Hey there folks!
So, I was sitting around thinking the other day about positive thinking and the role it plays in my life. I know I talk about it a lot, but personally I very much buy into positive thinking. This was not a mind set that came naturally to me, but after years of work it certainly feels more natural. As this practice of positive thought has developed in me, and by my very nature, I try to spread my joy and belief in positive thought to those around me.
As you may expect this is not always met with fanfare and jubilation. Some people get visibly annoyed and tell me how stupid I am, but most casually dismiss me like a child trying to have an adult conversation. Most of the time I do not really care because at least I have spoken my peace; however, with some folks I get frustrated because I care very much for them and see them regularly so I want them to find happiness.
I have had so many instances in my life where I was trying to help someone out and it either had no effect, or even worse, it drove a wedge between us. This has led me to the belief that there are some truths in this world that one must be ready to accept and if you are not ready then they do not matter. The practice of positive thinking is very much one of those truths. You may say the words and perform the actions, but if you do not really believe in what you are doing it is not going to help.
Then the question becomes, how do you make this change for yourself if you do not believe in the message? I know I was very much in this boat when I began down this path years ago, and to be perfectly honest it is still a daily effort on my part to not revert to old patterns. The first part I had to understand was that changing something about myself, especially something as engrained as patterns of behavior, was not like erasing a sentence and writing a new one in its place. Rather, it is more akin to removing graffiti by painting over the image. The original image is always going to be there just underneath the surface so you must consistently apply fresh paint to make sure the image does not come back through. Occasionally weather and other factors will cause a sliver of that old image to come through, so when you notice that happen you just have to grab your brush and touch up the new image.
The next important part of the transformation, at least for me, was trust. You must trust the people teaching you about the change you are trying to enact in your life. Your trust in their words is the difference between hollow and purposeful action. This is the place where cynicism is going to rear its ugly head the most, at least that is what I found to be true. Every time you stumble along your path to change, and trust me you will stumble, your inner cynic is going to come out and tell you that what you are doing is stupid and won’t work. If you do not trust in the words and people that brought you to this path in the first place then you will most likely stray from its course. Humility also plays a role in all of this, can you humble yourself enough to admit that you do not know everything? Better yet, can you admit that other people may know more than you? In my case I turned to particular authors because no one in my life really embodied the change I was trying to make and because my own intellectual vanity made it easier for me to trust in books. The point being I was humble enough to accept another’s wisdom and I trusted in their words.
Because I was at this point when I started working at developing the new habits I wanted I was able to allow the process of change to begin. That was the final part for me. I had to allow myself to actually change. While that may sound like a no brainer, it is not as easy as you may think. To really allow yourself to change you have to say goodbye to who you are right now, and embrace who you are to become even though you may not truly understand the final result. Once again trust plays a role because you have to trust in the process of the change. Chances are is it is a meaningful change it is not going to be easy. Just remember the reasons that led you to want change in the first place and most importantly trust in yourself to see the process through.
The only constant in life is change, and it is important that we continue to change and adapt to our environments. The moment you stop changing is the moment you start dying, but that is just my two cents.