Ever crush a goal and have a strange sense of emptiness? Make 2018 a year of total fulfillment.
When you wake up each morning, I want you to give yourself an ‘A’. This is a lesson I learned from Ben Zander, conductor and educator. Tell yourself, “today, I get an ‘A'” and then think about all of the reasons you gave yourself the highest mark. What did you do? What did you say? Who did you help? What did you do that brought you joy?
We’ve already had our first snow with a little “stick” here in Michigan. It’s one thing to see a few flurries. There is new meaning when you wake up and see snow caps on rooftops.
Snow means winter is coming.
Winter coming means Christmas is coming.
Christmas coming means New Years is right around the corner and New Years means . . .
The time of year when we all resolve to be better us’es. (yep, I made that word up).
As 2014 comes close to an end do yourself a favor. Before you consider making a list of everything
you need to improve upon in 2015 make a list of everything you are awesome at.
Are there things we could do better? Sure there are. And, do you know what?
There always will be.
Instead of focusing on all of your shortcomings take the time to be grateful.
Reflect on all of the great things you have,
great things you have done,
greatness you have seen.
Don’t begin the year beating yourself up and making resolutions that may not even be realistic. Begin the year loving yourself with a personal inventory of all of the goodness around you.
Spend the remainder of 2014 building on your gratitude list. At the end of each day ask yourself
What made me happy?
What made me laugh?
What am I most proud of?
What did I try for the first time?
What lost treasure did I rediscover?
Who did I help?
Who helped me?
If you want to find happiness in 2015, first find gratitude.
Here is this week’s schedule. The big one is already under our belt. So far, we’ve only wanted to quit…almost every day. We haven’t built momentum yet, but I know we will. We can do this!!!
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
The above quote has been stated and restated and rephrased by many different people over time. If you Google the first line over 38,000,000 results appear. I must have heard it, read it, watched it on a YouTube video hundreds of times in my life, but today as I listened to an audio program I finally understand how it works.
I always mistook that your beliefs meant your values, but notice how values come later in the phrase.
Belief is first. What is the belief then? What I learned today is that belief comes from an activity. Your belief is the story you tell yourself about the thing that just happened. Here’s a story I could tell myself . . .
My neighbor forgot to take out the trash – again – and a week later the bin is overflowing and I am angry with my neighbor because they are lazy and forgetful and I wish they would move so I could have a better neighbor.
My belief, in this example is that my neighbor is lazy and forgetful. Now, if I follow the formula in the passage above, because my belief is negative, all of my thoughts regarding my neighbor are negative. My words to them become negative, I mistreat them and now they dislike me for being a mean person and my destiny is that I am disliked by all of my neighbors for my behavior. I am miserable and continue to wish that all of my neighbors would move away.
Here’s the kicker . . . what is reality? Is my neighbor really lazy and forgetful? No. How could I possibly know that? So, why would I believe it to be true? The only truth is that I allowed myself to downward spiral because of the story I told myself. My negative thoughts created hurt and suffering. So, who has the problem, my neighbor or me? Let’s retell the story.
p.s. this story is purely fictional. I am in fact more likely to forget to take the trash to the curb than any of my neighbors.
Step aside from all thinking, and there is nowhere you can’t go. ~ Seng-ts’an (the Third Founding Teacher of Zen)