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Welcome to this podcast that will change the way you think, which will change how you feel, therefore, change what you can do, so you’ll get the results you are looking for. And now your host, founder of the Straightness Training Academy, Marijke de Jong.

MARIJKE DE JONG: “Well, that’s an impressive voice, with a very bold claim, right, that this podcast will change you. But here’s the thing, you know, when it comes to change, it’s like this: If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends, and only, if it’s broken from the inside out, life and transformation begin. This means we do not change until we’re ready. And it also means that readiness doesn’t come from the outside. You’re ready when you’re ready. And you’re ready when something inside shifts and YOU decide: “I’ve had it. Until now I did that, or I believed that, and now I’m going to think.. Feel... Do... or get something else. Now more! Enough! This has to stop." Threshold reached.

It’s like the threshold of a caterpillar, you know. At first, it will eat like crazy, and then it will create this comfortable cocoon, but at one moment in time, it wants to come out, and it really has a strong desire to come out, because of the tightness of the cocoon is that trigger for this desire. So, then, a small hole will appear in the cocoon and the butterfly starts to struggle to come out. But, and this is interesting, if we’re like, “aw, poor butterfly” and we start to help from the outside in, and make the hole bigger, so the butterfly quickly can come out, then it will have a swollen body and shriveled wings, and as a result, this butterfly spends the rest of his life crawling around, never able to fly.

So, this means two things: Number one: the butterfly is supposed to struggle, right, as the struggle pushes the fluid out of his body, into his wings. And number two: this struggling process, well, the butterfly MUST do it himself. Of course, we can show up as this butterfly’s cheerleader and do it with him, and say something like “hang in there, keep going, you’re doing great”, but here’s the thing, we can do it WITH him but we cannot do it FOR him. That’s just not possible.

Now, in general, change is most of the time not comfortable, because we enter the unknown and the unfamiliar. So the part of our brain that is called the primitive brain, or the primal brain, or the reptilian brain - whatever you want to call it - that part of our brain doesn’t like to leave and lose what’s familiar.

Now in the Straightness Training Academy, we call that part of our brain our inner crocodile, and he likes to keep things the same. He does NOT like leaving – loss – less – never, he likes to keep things as they are. But here’s the thing, you see, sometimes what’s familiar is not always what’s comfortable, or healthy, or useful, or beneficial. For example, old shoes are familiar, but when there’s a hole in them, they are not comfortable. Same with a bad relationship. Some people say it’s better to have a bad relationship than no relationship because our inner crocodile likes to know where it stands, and it fulfills the need for certainty and familiarity.

This means, the comfort zone is not always comfortable, right, so maybe better to speak about the familiarity zone, and then when it comes to change, we could say that change is about leaving this familiarity zone.

Now change is most of the time about breaking a bad habit, or replacing or letting go of a destructive thought-pattern, or it’s about transforming a familiar lifestyle that no longer serves us, or it’s about interrupting programs that were installed when we were a child but no longer help us as an adult. Or it’s simply about learning something new.

And with all these types of change, it’s like: when the student is ready, the master will appear. Or the teacher. Or the lesson.  But when are you ready? Well, you have to want it bad enough. Only if you want it bad enough, you’re ready for a change. When you’re desire is strong enough, you’re ready.

And here’s two things about desire, that we already noticed with the caterpillar. Number one: desire has to come from inside, not outside. And number two, desire can be triggered. And it can be triggered by something, and who knows what it might be. You see, sometimes desire waits and sleeps for something to happen, and maybe it’s a book, maybe it’s a lecture, maybe it’s a masterclass, a clinic, a seminar, maybe it’s a conversation with a friend, maybe it’s a song, a happening, an event, maybe it’s this podcast, who knows.

And that’s important, who knows. And the best advice I can give you is that I give my Instructors and Scholars, it goes like this: Welcome every human experience. You never know which one is going to turn it all on. And maybe it’s this podcast.

So let’s go back to the claim of the voice at the start of this podcast, yeah, let’s call him “The Voice”, I like that… The Voice that told you that this podcast will change you, well, it will IF, and it’s always IF, right, it will change you, but only IF it triggers a desire in you.

