“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
I have been running across the concept of dealing with one’s outlook, 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 simple to understand when one is open to it—Let’s say one is spending their time dreading a party—well guess what? This may become a self fulfilling prophesy that will grow inside of them until it manifests in real life.
What if instead, one is 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 one’s outlook when they walk into that party. And they may actually enjoy their experience!
Further—the very best part about it? It can be anyone’s option to choose the second, more positive stance. Once someone makes a habit of thinking in terms like this, great things start happening. People are 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 by taking a positive role in directing his or her own life.
I have made up a short guide about this that is in no way all-inclusive of all situations possible, but here is a sampling:
- Regretting the Past.
This is the frame of mind that many of us live in. It takes us out of the present, which may hold all types of potential, when we allow ourselves to dwell in days of yore that don’t conjure up fond memories.
When we thinks about this, it is easy to realize that this isn’t a good state to dwell in, but then why do so many of us live our lives saturated in our negative memories and pondering 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 lost love, for example, it will take up brain space of the possibility of meeting someone new today. And, thinking of the past won’t change what happened back then. 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 also agree that it takes practice to gently refocus our energy on living in the possibility of the moment. I believe it is worth each and every effort.
- Projecting our thoughts on what will happen in an uncertain future.
I think that some amount of fantasy concerning 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, instead, enjoy the moment that we all have right here and now?
We can all hear the clock of today ticking as time passes us by while we think of things that are not guaranteed in the future. It is a good bet that if we don’t live in the moment that the moments of the present may become the regrettable moments of the past that I wrote of in the first example.
- Blaming others for your present situation.
Sometimes accepting that where we are in life is not where we want to be is difficult. It is so easy to blame a bad childhood, a traumatic experience, the lost opportunity of ‘that’ job or relationship, or our living conditions on others in our past, 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 the solutions to fixing our unhappiness—no matter how deep the unhappiness runs.
What if the person who wronged us never seeks forgiveness? Or if they feel or act righteous about the way in which they wronged us? This can be a tough pill to swallow, but I feel that if you forgive them anyhow, 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 a 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 makes one person unhappy, and guess who that one person is? It is the one who dwells with the bitterness.
Once we are aware of our feelings, 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 those reading will come to the conclusion 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 can 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? Nah, that would just be another regret to mull over, and this may be a new concept for many of us. This is much like meditation and it takes a lot of work to bring our focus back to the present moment. In some ways it is a practice of living in meditation. It may not 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 (past or future) it happened to drift off to. This way we will be able to see today’s opportunities and live a happier now! This will attract the opportunities and people that were meant to join us on our positive journeys. If we do this enough it will soon become habit and we will be on our way to changing our ‘todays’ into a collective, more positive future as a whole.