Your mental disposition, in my view, is the single most important factor in the search for happiness. Note that I simply use the term happiness, not purpose, aspirations, beliefs, values, goals or motivation. With words like these we complicate things for ourselves and place obstacles in our own way. In the end, is happiness not the ultimate result we all desire? Even if we define what happiness is totally differently.
Should you wonder about your purpose, the meaning of life, who you are, how you can find a truly fulfilling and special relationship, how you can find the right job, make more friends, have more money, be healthier, stop procrastinating, etc., then keep in mind that your thoughts and your feelings about your thoughts will determine what type of answers you will find.
Honing in on Happiness
If you continuously tell yourself “I will be happy when …” then the chance of achieving happiness is slim.
If there is one “affirmation” that works for me, every day, it is this: “Today my job is to be happy”.
These words for me is the foundation for everything else. It allows me to think about those things that I desire to do and that bring satisfaction. Should it involve a difficult task or something that I dislike doing, I can reframe the situation in my mind, considering what I would gain from it, even if it is only after I have completed the task - successfully.
If you are constantly thinking about what is wrong with your life, all you will have is what is wrong with your life. Thoughts such as “I am so miserable” or “I hate my job so much” or “I wish I don’t have to get up, my head just aches with the thought of the day ahead”, then you both expect and will get the worst you can imagine.
Creating the Right Thoughts
You have to learn a new way of thinking first, before you can create the world and results you desire.
We are not separate from the world. We do not stand outside, looking in, acting like observers. If we breathe we have no choice but to participate in the world. We influence it and we create the world as we know it. This happens first and foremost through our thoughts.
Frequently feelings of desperation, hopelessness, fear and depression are the result of thoughts that repeat themselves over and over again and the resulting belief that you are unable to change that. Perhaps these thoughts have become automatic and even to an extent, unconscious, so that you may feel that you have zero control over them. They are just there, playing the same tune over and over and invading your mental space without any release in sight.
Take heart – it is not impossible to change this. You can create new thought patterns to replace these stale phrases with ones that are more aligned to creating the happy world you desire.
How? Taking conscious control of your own mind and mental attitude.
Taking Control of the Situation
- Start talking to yourself in the voice that you prefer to hear, not the one that has been imposed on you through circumstances, family or history.
- Embrace the things and tasks that you see as hateful or a drag. Even small things can become huge stumbling blocks - especially when they are not what you enjoy doing. However, once you tackle them head on, they are frequently not nearly as hard to master as the picture you painted for yourself suggests.
- Forget the limitations and fears of "what others will think" or "what others expect" and allow yourself to acknowledge your own strengths and talents - and tell yourself daily what those are, until you believe that they are true and feeling it in your bones.
- Find one tiny thing that you truly enjoy and make a habit of doing it often. And remember to savour the emotions it evokes. You need but seconds to recognise the positive feelings that a beautiful song, or flower or smile can evoke.
It is only by making the smallest and dreariest of tasks into a masterpiece that you can pave the way for greater masterpieces to follow. Turn your own world of thoughts into such a masterpiece and be amazed by what follows.