Therefore, I’ll be sharing a variety of triggers in this podcast and in the upcoming episodes, like ideas, concepts, tools, strategies, guidelines, examples, questions, practical tips, and so on, and then just see what triggers resonate with you. And then simply take what you want and leave the rest. Take what triggers you, and then do it your way! That’s also very important because you have to be super careful about doing what other people do, you know, because your inner crocodile, wants to rebel against anything that you haven’t truly chosen.

Remember, outside-in doesn’t work, like “You must do this! Don’t do that!” Uh, uh, won’t work. Or “Just relax! Don’t be scared” Won’t work!

So in each podcast, what I’d like you to do is to figure out what’s right for you. For your body, your mind, your heart, and soul. You’re the one to decide what you want to think, feel, do, and achieve, and in that process of deciding, put your inner crocodile on the leash! As he wants to take the easy way out, he wants to avoid pain. He doesn’t want to change. He wants pleasure, and he wants it now.

But if you have a strong desire to change, figure out what’s right for you, and the guiding principle of my coaching with both horses and humans is always: One size fits one, which means, it’s always a tailor-made approach, right? And that’s the reason that I keep studying, and keep reading, and keep researching because I’m always looking for ways to create even more possible solutions.

So in a way, I’m not your teacher. And I’m not your preacher. I’m your researcher. I am a forever student, I read books, I watch videos, study programs, and I pay attention to other experts. And you know, experts come in all shapes and sizes, and they all have something that appeals to you, and something that doesn’t appeal to you. But I’m always curious, and I get the best out of everyone because remember, if you judge, you will never understand, and those who understand will never judge… hmmm… something to think about… 

So my advice is to use this podcast, and the variety of concepts that I’m going to offer in the upcoming episodes, simply like this: take what you want, and leave the rest.

Now, Marc & I are always looking for ways to create new opportunities for learning for all of you. And for those who don’t know, Marc is my partner in life and business since 2004, though, I’ve known Marc for a long time, already somewhere back in the 80s. And recently, we came up with the idea of doing a podcast. So this is our first episode, the very first one that we’ve ever done. And initially, I was going to spend this whole first podcast giving you an introduction to what we’re doing at our Academy, and what it’s all about. But what I decided to do is just give you something that you can really benefit from, which is some practical stuff that you can apply immediately today, and what I’ll do is, I’ll mix our story throughout all of the upcoming podcast episodes, so you will get a sense of who we are, and what we do, and why we do it.

Okay, so let’s get started with the very first episode, and, in general, the podcast is about MINDSET, MOOD, MOTIVATION, and MASTERY, and we will cover all those categories from different angles in the upcoming episodes. But for now, let’s start with the MINDSET, as our brain is the most powerful tool on planet earth.

So today’s topic is all about the P.O.W.E.R.S. of the mind. And this is really a universal topic, it fascinates people both in the East and the West, and in all cultures, and it’s an ancient old topic. For example, Lao Tzu, who was an old master somewhere in between the 6th and the 4th century BC, already wrote about it and he believed that mastering yourself is true power and that the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation… now, how about that!

Okay, before I forget, there’s a whole list of authors who wrote about the P.O.W.E.R.S. of the mind, which you can find in the download that comes with this podcast. Just go to www.straightnesstrainingacademy.com/podcast1 . And in that download, you can see a bunch of quotes so you can see what they have to say about the most advanced and most sophisticated, most powerful tool on the entire planet: our brain.

Now, why is it so powerful? That’s because it works in two directions: It can be very constructive but it can also be very destructive.  And this is what I know about it. You see,  when I was 16 years old – and I’m 52 now – so for decades, I have been helping people learn how to ride and train a horse. And I discovered that the main thing that’s holding people back in their progress, it’s not their knowledge or their skills, but it’s their attitude and emotions – or in other words, it’s their mind and mood, their mindset and feelings. And because of this, they start to create a story they tell themselves why they cannot have what they want. They come up with a list of excuses, that they are too old, too young, that they don’t have time, they’re too busy, the time is not right, or it’s their horse, or it’s the horse’s past, or the previous owner, well the list is endless.

