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An Ignition Strategy for Powerful Thinking by Barbra Schulte



Barbra Schulte

Barbra Schulte

An Ignition Strategy for Powerful Thinking – Have you ever wanted to hang on to a thought you knew could make a big difference in not only your results but also in your joy?

If you’re like me, when certain great ideas come up you think, “Boy, I just need to remember that.”

Then you think about it for a few minutes, or maybe throughout a lesson … and then it’s gone until someone reminds you about it again … or you just happen to remember it somewhere down the road.

That would be me about a lot of things.

There is way, however, to integrate powerful thoughts into your automatic way of thinking. I learned of it several years ago during an interview with my mentor, Dr. Jim Loehr. He explained that one of the things that separate performers are what they say to themselves time and time again.

The key is the simplicity of consciously repeating a thought as so beautifully described in this quote: “A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.  ~Henry David Thoreau

I suggest you find a thought that feels calming, yet focused on what you want … and take the time to think that exact thought over and over again in a systematic way. If the thought is clear about what you want to accomplish and you feel empowered when you think it, you will crave the exercise. As you repeat the thought methodically it will soon become part of your natural thinking.

I’ve taken this idea to heart lately and have been dedicated to the repetition of the following idea sequence.

I had a thought about how powerful it was for me to go to a calm place within prior to almost anything I do (either on a horse or when I write, work on videos, etc,) and then once settled in, see in my mind what I want to accomplish. Then, I ask for help from above … and then I completely surrender the results to turn out as they may so I can focus on my job. I have no control over the results … only on my thoughts and actions.

For me, asking for help and surrendering the results are key elements in my personal sequence. Those two pieces linked together seem to lift a huge burden off of my shoulders. I feel light and I trust I have done all I can do so I continue on with the activity at the moment with focus and an open heart. The more I do this, the more I want to do it, so I am cultivating a “deep mental path” that is productive for me personally.

If the sequence of thought I explained above is interesting to you, try it. But that’s not the most important point I’m making.

Find a thought that rings powerfully true for you and repeat it often and systematically throughout today and for many days to come until it becomes a natural part of your thinking.

This is a dynamic way to make a lasting impact on how you think and therefore how you ride. And the best part is, you are in complete control of this process. It’s so simple.

Set yourself up for success with your thoughts.



Barbra is a personal performance coach for all riders, a cutting horse trainer, author, speaker, clinician and 2012 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee.  Visit her Blog and signup to receive her FREE monthly email newsletter, “News From Barbra”.  Go now to


This article was printed in Performance Horse Digest, Volume 9, Issue 5



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