You must master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. -Marianne Williamson
Like many others, and for a number of reasons, I often find it difficult to follow my dreams. Many times, I’ve wondered if it’s worth doing anything if it’s not supporting me financially. Plus, I have so many interests, that it’s difficult to decide what area of my life I should devote huge portions of my time cultivating.
I’ve worked many “real” jobs, all of them eventually leaving me feeling stuck and hopeless, so it’s obvious, when those inspirational slumps hit, that I should be doing something I care about, but instead of just doing it, I’ve tended to reason that it’s a waste of time, or it probably wouldn’t be successful anyway, and I should just avoid disappointing myself and others. I admit, I’ve been weak in this regard, but in a world where the pursuit of money is at the core of pretty much everything, I feel it’s somewhat understandable.
Each time I’ve “embarked” on a new journey to “follow my dreams”, I’ve been met with the same stumbling blocks, and damn it, they get me every single time. By nature, I am a moody person, and I have easily fallen prey to negative and self-defeating thinking, but I now know that it’s because I never tried to alter my thought process. To be honest, I’ve mistakenly thought that changing the way I think would mean being disingenuous to who I am as an individual, but that is plain silliness.
“But what if our unique interests and curiosity and our “special side” are more than mere indications of vocational aptitude? What if, by honoring and pursuing them with the intensity they ask for, we can be more fully the person we are meant to be?”
As individuals, we have the ability, the right, and the responsibility to be constantly changing ourselves for the better. This thought should be at the forefront of our minds as much as possible. It is too easy to fall into pits of negative thinking, to not be fully focused on the journey toward achieving our ultimate potential.
There is no denying that by choosing not to follow the desires of what I feel is my true self, I have done more damage, because I have wasted time. There are certain things that a person gets to know about themselves as time goes on. For me, writing needed to be a staple in my life, but it was going to take more than simply writing more often. I knew I had to make a much more substantial change in order to be myself completely. I had to change my thought process.
I’ve tried meditations, affirmations, and other positive thinking methods, but I tend to get bored with them too easily. I decided that I would make a new rule for myself: think a positive word every time I started a new action. There was no, “I am happy, I will succeed”. All I needed to start reprogramming my mind was a single positive word several times per day. Anytime I’d open the fridge, get in the car, etc, silently or out loud I would think, “Happy” or “Joy” or “Wealth”, and this seemed to be enough to let my brain know not to linger on negativity for as long.
I was actually quite surprised by the pleasant results of this practice, and it has made me want to pursue other, perhaps more advanced methods of positive thinking. Still, whether you are lazy, a doubter, or just don’t have a lot of time, this is a simple, casual method that taught me a lot about myself, so maybe it will work for you.
I’ve noticed that my focus is sharper and my contentment lasts longer without the intrusion of stress related feelings and emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I still get stressed out and pissed off, but I just use that as a reminder to think a positive word or six. Sometimes I’ll just rattle off positive words until I get bored or have to focus elsewhere. Through this method, I am always surprised at how easy it is to redirect my own thought process. I tend to forget about the immediate stress as my mind moves on to other issues.
My decision making ability seems to be bolstered as well. I recognized long ago that video games had become a hindrance for me, and I’d thought about getting rid of my equipment multiple times, but fear always held me back. I reasoned that I deserved to have some fun, but then I’d spend entire days going through some fictional land that I didn’t even create! Recently, after a few weeks of using the ‘positive word’ trick, I fully committed to the idea of getting rid of everything. At this point in time, I haven’t sold it yet, but I’ve already sold my television, so playing would be impossible even if I was tempted to give in. I thought I would be sad when I finally did cut myself off, but thankfully, it’s actually been quite liberating.
If you decide to try this method out, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. Do you have another process for staying positive?
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