And back in those early days, many things used to puzzle me. I used to wonder why two riders, with the same age, who had the same education and live in the same kind of community, with the same family setting, with husband and kids, and they’ve got the same type of horse, with the same problems, they join the same training program, with the same services and support -and, here’s the thing, one is successful and the other is suffering. Or one becomes an instructor and the other quits.

Now that was my puzzling question: Why would this long list of circumstances be the same and the end result so different? So I asked myself, what’s the difference? Why would this one rider do well? What’s the difference? And here’s the answer: It’s not the conditions that shape a rider’s destiny, it’s the decisions they make. If they decide to work really hard on themselves, and if they’re committed to finding a way no matter what, they will end up with a different result than the riders who spend time on finding excuses why they cannot have what they want, and who spend time on blaming and complaining and making up a story why it isn’t their fault.

And I’ve been investigating this phenomenon a lot, and already 12 years ago, I wrote an eBook about it. It’s about two sisters - twin sisters actually - who experienced 100% the same circumstances but ended up with totally different results. And that’s because they use their brain in a completely different way. And see the show notes for a link where you can download this free eBook (www.straightnesstrainingacademy.com/podcast1). But one of the twin sisters uses the P.O.W.E.R.S. of the brain in a constructive way and the other in a destructive way. So it’s a choice of how we use our brain, but it’s the most important choice we have to make when we want to get the results we’re looking for.

That’s why Mastery of oneself is the highest value in our Scholars program in the Straightness Training Academy. Because only when we’re able to master our mindset, mood, and motivation, only then we can master our knowledge and skills, and our horse.

Now to master our mindset, we define six brain powers in the Scholars Program, so let’s go through them one by one in this Podcast, to give you a chance to benefit from those P.O.W.E.R.S. as well.  

Now the first brainpower is the power of perspective, and I will explain. Because you see, in the real world, there are so many stimuli coming at us, therefore, we each have a set of filters through which we see the world. We make a representation of the world to cope with the overwhelm of information. And as a result, we all look at the real world from a sort of selective perspective. We create, as I’d like to call it – a map of the territory - which is a concept of Alfred Korzybski, who was born in the 19th century. Now in this concept, the territory is the real world, it’s the situation, it’s a circumstance, an event, something that happens, it’s reality, and it’s most of the time a stimulus that we do not have control of, like the weather, the traffic, other people’s behavior, other people’s opinion, our horse’s opinion. And then often we use language that describes what’s happening, and with that, we create a map. So the map is the semantics. It’s about what we make things mean. It’s subjective. With words we label things, like: this is good, that is bad, this is right, this is wrong, my instructor is nice, my horse is naughty, and so on.

But here’s the thing: we have to be aware of our selective perspective on reality, and our limited representation of reality. And we have to be careful, as our map is not always correct or accurate or factual.

And there’s this interesting story to make this more clear. It’s a story about 6 blind men and an elephant. And these men have never come across an elephant before and they’re going to find out what the elephant is like by touching it. So none of them were aware of its shape and form. And they’re going to investigate it by touch. So the first man, whose hand landed on the trunk, said, "This animal is like a thick snake". And the second man’s hand touched the ear, and he said, “It’s like a kind of fan”, you know, this ventilator blade.  And the third man, whose hand was upon a leg, said, “The elephant is a pillar like a tree-trunk”. And the man who placed his hand upon its side, he said, “The elephant, is a wall". And another, who felt his tail, described it as “a rope”. And the last man felt the tusk, and said, “The elephant was like a hard spear”. So each blind man felt a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part. So as a result, they start to disagree. And they even suspect the others to be not telling the truth, you know! It even became a conflict, almost violent. But then, a man how can see shows up, and he describes the entire elephant from various perspectives. And then the blind men learn that they were all partially correct and partially wrong. They discover that while one's subjective experience is true, it may not be the totality of truth.

