Repeat phrases to yourself as a form of training. One good place to practice your slotras is in your car. You can say them out loud with as much feeling as you want without scaring other people. Repeat things you would like to get in the habit of thinking. Over time, those phrases will feel more natural to you and come to mind when you need them.
Even this idea isn’t new. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone suggested it in their book Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude. They called phrases you repeat to yourself “self-starters.” They recommended you say these statements to yourself over and over rapidly. One of the self-starters they recommend is, “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!”
They suggested saying a statement to yourself fifty times in a row every morning. And what happens? That thought comes into your mind when you need it. You have practiced thinking it. It has become comfortable and familiar and comes into your mind easily.
Whether you use this tool for a task you’re about to do, or to train your mind to think differently in the future, the tool is easy to use and works beautifully. As Napoleon Hill wrote:
Follow the instructions, no matter how abstract or impractical they may, at first, appear to be. The time will soon come, if you do as you have been instructed, in spirit as well as in act, when a whole new universe of power will unfold to you.
You can change your state. You can turn despair into determination, wishy-washiness into resolve, anxiety into courage, anger into compassion. This is not one of many basic tools. This is one of very few basic tools, and this is one you’ll find extremely useful.
You can take over your own thoughts any time. You are not the victim of what goes through your head, or at least you don’t have to be at any moment.
One thing this tool can be used for is to put your focus on a purpose, or the task at hand. Concentration is important. The statement, “I’m going to kill the bear,” would not only give the men courage, it would focus their minds on a clear purpose.
Figure out ahead of time what you want to be going through your mind in a particular type of circumstance. Practice the thought when you don’t need it. This makes the thought easier to think when you do need it. Practice the thought. Make it smooth. Make it natural.
1. Think of a situation where you’d like to feel more focused or motivated, or to feel differently than you usually do in that situation.
2. Imagine being in that situation, feeling the way you want to feel.
3. Now ask yourself, “What would someone have to be thinking in that situation to feel that way?” What would you have to think to feel that way?
4. Make that thought into a good slotra.
And then, of course, practice that slotra often. You should be using this tool — practicing a new thought — several times a day. Make it a habit. Always have a slotra to practice. It only takes a minute, and you can do it walking, driving, shaving, eating, etc. Practice a new slotra three times a day for a month. More if it is really important. This tool gives you more control over your state of mind, which means your life will go the way you want more often.
To slice a tomato without a knife is not easy. You might even feel it is impossible. To change your state of mind without this tool is not easy, either. You might even feel it’s impossible.
The possibility of changing your thoughts is of enormous significance. The difference between someone who is ineffective and has a bad attitude and someone who is effective and has a good attitude is simply their mental habits. That's what makes the difference: What kind of thoughts they think most of the time.
What Would You Like to Feel?
A lot of “positive thinking” books of the old days concentrated on being cheerful and enthusiastic. But there are better states of mind for many situations. How about determined and focused. Or motivated. Open and relaxed. Curious and attentive. Kind and affectionate.
My point is: Don’t aim for cheerful and enthusiastic necessarily. Think about what state you really want to be in, and create your slotras to make that state happen. Enthusiasm is not good for every situation.
And you want your slotra to make that state happen. If you’re trying to create a slotra that makes you feel motivated, for example, your slotra should NOT be: “Be motivated.” Your slotra should make you feel motivated. The statement "be motivated" doesn’t motivate. Neither does "I want to be motivated." Do you see what I'm getting at? What thought will actually make you feel motivated? Make that into a slotra. What thoughts put the fight in you? What thoughts make you want to try? What thoughts fire you up?
“The world needs this!”
“They can’t keep me down!”
“I will come through. I won’t let her down!”
Robert E. Peary, the first man to reach the North Pole, tried and failed many times before he succeeded. He had a motto he repeated over and over, especially after his trip where he lost several of his toes: “I will find a way or make one.”
Imagine yourself with a goal that means everything to you. Imagine that it is very difficult. And then say that to yourself. Can you feel the determination the slotra gives you? Peary was extremely persistent in accomplishing his goal. He tried again and again, overcoming tremendous odds and finally reached his goal. Usually history books don’t explain why someone is determined. But I’ll tell you why: He had a good slotra. Why did others fail or die? They didn’t have a good enough slotra, or they didn’t have one at all.
What many people don’t realize is that determination can be generated. It’s not like you are either determined or not. You can create a state of determination; not for all time, but here in this moment. Just as you can’t make your spouse feel loved once and for all, but you can definitely do it in the moment and most any moment you choose.
You’re looking for a slotra primarily that aims your attention or changes your emotions. Or both. Having an important reason to succeed is motivating — and it allows for strong interpretations of events (that is, interpretations that make you strong, determined and motivated, as opposed to interpretations that make you weak, demoralized, or afraid).
Having an almost continual focus on your clear aim allows your thoughts to be preoccupied with (and always returning to) something positive, something future-oriented, toward accomplishment and action. This is the most powerful, positive way to protect yourself from negativity.
It’s not a coincidence that the most undemoralizing book in history (Think and Grow Rich) was written during the Great Depression — which could fairly be named The Great Demoralization.
The point of all of this is to use your slotras to aim your attention in a way that creates a positive frame of mind. And to use this tool every day, even several times a day. The content of your mind makes a huge difference in how well you can overcome obstacles. Use the tools at your disposal. The main tools to use are:
Antivirus For Your Mind
Read the next chapter: Slotralogy and Positive Thinking
This article was excerpted from the book, Slotralogy: How to Change Your Habits of Thought.