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-And I thought is it really possible? Well, an hour a day, it adds up to a lot-- 1,250 hours over five years. That's a lot. Yeah. I could probably do this. So I kept thinking about it.
And then, I thought OK. I need to be in good physical shape. I need to be a person worthy of admiration. Wow, a long way to go on that one, OK, I need to be knowledgeable about human behavior, and behavioral psychology, and that sort of thing. So I got to do a lot of studying. I need to know how to succeed in business. Because if I don't understand business, how can I guide people to become successful? I got a lot of work to do.
This-- and at the mean time, I want to be a good father and a good husband. So I don't want to abandon my family, and my personal responsibilities in order to achieve monetary success alone. I want to be the kind of person who not only succeeds, but can live there. So it's a big difference between the guy that can get to the top of the mountain, and the guy who can live the rest of his life on the top of the mountain.
-I want to just quickly clarify, if you have not seen the goal setting episode with Jim Cathcart, what he's touching on, he goes in depth into on how to set these goals. So definitely go and watch this. But this is huge. So the big, ding, ding, aha, moment here was that you changed and defined what you wanted.
JIM CATHCART: That's right.
-And then, you started to change those habits, through the thought patterns that you decided to intentionally focus on.
-Yes. And I just decided that, OK, if I want to get in physical shape, I'm got to lose the lard, and work out, and become fit. OK so I need a eating diet that will cause my body to be shaped differently. OK. And I need a fitness program to keep it that way. And I don't need a short-term diet. I need a lifelong diet. So I didn't go on a six week eating diet. I went on a five year eating diet. Yes.
-This is almost offensive right now, what you're telling me. This is scary.
-And it was intimidating to me. And I said, OK. Hour a day in study, you can be an expert in five years or less. So I took the same formula, applied it to my physical health.
And I said, I hereby commit to eating healthy. And here's healthy. And I outlined that, you know, an eating plan that I thought made sense. And it was based on all the usual things you find in all the good diets. So anyway, I said, I'm going to do this for five consecutive years. And give it an absolute chance to become who I am instead of just something I once did. Because I had always successfully lost weight.
-You could take it off.
-But here's the difference, losing weight is shrinking the amount of body size you have. That doesn't necessarily make you a slender person. That makes you temporarily slender. I wanted to be a slender person.
What's the difference between a person with a slender body, and a person who is a slender person? The difference is behavior patterns, and thinking patterns. Slender people-- not the ones who are temporarily slender, but the ones who are slender people for most of their life-- think differently about food, think differently about exercise, think differently about themselves, think differently about health. So I got out of the business of losing 20 pounds every couple of years, and into the business of becoming permanently a slender person.
-Wow. This is huge. This was all through that thought diet. Now, let me ask you this though. The part that we haven't really touched on that I know we've had Thrivers write in about is, how you dealt with this physical addiction. OK. So you're smoking two packs a day.
JIM CATHCART: Oh, this is another major, major point.
-If you're a smoker, and you want to be a nonsmoker, don't quit smoking. Become a non-smoker.
-What do you mean by that-- become a nonsmoker?
-A person who quits smoking is someone who's not smoking right now.
-OK good. That's good.
-A nonsmoker just doesn't smoke. Yeah, it's words. No. No. It's not words. It's hugely different.
Because I had tried once to quit. And it worked. I quit. And about two months later, I started again. But I had quit successfully, successfully. I fully quit smoking for like two months. OK. Now, I'm back smoking again. And I said, this is killing me. This is not good for me. I need to stop. There were a number of other facets to this story, we can get into some of the time.
But I just said, OK, as of Sunday, January the 25th-- 20th or 25th, check it if you're one of those kind of folks-- in 1974. I said, I quit as of that day. Because I was going to church and get baptized that day. And I figured, wash away the old. Start anew. I'm a nonsmoker forever. And I said, Lord I'll never smoke again, period, not a cigar, nothing, ever. And I quit that day.
[HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING]
-Now, did I know that there was going to be a physical withdrawal period? Yep. Did I dread it? Absolutely. Did it hurt? Mm-hmm. Did I stay a non-smoker? Yes.
That was 1974. This is 2015, and I've never had another cigarette or cigar or pipe or anything like that. So what I did was I decided to become a non-smoker and I announced to everyone I knew, I no longer smoke.
INTERVIEWER: How important is that aspect of it?
-Well, to me, it was huge because that's the accountability factor, and I needed others to know. First off, don't offer me a cigarette. I don't want the temptation. Don't come to my home and expect to smoke because I'm not going to have ashtrays. I'm giving them away. So you're welcome to go outside and smoke, but please don't smoke in my house because I don't smoke.
I gave away the engraved lighters, the really nice ones that I've gotten from relatives, like mom's, and I gave away to people I was sure would never give them back to me and I told them, I said, don't ever, ever under any circumstance give this back to me because if you might, then I'm going to throw it in the river and get rid of it right now. No, that's OK, I'll take care.
So anyway, we did that. Got rid of our ash trays, and I went through three months of oh my god, three months of just misery withdrawing from cigarettes.
People say, I've tried to smoke, but I couldn't. No, you tried to quit smoking, but you weakened. You could, you just weakened and accepted the weakness.
When I weakened, I found other ways to cope with it. I don't remember what I did, but anything to distract me from the pain and misery of going through that withdrawal. And within three months, drinking water and eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, things like that to help kind of reprogram my body's expectation, then I got away from the habit and I've never had a strong impulse to want to smoke ever again.