So the moral of the story is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on a limited and subjective experience and a selective perspective. And we go into this: You’re wrong! I’m right! And we enter the house of judgment, you know, we lose our sense of curiosity. But as I said before, if we judge, we will never understand, because we will ignore other people’s opinions, which may sound like the complete opposite, but might be equally true.

So I love this story, as it shows the importance of complete context and that the map is not the territory. And those who understand this concept will never judge, right, they will always be curious. They know that you never should base your judgment on one side of the story, or on gossip, or on a rumor. We have to listen to the other side, and open up to another perspective, and be willing to see the complete context.

Now, in the download, you can experiment with this concept. And this time it’s not a tactile exercise, but a visual one, and it’s not an elephant but a woman. Just go to straightnesstrainingacademy.com/podcast1 and grab the free download and see the picture of the woman in the pdf. And you can also find this picture and an explanation in Stephen Covey’s book about the 7 habits of highly effective people – a brilliant book, by the way, a must-read, and ­­I will list it in the show notes – but just look at the woman and then ask yourself: How old is this woman? And once you are 100% sure about your answer, then challenge yourself by asking yourself: What if the opposite is true? So if you think it’s an old woman, ask yourself, could it be that she’s young? And if you think she’s young, ask yourself, could it be that she’s old? It’s such a brilliant exercise to experience a total shift in your perspective, a total mind shift, a paradigm shift Stephen Covey calls it, and that’s really a shift that comes from the inside out.

Now, also with our horse we have to listen to the other side, and open up to our horse’s perspective, and be willing to see the complete context. For, example, consider this horse that hops from owner to owner, it’s a so-called ‘rescue’ horse, and it comes with this baggage, with some deeply ingrained habits. And it’s this horse that succeeds in everything he tries to do, all the unwanted behavior you can imagine. Like, escaping from the field. Chewing on your reins. Ruining your reins. Pulling the longe line. Breaking free. Bucking. Rearing. Getting rid of the rider.­­ I’m sure you know such a horse.

And most people label such a horse as a “problem horse”. They tell you that the horse is not listening. He’s naughty. He’s a bad boy. He’s out to get you. He’s annoying. He’s driving you nuts. But that’s just an opinion, right, it’s their side of the story. It’s their selective perspective.

But here’s this brilliant key phrase – it goes like this: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. And it’s from Wayne Dyer, I love it. So let’s look at this horse from another perspective. Let’s create another map of the territory.

So, what if we label this horse as a “winner”! You see, these types of horses are going to try and try and try until they figured out what’s working. And they don’t stop until they figured it out. I have such a horse, it’s Prince Elmelund, he’s very clever in finding things to get what he wants: how to open a gate, how to go over things, under things, around things, through things. He’s so clever and very gifted, very talented, very intelligent.

But it’s often the most talented and intelligent horse that is labeled ‘annoying’ or ‘stubborn’. And at the same time, it’s these magnificent horses that get ‘ruined’ because of our selective perspective and because we create this impoverished map of the territory. A map where there’s only one option: passively waiting for our horse to change by itself. Waiting for our horse to behave. And if he doesn’t, we make up a story that our horse is a “problem horse”, that he is ruining our lives. And we feel like a sort of victim of our horse, seeing our horse as a villain, or a perpetrator, that he’s out to get us.

It’s this absolute-truth thingy of the blind men and the elephant, where we believe that our horse is the problem, and we’re convinced that it’s not our fault, it’s the horse to blame, he is responsible, we’re not, we’re a victim. We’re helpless, hopeless. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to handle this horse. We’re miserable in the land of learned helplessness.

But call on the power of perspective. Remember the phrase of Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Now to help us do that, we can ask ourselves three powerful questions. And these are universal questions, I didn’t invent them myself, and they are all used by the authors that I mention in the download that comes with this episode - masters like Richard Bandler, Byron Katie, Steven Covey, Tony Robbins to name a few – and here are the questions.

Question #: What else could this mean? That is a brilliant question to create a shift in perspective.

Question #2: Is this true? Remember the elephant story: is it a soft snake, or a hard spear, or a rope? So ask yourself, if you think something, is this true?

