During these stressful times, I want to remind you how important it is to stay focused on what you want your life to stand for.
If you aren't sure of your direction, you are likely to be thrown off by every curve in the road–an unexpected busy schedule at work, a family member getting sick or a crisis in the world, such as the all-too-frequent terrorism tragedies of recent days.
To avoid that tendency, it's absolutely essential to consciously choose your direction and purpose and create positive habits to support your life's vision. Everything you do in your life has the potential to become a life pattern.
This is why it's necessary for you to reflect on your choices–the things you do, the words you speak, and the thoughts that are running through your mind–to make sure that if they become habits they will be the thoughts, actions and words that support your life vision.
The great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, said, "Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis." Sometimes it's tempting to discount positive thinking because it doesn't last. In my view, that is all the more reason to persist with it. After all, what is the alternative? If chronic negative or delusional thinking becomes habitual it can lead to mental illness. Your habits can be challenging to break because they are etched into your subconscious mind as "normal." Fearful, sad, anxious, unproductive or angry thinking can become an identity and color your whole reality dark.
Your Thoughts Habits Create Your Identity
There is only one anecdote for mental and emotional pain and that is love. Often when global tragedy strikes, what we experience in the wake of the heartbreak is a deep sense of love, caring and coming together.
Likewise the only remedy for your personal suffering is love and accessing a higher perspective. Whether you are struggling with your weight, relationship or emotional pain, the cure is opening to a higher perspective within yourself—one that allows you to connect to and feel a greater love all around you—that encompasses you.
From this greater level of awareness that can become available to you through prayer, meditation, communing with nature or self-hypnosis, it is necessary to ask your highest level of consciousness to show you and grant you wiser, more loving and truer thoughts, words and actions.
The final step, then, is to act on your highest insights. It's at that point where it often becomes necessary to pray for courage and strength.
Prayer "works" much like positive thinking does. It is not a formula in and of itself for life change but rather a means to help you to make the changes you need to make. If you would like to lose 30 lbs. you may pray for guidance. Through that prayer, it may become apparent to you that you are overeating as a way to justify your sorrow left over from a lifetime of disappointments.
However, you are still in the habit of pulling into McDonalds whenever you pass the golden arches, or making a beeline for the bakery section of your local grocery store, despite your promise to yourself to stick to the items on your shopping list.
That doesn't mean that the prayer didn't work. It means that you have not taken the next step yet, which is to re-program your thinking to do things differently than you have in the past. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Yet, isn't that what so many of us do in our own lives?
If you want to avoid fast food places and bakeries, you have to condition yourself to see yourself and food in a new way. If telling yourself, "I'll just have this one little piece," or "I'll only eat this one more time and then never again," is something you've done hundreds of times only to watch your waistline grow larger by the minute, it's time to use a new tactic. It's time to change your inner thinking so you just don't want those foods anymore. This is absolutely possible. It is just as easy to convince yourself that you need to eat ice-cream as it is to remember that you don't want ice-cream anymore. It's just a different thought habit. Thought habits create habits of action.
Thought Habits Create Habits of Action
This is true in all areas of our lives. What we focus on grows. If you focus on your loneliness, you are likely to feel even more lonely. If you constantly remember the pain someone inflicted on you, that anguish will be amplified.
What makes these facts even more challenging is that the human mind tends to default to the negative. That's why more than ever you need to flood your mind with positive and productive thoughts and remember all the good that has touched and guided your life.
The part of you that wants to convince you that the positive is less true than the negative is simply the dominating nature of the darkest part of the human self. The truth is that the light and the dark both exist but the quality of your life will be completely different depending on which part of the self and the world you allow to drive you.
As Zig Ziglar reminded us so beautifully, motivation doesn't last. However, motivation, faith and positive thinking are essential if we want to be uplifted and live the highest level of life possible for ourselves whether that be in the area of health, relationship, work or contribution to society. What we experience with our five senses each day can leave us feeling hopeless, at times. And yet, where there is darkness, there must be light. Where there is sadness, there must be hope. Where there are self-defeating habits and painful consequences, there is the possibility for healing, transformation and upliftment.
Go Beyond the Fearful Repetitive Mind to Your Loving Heart
If you could have made the change with your conscious mind alone, you already would have. Go within each day, practicing whatever form of self-hypnosis you are comfortable with. Go beyond the chattering, fearful, repetitive mind and connect with your vast, beautiful, loving heart.
There, see yourself and your life and all the "characters" in your drama with greater compassion and the highest intentions. Remember the good that you and the other players in your life have rendered and will offer still in the days ahead, if given the opportunity.
See yourself happy, strong, healthy, generous, safe, prosperous and connected with all of life. Know this is a turning point for you and make a decision to take the highest road—to choose the thoughts, words and actions that will lead to the greater outcome you are desiring. As the great Mahatma Ghandi taught, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
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