Now that you have completed the first thirteen chapters and the exercises for each chapter, you should have a general idea of the person you want to become. In this chapter we will help you formulate details of your new image and give you a clear cut path to develop into that new person.
It is now time to build a Thought Process Chart. The Thought Process Chart is made up of three simple columns. In the first column is a listing of negative thoughts; the second column contains neutral thoughts and the third column is made up of positive thoughts.
The two outside columns illustrate the two extremes of an individual's thinking. On the left side are the negative, unforgiving, limiting, myopic, selfish, fearful thoughts, and on the right are forgiving, selfless, option filled thought processes. You may have some additional positive thoughts that you want to incorporate into your new life. You should add them to the list in your workbook. The middle list contains average thoughts which are neither positive nor negative.
During the process of building a new self-image, keep this chart in mind. If you are trying to improve your life, your new self-image will likely have positive attributes. Although we will be going into great detail on how to create this new life for your future, you can begin to practice these positive thoughts now. It is going to require a tremendous amount of practice to make these thought processes a natural part of your life, so why not start practicing thinking differently right away? This creates the positive neuroplastic changes in the brain that can then fulfill your new self images...
...Your goal is to build a more developed, mature self-image which includes kindness, forgiveness and a genuine interest in others. Without a dedicated effort to change, everything you have written down and spent time contemplating becomes just another exercise in self-pity designed to keep you wedged right where you are. Remember, your autobiographical accounts are a means to an end: it is removing your past patterns to make room for the new. They served only to identify what to change. Writing, in and of itself, does not change anything. Change requires that you actually do something different...
...Ask yourself if your day reflected your definition of a successful life. Are you satisfied that you are a changed person? Remember, you are what you think. What were you thinking today?
If your answer does not match your new self-image, resolve to make a better attempt the next day. If you find that your thoughts are as self-centered as when you began, start over the following day. Do not be discouraged. Never forget that those fail are those who stop trying altogether. To the contrary those who keep trying always succeed, and anyone can succeed as long as he is willing to keep trying. Things that come easy usually don't have much value. Lasting happiness has infinite value but, takes hard work to attain.
Examine the right column of the Thought Process Chart, apply those values and thoughts in your life, and look to be a force for goodness and to do service for the people around you, and rate your thoughts and actions each day. Then, each night think about how your new thoughts and actions match, or do not match, your new internal and external self-images. Spend each day matching your new thoughts and actions to your desired self-image. Make your desired self-image a reality.
Now it is time to begin creating more detailed long term goals.