likewise, if the mind is stressed, it is not calm enough for creative thought. To calm down the stressed mind Andy taught me to build up my mind power, like athletes build up their muscles, by strengthening my power over my mind a little at a time to a point where I could on demand hold 15 seconds of no thought at all. After the mind is free of thought for 15 seconds, it is primed for creative positive thought.
To hold 15 seconds of no thought in the mind is no small task just as lifting your body weight is no small task, but it can be done with continual practice over several or many months. To start, focus first on holding a positive thought in your mind--a thought about an occasion that gave you great joy. Andy Shaw says when he first tried holding a positive thought for 15 seconds, a negative thought crept in after only 3 seconds, but he refused to give up. It was the same with me. Don’t you give up either. After mastering holding a positive thought for 15 seconds, you can work on holding a period of no thought in your mind, after which creative positive thoughts come more easily.

CHALLENGE
My challenge to you is to list a negative thought you need to let go of (or had let go of) and a creative more positive replacement thought for that negative thought. The replacement thought should be one that you believe in or expect to eventually believe in. Remember to start small like Andy’s example of holding a positive thought for just 4 seconds when the end goal is to hold a period of no thought in the mind for 15 seconds.

EXAMPLE
Negative thought: I lack the stamina and will power to run.
Creative positive thought: At age 67, it’s not too late to learn to enjoy running (I see men older than me run) and my daughter said there is a 9 week program of running starting from being a couch potato to completing a 5K run called “C25K”. It starts with alternating 1 minute jogs with a 2 minute walks. I could run for one minute in the past. Even jogging for just 1 minute at a time will be good for my health. Given time, my stamina and will power will increase. It would be a source of pride if I could run the 5 K with my daughter and granddaughters.

I'm Bob. I am retired and live in Virginia, USA (EDT) with my wife. I a team leader of a remarkable team. www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
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Our goal is to help all members obtain enthusiasm and share our joy, for we are alive and can have great potential for success by using our inner powers. The joy is in the shared journey of life whether it be ordinary or extraordinary.


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