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How thoughts become things

You knew it then!

You knew it then…
By Douglas Vermeeren

Most of us understand that what we think about has a significant effect on the quality of our lives. Our thoughts not only effect how we experience the world, but the things we experience in the world. Thoughts do truly become things. The question that most people struggle with is the process of ‘How.’

As we think about the question of how thoughts become things we can find some interesting clues in the world around us.

Elizabeth Spelke is a professor at Harvard University. She has conducted extensive research over the last 30 years into the cognitive differences between human infants and other animal species. Among her incredibly interesting findings is that the key factor that contributes to our unique cognitive abilities is our capacity for language.1.

Are there clues to how our thoughts become things in infants and learning language? You bet there is.

Most infants begin to learn how to speak when they are around nine or ten months old. The words first they produce words are nouns. Nouns are things. Like “dada,” “Mama,” “ball,” or “baby.”

Soon they progress and begin to discover verbs. Verbs are action words. Often these actions are what the child understands they need to do to become closer to the original noun. These appear as words like, “up,” “down,” and “go.” They understand when they say “up to “mama,” “mama” will pick them up and they become closer to her.

Next the infant learns how to connect these nouns and verbs. While connecting these nouns and verbs they begin to add adjectives. Many of these adjectives are emotionally or sensory based. Adjectives like “yucky,” “yummy,” and “happy.” It would appear that the child has attached a quality to the nouns and the verbs.

The next thing that appears in the infants speech patterns appears to be time qualifiers. Time qualifiers are words like “now” and “soon.” Although the infant may not have an understanding of the full meaning of these words they grasp that they can reference time to things and actions.

So how does this connect to our understanding of how thoughts become things?

When we begin on the process of thoughts becoming things we follow the same course as a child learning to speak. We begin by considering the noun or the thing that we want.

Once we become committed in our thoughts to the noun of what we want, our mind begins to consider the verbs or the actions of what will be involved in attaining it.

After the noun and the verb are established, our mind begins to place an adjective or quality to the noun and the verb. In other words, we recognize that a certain quality of thing will require a specific quality of action.

Lastly, our mind places a time qualifier on the event. We begin to consider the time and effort commitments that will be required and when it may be possible to reap the fruits of the efforts.

By looking closely at how a baby learns to speak we quickly discover that our minds have been trained since the beginning to follow a logical process of creation that continues even today in our adult world.

Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. For more information and a FREE gift to increase your productivity go to and for more details on how this article can be applied to your personal success become a supporting member of The SUCCEED Research Center . Douglas Vermeeren is also the creator of The Neuroscience of Success program which is calculated to train your brain to create greater successes and achievement in your life. For more on How Thoughts Become Things go to:

1. PBS special, The Human Spark.

How thoughts become things

You knew it then...

2 Responses

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  1. This is a great article. I never considered this before but it is so true. Mr. Vermeeren I am very interested to know more about what you have to say, you have a very unique mind to be able to recognize and see so many interesting insights. I look further to more from the Succeed research center.

    David L.

    August 5, 2010 at 2:40 am

  2. Thanks for the post. Great thoughts. Isn’t it interesting to note that children don’t learn about putting things in the negative until later. What are your thoughts on this?


    August 5, 2010 at 2:41 am

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