Occassionally though there's a whisper through the noise that catches my attention or makes me pause for just a minute. I started noticing this happening more and more in the past year.
It seems folks really are getting back to basics - remembering the good things in life aren't actually things at all. There's positive messages being tossed around now about Service to others; finding Joy; and slowing down long enough to just breathe. And that's all GREAT.........
...but what's beyond that?
We hear words or phrases like "Just Do It" or "Visualize what you want." I think that's sound advice but I get tripped up in the details - "Just Do what exactly?" or "what am I supposed to visualize?" While I think all those basics are fine and useful, that's never been enough for me and it's never really helped me get from point A to point B in and of itself. So then I started thinking about what actually DOES help me (when I do it) and I remembered where I learned that just 'speaking the positive' wasn't enough...
When I was in college my Junior year, I was obsessed with living in this one house on campus. All I kept repeating to myself and God and whoever would listen over and over again was that I just wanted to be in Rose Terrace. I didn't care about any other detail except that one. It was my hope and my goal. I thought about it, visualized it, hoped for it, prayed for it, spoke about it. I felt I did my part and now it was up to God and the universe to act.
Well - I did get into Rose Terrace. I got my wish!
The room I was assigned was a converted closet. It was too small for even a twin sized bed, I instead had a glorified shelf with a mattress on it that I had to use a ladder to reach. No closet for my clothes because the ROOM WAS a closet. The fit was so tight I could just fit a desk but had to sit upright in my chair, no leaning back or slouching... and yes, over the course of the year, my posture did improve.
Could I have gotten mad? Should I? Did I? Nope. Because I got EXACTLY what I asked for - who would I have gotten mad at? That would have been pointless anyway, right? All I could do was laugh and vow to never make the same mistake again...
The moral of the story? my lesson learned?? BE SPECIFIC.
Time and again throughout my life, I've seen this principle in action. It's not enough to be positive. It's not enough to dream. Sometimes, it's not even enough to act. You have to KNOW what you want and do your best to be as specific as possible about it.
And that, my friends, requires us all to THINK about what we want.
In effect, that's one of the reasons why I'm writing this - to put the word out there and then to challenge everyone to take it for a test drive and see if it works for you?
So, where do we start?
I hear so many friends, family, and colleagues either speaking in generalities or saying what they "don't" want. How many times have you or someone you know said something like this:
- "I just want to meet someone who'll treat me really well."
- "I want to lose weight."
- "I want to be a millionaire."
- "I don't want to work so hard or so much."
- You ask, "what do you want to eat?" The reply, "I don't want sushi."
Now, for some mundane tasks that might be fine; but for the things that matter, how do you speak about them? What words do you use? Are those words positive and affirming? Are you specific?
Think about it. Allow yourself a few moments to reflect...
If you're thinking negatively, you're probably speaking negatively. So turn it around. Rather than saying "No Fear," try saying "I want to live courageously."
If you're speaking in generalities, challenge yourself to be more specific AND to be positive: "I will lose 15 lbs by my birthday" for example.
Now write down that one specific, positive thought; and once you do, say it out loud and see how it makes you feel.
Dare to imagine the possibilities.
As for me, my goal here is to take my own advice. Each day, I'm going to:
- Think about one thing I want for my life - SPECIFICALLY.
- Write it down and speak it.
- Believe it so I can act on it.