I know Yogi was talking about baseball and I know hearing this makes you scratch your head and say, “What?” This was just one of the many “Yogi-isms” Berra was well-known for, but in reality it is also about as close to an accurate percentage as you are going to get when talking about mental game. I have heard all different numbers thrown around to suggest the effect that your thoughts have on performance, up to 90%. It is true that thoughts have a huge impact on how you perform, not only in baseball or other sports, but in life; as an employee, as an entrepreneur, as a salesperson, as a mother, as boyfriend, as a sister, and perhaps most importantly as an individual.
Our entire environment is the product of thought. Before the industrial revolution there were no mega-cities, no need for skyscrapers to accommodate the influx of new residents and workers, but this one thought created a new world. Before the agricultural revolution, many cultures were nomadic traveling from one grazing field to the next until the thought of sustaining a location through irrigation changed the reality. Society is an outgrowth of thought, and we have slowly been building upon the thoughts of previous generations, translated into reality, to discover more and more possibilities.
That is why it is so important to guard your thoughts to believe in new and greater possibilities. Many people are turned off by the “positive mental attitude” and “positive self-talk” information out there that seems to come with some air of mysticism and trickery, but what I am referring to is not simply blind optimism. Consider the world around you, a world that a mere 50 years ago would have seemed impossible; G.P.S, Personal Computers, Overnight Shipping, Amazon, E-Bay, all of this makes our lives so much more convenient and opens up new possibilities for growth and opportunity. In truth, to say that our thoughts shape our realities is not merely feel-good rhetoric, it is the world we experience every day.
Thoughts are precious things, they have the power to create, to shape the world. They have the power to build up those around you into successful, productive, and happy individuals or lead them down the path of self-doubt, loathing, and misery. To prove that a strong mind is the greatest power on earth you have only to wake up to an alarm clock, or turn on a computer, or go to the zoo. To believe in your future you have only to look in the past of the lives of the greats that came before us or look now to those climbing the ladder of success. Strengthen your mental game and your performance will follow when you act upon your new thoughts.