The human brain is amazing! Not only is it the greatest problem solver, information storage facility, and inventor that exists anywhere, the human brain also has an ability no other computer in the world has: it can think about what it is thinking about it. This means that not only can the brain produce amazing things through its neurological thought processes, but it can analyze and decide if those thought processes are beneficial and it can redirect them in order to produce different results.
Long ago, philosopher Rene Descartes, summed up one of the fundamental truths about the human experience with the statement, “I think, therefore I am.” At Grand Key Education, we think there is great power in taking Descartes’s statement one step further. Not only does thinking mean that we exist, but we teach our students that we can actually change the quality of that existence by changing our thoughts.
Because every outcome in our lives is a result of our thinking, it might be more accurate to say, “I think, therefore I am what I am.” If you want a different existence, a fuller, more meaningful existence, then you have to change the way you think.
We are each, unique, self-governing, independently-thinking individuals. We each face mental choices every day—thoughts about what we believe about ourselves, our abilities, and our value—and these choices determine the richness of our lives.
Too many times, we believe that we are at the mercy of circumstances. We have learned to blame others for how we feel or how we behave or the outcomes of our lives. The trouble with this philosophy is that it leaves us powerless. When we understand that our thoughts are creating every result in our lives, then we finally get into the driver’s seat and direct our lives. What could be more empowering for our youth to understand? The keyto preparing today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders for successful lives and careers is to teach them the value and power of ownership thinking which then creates a life of personal responsibility. Here at Grand Key Education,we think the following powerful axioms are the way to create the life you want on purpose.
1. I think, therefore, I am responsible.
2. I think, therefore, I am a steward.
3. I think, therefore, I am able to do hard things.
I think, therefore I am responsible
First and foremost, I am responsible for me. I am the only one that can think for me. My thoughts create my feelings and those, in turn, create all my actions. I am responsible for who I am, what I say, how I act, and what I become. I am not a victim of circumstances, events or other people; the outcomes in my life are the results of my choices. I do not control all the circumstances or events in life but I do control how I will respond to them. I cannot shift or delegate this responsibility to anyone else. I, and I alone, am responsible for me.
I am a steward
I do not live alone on this earth. From the day I was born, I have been dependent on and benefited by the work and actions of others. Recognizing this vast interdependent system, I choose to see myself as a steward of the opportunities and resources afforded me and add to them for the sake of others. I fulfill my stewardship by respecting, preserving and protecting the life and resources on planet earth, the rights and freedoms of others, and by using my energy and talents to contribute and make the world a better place for all life on earth.
I am able to do hard things
I accept the universal law of nature: all living things are strengthened by struggle. I am not an exception to this law. By accepting this law I see that life was not supposed to be easy, and I can cast aside a host of unproductive, time-wasting reactions that impede progress and solutions. By taking ownership, and refusing to think like a victim, I can respond with faith and courage whenever I am faced with unexpected setbacks and adversity. Knowing the road to success is not going to get easier, I choose to work at getting stronger.
When we really accept that our thinking is determining all the results in our lives, then we can be empowered to be responsible for our actions, take care of the world around us, and even do difficult things—because we are finally in charge of it all!
A few years ago I read an article about a couple of brothers who opened some successful running shops in Michigan. They tried to help other shops be just as successful. Over and over, other shop owners would complain that “sales were down because running was down in their area.” Over and over again, the Hansons would say right back, “You do know you’re in charge of that, right?”
The Hansons took responsibility for all of it. Their outcomes were determined by their thinking. They were not victims to the Michigan winters or the lack of interest in running in their area. They took responsibility and they produced the excitement and interest. They started running clubs and marathon clinics and Saturday training runs. They followed local runners and cheered on high school cross country teams. By taking responsibility for their thinking, they made a huge contribution in their community as well. The Hansons understood that even when it was hard, they were still in charge of their results, and this empowered them to be highly successful. At Grand Key Education we are committed to helping young people understand that they are in charge of all the results in their lives. If they want it, they simply need to change their thinking so that they can take personal responsibility and create the exact results they wish would appear. This understanding will be absolutely life-changing and transformative for the youth in your life. Enroll your teen in the Own It! online course today and watch how changing their thoughts changes everything else. There is no greater gift you can give them!