Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are? Your thoughts control your life. Stop and think about that for a second. Your thoughts control your life. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? Do you spend your time thinking about things that make you happy? Things that you're grateful for? Things that make you smile and laugh and feel good? Or do you spend your time worrying about the things that are wrong in your life? These are important questions because, seriously, your thoughts control your life. You've probably heard the phrase "What you think think about comes about." So if you spend the majority of your time dwelling on the negative things in your life, things probably aren't going to change any time soon. It's time to take control of your thoughts and take control of your life. I'll admit, it can be challenging but it can be done. It gets easier and easier the more you work at it. It basically comes down to listening to your feelings. If you feel bad, it’s probably because of something you’re thinking about. So whatever it is you’re thinking about, stop thinking about it. Stop dwelling on it. I know, I know, “But it’s important, I HAVE to think about it.” I have news for you . . . NO YOU DON’T! You have control over your own thoughts and you get to decide what you think about. And if what you’re thinking about is making you feel awful, it’s not doing you any good to think about it. If it’s a problem that you have to figure out and you can’t avoid it, then get yourself in a better feeling place before you think about it again. Go for a walk. Play with your kids. Put on your favorite song and dance around the room like no one is watching. Listen to your favorite comedian. Get yourself feeling better. Then maybe try thinking about it again. But don’t go back to where you were before . . . upset, overwhelmed, worried, stressed out. Tell yourself that you know the solution is out there and you’re looking forward to figuring it out. You know that you’re going to feel better once this is taken care of and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s stressful right now but once everything is taken care of, everything will be okay. Because everything will be okay. Trust me. It will.
This world is so crazy and we all get so involved with everything that’s going on in our lives and other peoples’ lives that we forget to take care of ourselves. I’ve had people tell me that it’s selfish to think of yourself first before anyone else. I know it seems like that’s the case but if you look at it from the right point of view, it truly isn’t selfish to make yourself a priority. It doesn’t mean that you’re mean to other people. It doesn’t mean that you totally ignore other peoples’ needs. It doesn’t mean that your family or your friends will think you don’t love them anymore. It’s actually quite the opposite. When you put yourself first, you are making sure that you’re happy. And when you’re happier, the people around you will be happier. And when the people around you are happier, you’re happier. The better it gets, the better it gets.
When is the last time you did something for yourself just because you wanted to? Just to relax and feel good. Enjoyed a cup of coffee. Sat on your porch and watched the sunset. Went to a movie . . . without your kids. Read a good book. Meditated. Just sat down and caught your breath for a second. Went for a walk. Seriously, when is the last time you did anything like that? I may be going out on a limb here but I’m guessing you need to do it more often. Life is supposed to be fun and it’s up to you to make sure that it is. Doing things that make you unhappy every single day only adds up to an unhappy life. It doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your life overnight. Just start doing one thing a day that’s just for you. Just one little thing. Something that makes you laugh. Or smile. Or relax and catch your breath. You don’t have to tell anyone else about it. All that matters is that it makes YOU feel good.
I think you’ll be happy you did.
I did it! I actually did it! I'm happy! Seriously. I'm not kidding! This is a big deal! If you've read my "About Me" page on this website, then you know that being happy has not been easy for me. I don't know why. I wish I could tell you why, but I don't know why. I have to be honest with you, it wasn't easy. There were a lot of good days and a lot of bad days. And a couple of really bad days. But I stuck with it, I refused to give up, and I did it! And now I can't believe how easy it is!
Did you know that the Universe knows everything that you want? Exactly how you want your life to be? You tell it with every thought you think; with every feeling you feel. And, yes, with every word you speak. The asking is already done. Now relax and RECEIVE what you have asked for.
Think about something you want (For example, I want more money.)
Think about WHY you want it. (So I can pay my bills and have some breathing room at the end of the month.)
Think about how you will FEEL when you get whatever it is you want. (Relief, less stressed)
Now, instead of continuing to think about what you want and why you want it, focus on how you will feel when you get it. Close your eyes, picture how life will be when you have what you want. Imagine how it will feel when you have what you want. Really focus. Really feel how good it will feel. Do you feel it?
Have you ever met anyone that loves their job? I mean, really, REALLY, loves their job? That's PASSIONATE about their job? Me either. I've heard these people exist but I've never met one. But I so badly want to be one of those people. When I first started writing this post, which I will admit, was a couple of months ago, I wrote this in my journal:
"I want something that I'm truly passionate about. I want something that I get excited about as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. That I love to do so much that I don't want to stop, even to sleep at night."
There's an old saying that you should never discuss sex, politics or religion in polite company. Well, rest assured that I'm not going to talk about sex or politics in this blog post.
So, let's talk about religion.
I have struggled with religion my entire life. Maybe "struggled" is the wrong word. I guess I should probably say that I just don't understand religion. No, that's not right either. I just don't "get it". I've never been able to understand why some people have such a complete and unwavering faith in God. I don't have anything against those people. I just don't understand why they feel that way and I don't. Do they know something I don't? Were they taught something that I missed out on?
My parents took me to church when I was growing up and I fought it every step of the way. I didn't want to get up on Sunday morning. I wanted to sleep in. And the only memory I have of going to confirmation classes is that they were on Wednesday nights and our Pastor wouldn't cancel it the night of one of the few Middle School dances so I had to miss the dance. Maybe that's what turned me off to religion (just kidding). But hey, I knew the 10 Commandments and I was able to rattle off all of the names of the books of the Old and New Testaments (and before you ask, no, I don't still remember them.) To me, church was just somewhere that my parents made me go where we sang songs and had to sit still while we listened to long, boring sermons that had absolutely nothing to do with me. Don't get me wrong, I learned the basics and knew that I was supposed to be good to others...yada yada yada...so the main lesson got through. But as I got older, I really struggled with whether or not I believed in God. If someone asked me, I couldn't really give them an answer. Did I believe that there was a man living in the sky that knew everything we did every second of the day? No, not really. I guess that was the only real image I had of God. If if I didn't have any proof that God existed, why was I supposed to trust that he would watch over me and make everything okay? And how did other people accept that so easily? Again, did they know something I didn't?
Since the day we were born, our parents have been teaching us how we should act and behave...
"Do unto others as you would have done unto you."
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
"Think before you speak."
"Always say 'Please' and 'Thank you'."
"Always do your best."
"If all the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you want to do that too?"
"You can't buy happiness."
"If you want other people to love you, you have to love yourself."
"Don't judge people."
"Everything happens for a reason."
"Don't be a sore loser."
"What comes around goes around."
That stuff stuck with us (we all know we're saying it to our kids) but how long did it take until we actually "got it"? Usually it took a couple of life lessons to realize what they really meant. But even with the best of intentions (and a lot of vague platitudes), our parents can't teach us everything we need to know about life. We still have to fumble through on our own and learn as we go. Given how the world is such a negative place (have you watched the news lately?) it's not surprising that so many of the people we come across every day seem so negative and unfriendly (can you say "road rage"?). I think we can all use a reminder about how to be truly happy.
Those of you that know me on Facebook know that I try my best to stay positive (if not, check out my page on Facebook: The P.A.C.E. Page - Positive Attitude Changes Everything). I try my best to share things that will remind people what a difference a positive attitude makes. With all of the self-improvement books I've read and audio-books that I've listened to, I really thought I had learned a lot about staying positive and being happy. But acting happy and being happy are two different things. As mentioned in my previous post, I recently decided to start studying Happiness so I could learn more about it and try to figure out why it seems like I've been chasing happiness my whole life but never quite catching it. The book I just finished reading has definitely made me realize that I am now headed in the right direction.