But I said, OK, it's going to hurt. I'm not trying to quit. I'm quitting. I'm done, and I'm done permanently. And so it's like the guy that he's attacking and he says, OK, burn the ships, I don't what the possibility of retreat. So I did that.
INTERVIEWER: There's no other choice.
-Nuh-un, and this is all just the physical side. I also had to reprogram my mind, and that's the whole point of thought diet. The thought diet's you take a little card, just take a sheet of paper about this size right here, this size. And on one side of it, you write, current primary goal. Current primary goal, and that's on the top half of this side of the paper. And then you write five traits-- T-R-A-I-T-S-- five traits that I need to cultivate in me to make me the kind of person who would get that goal.
INTERVIEWER: So write the goal down.
-Write the goal down. Then ask yourself, what kind of person do I need to be?
-OK, so write down those five traits?
-Yeah, and there could be 50 traits, but you want 5 that you're going to absolutely focus on, like-- gosh, I don't know, I need a goal to focus on in order to identify one.
-Well, you had be a slender person.
-Yeah, one, I had to become a person of integrity. I had to become someone worthy of other people's admiration if I was ever going to advise and inspire them, so I had to do that. And then you go on down the list, whatever matters to you in being the kind of person you want to be to achieve your goal, and you write the goal as if you already had it. I am one of the top 10 experts in the field of personal development training.
INTERVIEWER: Not even "I want to be"--
INTERVIEWER: "I am."
INTERVIEWER: That's good.
-And you don't go around lying to yourself saying, I am, I am, I am, I am. But you look at that and looking at it instead of I want to be or whatever, mine said, by September 1, 1979, I am the national expert in the field of personal development, and then later I had the one the top 10 in my category and so forth. But that goal, every time I looked at it, I thought, yeah, that's what I want. That's it.
-Dwelling on that goal, is that how you were able to reshape your thought pattern?
-Yeah, this is every day and every night.
-OK, well, that's huge.
-Every morning and every evening.
-So you're reshaping your thought diet every day?
-And you could say, well, Jim, you knew what was on there, you didn't need to look at it. Yes, I did, every day I needed to look at it again and again and again. It's just like I told Paula I loved her when we got married, and I've told her again since then.
Well, I already told her. She knows, why would I have to remind her? It's not about reminding, it's about refreshing. It's about saying once again what I feel. I love you, and when I say I love you, it reinforces the loving feeling in me, so I get it and she gets it at the same time.
-Jim, this is huge.
-So it's important to me to say it.
-This is huge.
-So I've got the goal, I've got the five traits. Now let's flip it over. The backside of the thought [INAUDIBLE] you write mental, physical, family, social, spiritual, career, financial, emotional. OK, that's eight categories, major categories of your life. And you take each one of those categories and you identify one, tiny, starter step to get you going and growing that part of your life.
-Read them to us one more time.
-Mental, physical, family, social, your interactions with other people, spiritual, your belief system, career, financial, your money, and emotional.
-OK. And you take those little baby steps in each of those categories?
-Yeah. And emotional, joy, sadness, and love, and warmth, and all emotions. So you think about each of these and you set a baby step in each one. For example, for me, mental. I wanted to read more in order to become this kind of person that would achieve that goal, attract and achieve that goal, because it's about being magnetic to draw it to you.
Mental. I needed to read more. So I wrote I will read one page of one of the books on my reading list today. One page, Jim, how lame can you get? But that's all I needed.
-To start, to read one full page, takes a little bit of a commitment, and it also gets me started and I keep wondering what's on the other side of the page.
-So maybe I'll go to the next one.
-So I'd read a whole chapter, two or three or five.
-And you did that with every area though?
-Every single area. Physical, put on my running shoes, walk out to the curb.
-Those little baby steps.
-Family, spend 10 minutes in meaningful conversation, with Paula and with Jim Jr. every single day. Ten minutes. And I did that.
-That is so good.
-And you think, 10 minutes? How trivial! No! There are families that don't have 10 minutes of meaningful conversation a year. Social, find someone and, what was it, it was about complementing. I don't remember exactly how I said it back then, but it was about finding something to compliment for another person every day. So I was constantly complement shopping.
-Oh hey, nice ear!
-That's so kind, Jim. Nobody's ever said that to me. I'm touched. I'm touched. This is huge though. Again these are action items guys. These are things specifically that we can do today.
-And this is huge. So I want to, in closing, I want you just to be able to talk to the thriver right now who's watching. This thriver who's ready to change their thought diet, maybe change their physical diet, but definitely change their thought diet. And what do you say to them as they're burning the boats behind them and starting in this journey? What do you say to them as they're becoming that person they want to be?
-Don't try. Yoda told you. There is no try. There's do or don't do. Don't try. Don't try to quit smoking. Just become a non-smoker. Never smoke again. Ever. No matter how much it hurts. Right? Don't try to lose weight. Become slender. Slender people don't behave like fat people that lost weight. Become a slender person. Don't try to be a better parent. Be a better parent. Whatever it is you decide you want as your goal, write it on the front side, identify the qualities you need in you to attract that goal and then start your baby steps list. And then do it every single day. Every single day.
-Jim, thank you so much for this encouragement and this wisdom. Thank you.
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