How to improve your life forever
Have you always wanted something ? Have you always felt that something was missing but you didn’t know what ? Have you aimed for goals and fallen short. Like many of us you have probably fallen into a depressive slump and given up any hope of improving your life. The subject of self improvement is a vast one, and there are many things to learn. Yet, it is those first early steps that give the most back and provide the most improvement to our lives. Therefore, it is important to start out with a technique that gives you the best grounding to work from and will be fairly easy to master. If someone offered you such a system, would you follow it through or abandon it half way ?
The power of positive thinking is something that is widely known, although often forgotten about. Apparently depressive people see the world in a much more realistic way when considering the present. An optimist does not have a realistic view. Where the depressive looes is the point at which they take their depressive view of ‘today’ and expand it out to the future. A depressive creates an uncompelling view of the future – one in which they make reasonable demands and expect a large amount of disappointment. Like a self fulfilling prophecy they are usually right.
The optimist, using techniques for positive thinking, sees the potential in everything. He creates a compelling future that drives him forward and provides motivation. He gives himself clear, inspiring goals and desires that fuel his actions. He is stretched by the challenges of what the depressive would call ‘ unrealistic goals’. This challenge forces growth, a key factor in true happiness, further empowering the optimist on towards his goals. When he does get beaten, he realises that he is merely being told ‘try again but be more inventive’. Fueled by his imagination, the optimist creates his own future.
As we can see the power of positive thinking is a valuable tool, one which can be used to change lives and make dreams reality. Yet, as with many things, there are surprisingly few basic, down to earth practical sources of information on how to master positive thinking. I am sure you do not want to be without the advantages it can bring and no doubt you have encountered, vague, imprecise guidelines to positive thinking that you have quickly abandoned. For those who feel that they can stick to four basic principles for at least a year they will be astounded at the changes that such simple techniques can bring. I now present to you the four basic principles of positive thinking:
1) You are not your personality.
Your personality is not you. You were probably different as a child than you are today. Sure, there will be a kernel of similarity, but much of what you do, day to day, is not your personality, even though you may call it that. Instead, your so-called personality is a collection of habits formed out of experiences as a defence mechanism for coping with day to day life. Your imagined personality can hold you back in life because it defines what you will do and what you are unwilling or incapable of doing. A woman may feel she cannot be an effective public speaker because she has been shy all her life. This is simply not true, she merely needs to learn what makes an effective public speaker and adopt those mannerisms herself.
To be truly effective in terms of positive thinking you must accept the notion, that whatever age you are, you are not a fixed concept. You can be what you want to be. OFten we want to do things that seem at odds with what we feel comfortable with. We tell ourselves that we could never go skydiving or such like. These contrary desires are so important. You should take hold of them and make them reality. They are your mind’s way of trying to increase its exposure to new things, to break out of the prison you call personality.
Today, pick one thing that you have never done but have always been curious about. Make a list of a months worth of activities that you feel you may not be capable of. Run a marathon, join the local drama club, spend a whole day outdoors without checking in with the office. You will be amazed at how empowered you feel – and it will give you further motivation to push back your so called identity.
2) Learn how to motivate yourself.
Many of us feel that we are at the whim of the day. On a good day we will do well, and on a bad day we will be unmotivated, will procrastinate and achieve little. You must accept the concept that your day is yours to control, you are at the whim of circumstance only in so much as you choose to respond to circumstance. Planning ahead, can provide security through contingency plans to deal with the so called unexpected. For those issues that keep coming up, see if there is a way to solve them permanently. Once you have reduced circumstance as much as possible you must then identify the next largest area of de motivation.
For many of us, particularly those new to self improvement, our emotions are what control our day. Or rather, our lack of ability to direct our own feelings. Motivation comes from knowing we have a task that will challenge us, is not insurmountable, and will provide a valuable outcome. By ensuring all of your major tasks fit into these categories you will help to unleash the motivation found within your daily activities.
Secondly, arrange your office in such a way as to cut down on distractions. Have a ready supply of water nearby, fresh pens and pencils and paper. Ensure that there as few distractions as possible. Once you have done this, you can focus on ways to improve your own mood – perhaps have a play list of your favourite uplifting songs. Have a to do list of your day’s tasks, that are prioritised, and tick them off as you progress though them. Having a written record of your completions is a great way to build confidence in being able to finish tasks.
Once you can plan work for the day ahead and use the power of those tasks to motivate yourself you will feel much more in control in your work environment. This extra security will help build your self confidence and help you to see things more positively.
Make a list of tasks today and see how you can drive your motivation.
3) Be confident of who you are becoming.
Sometimes people may ,knowingly or unknowingly, put you down. They may make you feel self conscious about your spelling, your weight or your lack of confidence. At the time these insult may sting and cause deep pain and ruin your day or maybe even longer. They lower your perception of your own self worth and cause a negative spiral that sabotages any positive thinking. Rather than focus on why the other person did what they did, I would like you not to be a victim and to focus on something else. Being a victim can never ever create a positive outcome. It embodies feelings of helplessness and being subject to the whims of others. If there is any way that you can avoid feelings of victim hood and use the criticism in a positive way you should.
You are probably thinking – thats easy to say – but what is positive about being called ‘insert insult’. I think that you should use such criticism as fuel, fuel to prove the other person wrong – to understand that who you are today doesn’t have to be who you are tomorrow, or next week or next year.
If you yourself are unhappy with what they criticised, then decide if now is the time to do something about it, and to dwarf the critical negative person with the strength of your own personal power. People who criticise often love to feel that you will always be whatever be afflicted by whatever problem they perceive or ‘want to perceive’. If you can change it shows to yourself and to the world that you can become whatever you want to be. Don’t let others or yourself define you a static unchanging being who will always be burdened with the same afflictions.
4) Create the future – commit to yourself.
Imagine its a month from now. You have worked on the three ideas above and are seeing results. Now that you are learning to tackle you own problems, can motivate yourself to an extent and can push your own boundaries – its time to create your own future. A future that is so far from where you were a month ago, or even today, that to contemplate it before would have been unthinkable. Perhaps you would like to be a model, lose weight, or greatly increase your income. Maybe you want to walk the stage of some famous theatre, or begin an acting career. Look twenty years in the future, and decide where you would like to be, regardless of feasibility, or outrageousness. Then fix this vision into concrete statements, such as I will weight twenty pounds less, or I will drive an Aston Martin.
Now take these facts and visualise in your mind a scene, which illustrates all of these things. Imagine your future self in the scene, looking radiant and happy. Now make the image bigger, and the colours brighter, smile to yourself, and press your thumb and forefinger together. Do this visualisation technique every day, as many times as you remember to. Always press together your thumb and finger as you smile and imagine yourself stepping into the image and it coming to life. By doing this, we are anchoring your desire for the future to a physical action. From this point on, whenever you feel insecure or demotivated, press your thumb and forefinger together and you will get a surge of energy and happiness.
The next step is to plan out how you will achieve you goals over the coming months and weeks and years. Take a look at when you want to achieve your goal and then step backwards adding key points that will mark your progress. These point should contain sub goals that will help bring your major goal to life.
If you follow these four simple steps, and repeat them day in day out, for a month, you will rapidly begin to see changes in your life. When I did these things myself several years ago, I began to see changes in my life that were for the better. Bizarrely, I did not associate these positive changes with the daily actions I was taking. Looking back, it was the daily repetition of the above tasks that really helped turn my life around.
If you can master these techniques for positive thinking then you will have gone a long way to creating the life that your want !