Okay, question #3, also a brilliant question, it goes like this: What if the opposite is true? Wow! What if WE drive our horse crazy? What if WE are difficult? What if WE are stubborn and annoying because we’re using too much, too long, too often, sudden, steady, annoying pressure?

So, maybe it’s not our horse’s job to change, maybe WE need to change. And that brings us to brainpower #2! For things to change WE need to change, so we need to own our self-transformation.

Now before we dive into the power of ownership, let’s go back into history. So in 1493, Christopher Columbus’ sailed for the second time to America, and he transported 20 fighting horses and 4 mares. And it was a huge journey, and he sailed from Spain all the way to North America. And the years after that, he shipped even more stallions and mares - sometimes over 100 horses in one transport - over 3500 miles - can you believe it! And nowadays, we cannot load a single horse on a trailer to travel 5 miles. So, that’s something to think about, you know.

And here’s another historical fact: Millions and millions of pack animals and cavalry horses have been serving in WW1 and WW2, to transport troops, to pull cannons and supplies, and they worked in extreme conditions, war conditions, weather conditions, they faced rain, and mud, and freezing cold. But nowadays our horse cannot transport and carry us in the riding arena on a nice and sunny day. Something to think about.

And here’s another one: So on the battlefield those cavalry horses, they really fought like heroes and they could be taught to lie down and take cover at the sound of cannon and gunfire. But nowadays, we cannot even lower the head of the horse into forward down because of our poor pressure/release technique. Hmmmm.

But if we know what horses are capable off, if we look at history, then maybe we should not wish things were easier, maybe we should wish we were better.

So, in other words, ”It’s Always Me, Myself, and I”. In the Straightness Training Academy we say, “It’s Always Us” For things to get better, we need to get better. And I wrote an article about this, it’s called “It’s Always You” and you can find it in the show notes, there’s a link to this article.

So, better is not something we passively wish, it’s something to become. It’s this inside-out self-transformation, which brings me to brainpower #3, which is all about inner wisdom.

Now according to Google, the opposite of wisdom is stupidity. It’s like what Einstein said – he said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. How true! It's like: If you keep doing what you’re always doing you’re going to keep getting what you’re always getting. So, for example, if you keep using too much, too long, too often, sudden, steady, annoying pressure, then your horse keeps being this nippy, pushy, and resisting horse. Because if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. And what you always got, you call that your ‘problem’.

But don't wish for fewer problems, wish for more wisdom. The power of wisdom. Now how do we gain more wisdom? Simple: become as your horse. Become a winner! This means, adopt a high figuring out state! Step into the world of trial and error Check what’s working and what’s not working. And then keep what’s working and change your approach when it’s not working. Then you might ask me: How often? How often do I need to change my approach? The answer is: until. You change your approach until your horse understands what you want and is motivated to do it.

So just be like Prince Elmelund: find a way to go over, under, around, or through it. Don’t passively wait for your horse to change by itself. Instead, change your approach. Change your way of doing things. Change your way of applying your aids. Change the way you present your request. Because it‘s not your best intentions that matter most, it’s the perception of your intention. How your horse perceives what you’re doing is what makes all the difference in the world.

Now here’s a nice story to illustrate that: Remember how Alexander the Great changed his approach with the horse Bucephalus. And this horse was a massive creature with a massive head, and a blue eye, an­­d his breed was the best of the best. Now the horse was offered to his father, the King of Macedon. And he was offered for a remarkably high sum, but the horse refused to be mounted, how about that. No one could tame the horse, so, the King was not interested. However, his son, Alexander, was. And Alexander was given a chance to tame Bucephalus, and this is how he did it: He changed the general approach in three ways.

Number 1: He started to speak soothingly to the horse. Number 2: He turned Bucephalus towards the sun so that he could no longer see his own shadow, which had been the cause of all the stress. That’s what Alexander had figured out, brilliant observation! And that’s what we always say in Straightness Training: observe first, produce later. Now here’s number 3: he dropped his fluttering overcoat as well because that was also a cause of the distress. And that’s another amazing observation of Alexander, he was really very good at noticing what happens before what happens happens, and that is such a quality to have as a horseman or a horsewoman. Then, by changing his approach, Alexander successfully tamed Bucephalus, and he won the horse.

