“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” ~ Willie Nelson
I have been running across this concept of dealing with one’s outlook and inner thoughts and spoken words more and more lately. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel the universe brings us concepts when we are ready to appreciate and utilize them.
The concept is really simple to get when one is open to it. Say one is spending their time dreading a party—well guess what? That will become a self fulfilling prophesy that will grow inside of them until it manifests in real life.
What if instead the person was open to thinking, “There are a few people at that party that will be really interesting to talk to” or another positive statement such as this? You guessed it—this will become this person’s outlook when they walk into that party. And they may actually enjoy their experience!
And the very best part about it? It can be anyone’s choice to choose the second, more positive option. Further, once a person makes a habit out of thinking in terms like this, great things start happening. People become more attracted to positive people, doors that were once closed will open, and best of all—the person who makes a conscious decision to change the way they think becomes much more fulfilled with taking a positive role in directing his or her own life.
I’ve made up a short guide that is in no way all-inclusive of all situations possible, but here is a sampling:
1. Regretting the Past.
This is a frame of mind that many of us live in. It takes us out of the present, which could hold all kinds of potential, when we allow ourselves to dwell in days of yore that don’t conjure up fond memories.
When one thinks about this, it is easy to come to the conclusion that this isn’t a good idea, but then why do so many of us live in our negative memories of what could have been in a past that no longer exists?
I think the answer is as easy as human nature. If we are used to pining over a love lost, for example, it will be taking up brain space of the possibility of meeting someone new today. And the fact is that thinking of the past won’t change what happened. It will only occupy our precious thoughts of today if we allow it too.
Hopefully, we can agree that this is not ideally what most of us set out to do, and that it takes practice to gently refocus our energy on living in the possibility of the moment, but I believe it is worth each and every effort.
2. Projecting our thoughts on what will happen in an uncertain future.
I will say that some amount of fantasies about our goals for the future is a positive thing, but the future is not here yet and all we really have is today. Why not enjoy the moment right here and now that you are having?
Can’t we all hear the clock of today ticking while time passes us by while we think of things that are not guaranteed in the future? It is a good bet that if one doesn’t live in the moment that the moments of the present will become the regrettable moments of the past that I wrote of in the first example.
3. Blaming others for your present situation.
Sometimes accepting that where we are in life is not where we want to be is very difficult. It is so easy to blame a bad childhood, a lost opportunity of a certain job or relationship, or our living conditions on others in our past or present or even on the universe or god.
Accepting the truth—that we, as adults, are responsible for our current situations is imperative to getting on with a solution to our unhappiness—no matter how deep it runs.
What if the person who wronged us never seeks forgiveness or feels or acts righteous about the way that you feel they wronged you? This can be a tough pill to swallow, but I would advise that you forgive them anyhow so that you can move on.
The real truth is this—we can sit in our resentment and let that take over and color our present days, or we can decide that it is up to us to make the change. Yes this is a lot of responsibility and may sound daunting, but honestly trying to make someone else ‘pay’ for one’s present unhappiness only make one person unhappy, and guess who that one person is? It is the one who dwells with the bitterness.
Once we are aware that we are doing this, we have taken the first step to changing the path of our present and hopefully our future as well. It is up to us to make that change. And I feel that the sooner we decide to change, the better!
In actuality, this list could continue on and on, but I hope people reading will get the idea that this is about changing the polarity of their thinking. And in order to do that, one has to be conscious that they have a choice in the matter of how their own lives are to proceed.
Should we get angry or frustrated with ourselves if we find our minds drifting back to our old ways that are probably fairly ingrained in us if we haven’t thought of this concept in depth before? Nah, that would just be another regret to mull over. This is much like meditation and it takes a lot of work to bring out focus back to the present moment. In some ways it is a practice of living meditation. And it won’t always be easy, but it will be well worth the effort.
The point is to make a ritual out of guiding the center of our attention back to today from wherever it happened to drift off to. This way we will be able to see today’s opportunities and we can live a happier today that will attract the opportunities and people that we were meant to attract to join us on our journeys. If we do this enough it will soon become habit and we are on our way to changing our ‘todays’ into a collective more positive future as a whole.
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons user GDwuwen