How to Always Stay Positive, Part 1
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him” – Gautama Buddha
I recently watched a documentary called “The Secret” and one of the commentators, a writer named Mike Dooley, said three very profound words about the Law of Attraction: “Thoughts become things.”
Think about that. What if you simply change the way you think about the events of your life? Can a shift in perception of today’s moments impact the future?
If you were to ask me what I know for sure, my answer would be – nothing. If you ask me what I choose to believe based on the story of my life I would tell you three things:
- Our thoughts inspire our feelings
- Thoughts and feelings together inspire our decisions and actions
- Decisions and actions create our experiences
Emotional health is as important to life as physical health. You must acknowledge your truth and maintain awareness of experiences that cause anxiety, stress, or even pain. Respect it. Pay attention to where it exists in your body. Be true to yourself by privately allowing emotions to surface and pass. Finally, realize you are very much in control of how you feel in the present. I believe if you think and feel positive, you are more likely to give and receive positive.
As you go through your day, take a few minutes to listen to the ongoing conversation in your head.
You will need to really pay attention because we tend to think about problems all day unintentionally.
If you are saying to yourself, “I don’t do that!” or “Of course I think about my problems, I can’t help it!”, I propose a challenge. Take one thought and turn it from a declaration of what you “don’t want” to an expression of gratitude and a shift to what you “do want” – then see how you feel about it. Let’s try one together:
- Don’t Want: “I owe so much money in student loans!”
- Gratitude: “I am so grateful I was able to earn my degree!”
Amazing how a small shift in focus feels so very different. Now, what if we stretch it a bit and include the “do”:
- Do Want: “I am so grateful I was able to earn my degree! I will have these loans paid off in no time.”
The principle is the same; you want your loans paid off. However, the difference is in how you feel about present moment and the energy you are putting into the world around you.
The “don’t” focuses the energy of your thoughts and words on owing money, which inspires feelings of frustration and anxiety about the burden of debt. Subconsciously you may continue to make decisions which continue to produce debt.
For example, the new credit card you just opened to help cover expenses when you are short on cash. How about the weekend trip you could not afford but decided to book anyway because you need to relieve some stress? What about that payment you missed which incurred a $35 late fee? Like you had the extra money to waste! We’ve all been there.
The “do” approach puts your focus on what you actually want to happen and what you are showing gratitude for. Reminding yourself that you worked hard and are thankful to have an education sparks a feeling that you are a smart, hard working person – heck, you did make it through college after all! You can come up with a reasonable budget. Why not open a separate bank account and set-up auto-pay for all your bill payments each month? Then you know all your bills are paid, on time, and you even send in extra on that principle! Maybe you can take on a second job from home to earn some extra cash, write that book you’ve been thinking about, or position yourself for a promotion at work. Since you are not feeling stressed, you certainly have the confidence, energy, and mind space to take on extra responsibility! You never know what opportunities are available to you unless you are prepared to meet it when it shows up.
Let’s give it a try. The worst that can happen is you end up exactly where you are now. You don’t even have to tell anyone you are doing it.
For the next seven days commit to a Positivity Challenge. Acknowledge your feelings. Rephrase your thoughts. Communicate your needs. Express gratitude for what you have. I leave you with a quote:
“If we are to help heal the world, we need to remember that it is a sacred place. Our actions need to be positive statements, reminders that even in the worst times there is a world worth struggling for. We need to find ways to keep the vision alive, to acknowledge but not get caught in the dark side, to remember that even the worst aspects of suffering are only part of the whole picture. We need to enter lightly.” - Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush, Enter Lightly
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