Now the King, his father, was so impressed, that he said: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you" And that was such an empowering belief that was installed in Alexander, and as a result, by the age of thirty, Alexander had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to India. And Bucephalus carried Alexander all the way from Greece to India.

So don’t worry if you have a so-called “problem horse”, because it’s a gift in disguise, it’s a “winner horse”. And a winner horse ‘forces’ us to be creative, to think outside the box, to enlarge our map of the territory, to widen and broaden our perspective, and to find ways to put the qualities of our horse to work for us instead of against us. It really triggers us to change ourselves. To become a better version of ourselves. To become a better, more creative, more inventive, more resourceful horse trainer.

And that’s the cool thing when it comes to training horses: It’s not what we get in the end, but who we become. And to become better, we have to realize that it’s not what happens to us that matters most, it’s what we choose to think about it.

This brings us to brainpower #4: the power of essence. Now this power is about realizing that essentially, all thoughts about our horse, or about a situation, are optional. THOUGHTS. ARE. OPTIONAL. These 3 simple words have the power to alter our life. By understanding that we have the innate choice of how we respond to a situation, well that can shift a bad day in the riding arena to a productive day, learning how to rebalance a challenging interaction with our horse. You see, with a snap of the fingers we can go from having a bad day in the riding arena to a day of personal growth. To a day that has meaning and a purpose because it teaches us something, and it helps us to become a better version of ourselves.

So remember the essence that THOUGHTS. ARE. OPTIONAL. This means we can attach different thoughts to what happens. We can choose to believe it’s a problem horse or decide that it’s a winner. And we can choose to believe that there’s a reason why this particular horse crossed our path. And we can choose to believe that this horse showed up for a reason. Or for a season. Or for a lifetime. We can choose to believe that there’s a purpose and a lesson to be found and that it doesn’t happen to us, but for us. Simply said: We can choose what things mean. We are free to choose any thought we want. Who cool is that!  That’s so empowering! We can stand guard at the door of our mind. And then, when we make choices that serve us we are managing the most amazing tool on the planet. And then our brain will work for us and not against us.

So do you have a problem horse or a winner horse? Well, that’s totally up to you, to decide. And do you have a bad day in the riding arena or a day of personal growth, well, the choice is yours? THOUGHTS. ARE. OPTIONAL. And you’re the one who decides what things mean.

And this also relates to brainpower #5, and this power is about using our ability to respond. Now the opposite of responsibility is the victim mentality. And we all face difficulties, hard times, setbacks, problems, failure, fear, and suffering. But we also have a choice how to perceive it and how to cope with it. We can perceive it as a terrible trauma, or we can perceive it as a gift in disguise. Or we can choose to give in and give up, or we can choose to see it as an opportunity to grow and transform.

So when we face this challenging horse, that came into our life for a reason, or a season or a lifetime, then when we have a limited map of the territory, and we label this horse as a “problem horse”, and we are judgmental, telling him he’s a bad boy, and we passively are waiting for change, then we easily feel bad, mad or sad.

And these emotions often trigger our inner crocodile and our survival instinct, so then we start being reactive, which means we’re going into this state of fight, flight, or freeze. And when we start to fight, we go against our horse, which makes things even worse. And when we go into a state of flight, we start to avoid and escape the situation, for example, we’re not going to train our horse, or we might even sell our horse. And when we freeze, we feel helpless and hopeless, and we start telling ourselves that we don’t know what to do, and then we enter the space of learned helplessness, asking ourselves things like “Why is this happening to me?” or “Why me?” And then we easily end up as a victim, blaming our horse for our misery. But when we go down this road, we give away all our P.O.W.E.R.S. We feel disempowered, and nothing changes, because we don’t change.

But if we change the way we look at things, we can stop living on default and start living on purpose and take responsibility, and then, instead of being judgmental, we become curious. We can open up and widen, broaden and deepen our perspective. And this way, we can enrich our map of the territory, and see more opportunities, possibilities, options, choices. And one of the options is to perceive our horse as a winner. And then we’re glad we have such a gifted horse. And then we’re glad that we can learn so much from all the challenges that come with this horse.

And this way,  we’re no longer reactive, but we can become proactive in our responses. So instead of going into fight, flight, freeze, we start to figure out a plan, something that fits the situation, and then we flow into action. So instead of fight, flight, freeze, we start to figure out a plan, something that fits the situation, and then we flow into action. So instead of fight, flight, freeze, we’re going to figure out, fit and flow! And this way we shift from learned helplessness to learned resourcefulness.

And that, my friends, leads to brainpower #6: when we become resourceful we show up as - what we say - a Sherlock Holmes, as a detective, as an investigator. And the Scholars in my Scholars Program call themselves Sherlock Sisters, and I love that: they think, they study, they do research, they figure out a way, they check what’s working, what’s not working, they change their approach, they refine their horsemanship skills, and along the way, they learn how to do the right thing and how to do things right. And this way they become better, and as a result, their horse gets better, and that’s such an awesome process to witness.

So to recap the six brain powers: it’s the power of perspective, ownership, wisdom, essence, responsibility, and the power of Sherlock Holmes. It’s about enriching our map of the territory, owning our choices, changing ourselves from the inside out, finding meaning in every situation, taking 100% responsibility, and it’s about figuring out a way instead of an excuse.

You see, it’s not what happens to us or around us that matters most, it’s what we think about it. It’s what we choose to do with it. And we have a lot of options if we see them. You see, we don’t have to live in a default setting, where we wake up thinking the same thoughts, feeling the same ways, doing the same things. No, we can overcome our programs and our instincts. And we can swap being reactive for being proactive. And we can use our ability to respond and choose our responses. And we can give meaning to our experiences. And we can live life on purpose. And we can make choices, take chances, create changes, and make a difference. And that’s it!

And that’s it for this podcast! And I know I dumped a whole load on you. And that reminds me of a funny little story, and maybe you heard the story of the cowboy and the preacher. It’s very good preacher, and a lot of people used to come and hear him preach. And one Sunday, he went to a new place, and he expected a big crowd as usual. But to his surprise, nobody showed up. Until a lone cowboy walks in and takes his seat. And the preacher thought: “Well, at least I better go down and talk to the cowboy”. So he says, “I’m the preacher and I don’t now what to tell you, something’s gone wrong”. He said, “This place was supposed to be full of people”, He said, “I’m confused”. He said, “You’re the only one that showed up”. And he said, “I really don’t know what to do”. And the cowboy said “Well, I’m not a preacher, so I really can’t tell you what to do, you know, I’m just a cowboy”. But he said: “I know this: if I went out to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I’d at least feed it.” And then the preacher thought “Hey, the cowboy is right, if you’ve got a good idea to share, you should share it, if there’s one or a thousand”. So he got inspired and started to preach as if the church was full of people. Like he'd never preached before, and he went for an hour, an hour and a half, he just kept rolling, he’s so excited, and then he finally quits. And after his sermon he goes up to the cowboy, and he says "Well, cowboy what did you think of my sermon" and then the cowboy says, "Well I'm not a preacher, so I really can’t tell, you know, I’m just a cowboy, but I know this: if I went out to feed my cattle and only one showed up I’d feed it, but I wouldn’t dump the whole load on it.”   

So anyway, if it seems like I’m dumping the whole load on you in this podcast, I guess I am, but I guess you’re doing well, and to simplify the load, to simplify it in one core message, or one take-home line to remember - when it comes to this podcast about the P.O.W.E.R.S. of the mind - then I would say: THOUGHTS. ARE. OPTIONAL. So our friend “The Voice” is right: If you change the way you think, it will change how you feel, and therefore change what you do, which will change what you get.  

Okay, that’s it for now,  I appreciate your listening to this episode, so thanks so much for tuning in today. Have a beautiful day, everyone. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.”

Thank you for listening to the Marijke de Jong Podcast. It would be awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on Apple Podcasts. For any questions or more information, please visit us at StraightnessTrainingAcademy.com.

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