Make A Choice And Change Your Life

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I, for one, am a fan of inspirational quotes. I see them as bits of wisdom with a wide scope for interpretation. 

Earl Nightingale, an American personal development author and radio personality, said, “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become reality.” 

Authors who have written self-help books or books based on what it takes to be successful, have stated this same practice. Basically informing us that we become what we think about. I agree.

Think about a time when you were revved up; filled with energy and passion. What were your thoughts at those moments? You may have been thinking, "I can take on the world". 

On the flipside, think back to a time when you were down and out. What were your thoughts, then? Maybe, "The world is out to get me".

Yes. It seems evident that we become what we think about.

But, lets take it a step further:

Is it possible to become what we eat, read, watch, listen to and the people we hang around with? 

Do you have a friend that complains all the time? When you're with that person, do you find yourself complaining, and then feeling quite miserable?

How about a friend whose positive outlook on life is refreshing? A few minutes into a conversation has you smiling and enjoying the day. 

Eat crap food and you feel like crap. 

Watch the news and you may be fueled by anger or despair.

Read or watch horror, and you become scared of your own shadow.

Now, this is not to force you to live in a bubble or stay away from the library shelves that house Stephen King’s books. He’s an incredible writer and worth reading. And it’s not for me to advise getting rid of your energy-sucking friends. However, I’ve learned to put very little time and energy into something or someone who has even the mere potential to spoil my success. 

It wasn’t always this way for me. I had to take a good look in the mirror and change what I was doing, that is, if I wanted this year to look different from last year. We’ve all heard it before-- If it's working, keep going. If it’s not, change it up. 

I had to ask a few questions of myself.

What was the current status of my attitude? Was it bright and cheery or dark and dumpy? 

What was my self-talk? I’m a success or I’m a failure?

How was I feeling about my writing? Is it coming along or is this novel going nowhere?

How about my physical appearance? Did I sport a smile or wear a frown?

How about my leadership skills? Do people tend to follow me or avoid me?

Once I was aware of how my thoughts and actions easily guided my day, I was able to make emotional and thoughtful changes. I began thinking about, and believing in, the things I desired, and how easily attainable they were. For example, I began each day feeling empowered because I told myself that I felt empowered. 

But the proof is in the pudding… and I soon got the proof. I wasn’t necessarily looking for it, but my thoughts (I am sure) led me to the proof.

A couple years ago, I made a dream board—I’d read the best selling non-fiction books relating to the secrets and habits of successful people, and in particular about the importance of desirable thinking. After reading, I thought why not try it?

 So, like one book suggested, I decided to create a vision board. I bought a bulletin board and printed out a couple of pictures and pinned them on. I wrote what I desired in life and repeated it daily for quite sometime. Then, for whatever reason, probably because I was deep cleaning the house, I put my board in the upstairs closet and closed the door.

A year passed, and I was reading yet another book on success. This time it was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Like other books I’d read on the subject, Hill explicitly wrote about the importance of our thoughts and how one must go as far as writing our detailed desires on paper, getting behind the emotion of that desire, and repeat it twice daily. So of course, I searched for the dream board that I’d set aside in the closet.

When I began looking at the pictures and written dreams neatly pinned on the board over a year ago, I was astonished: Of the nine dreams I had posted on the board, four had become a reality.

1) We adopted Bo—our chow/retriever dog who has been a wonderful addition to our family.
2) I’d resigned from teaching to write full time.
3) I’d written and published my first book.
4) I’d earned the amount of money I’d requested.

You can be certain after standing there in awe and looking at the board, that I was a believer. To say the least, my dream board, now filled with more pictures and desires is in clear sight of waking each morning: Health. Fitness. Money. Extravagant Vacations. Books selling by the hundreds. A movie deal. All pinned in place.

However, there’s a catch. 

When I thought about what I’d received, I realized I’d worked for all those things to happen. For example, it took serious preparation and planning to leave a great-paying teaching job. As for writing, I’d stayed up past my bedtime many nights working on revisions, rewriting and editing. Not to mention, the learning curve alone in becoming a writer. And then, there was Bo. I’ll admit this one seemed to come with ease. I looked at one rescue site, received one call from Safe Haven Rescue, and then seized an opportunity to take a look at a dog that had just arrived from Tennessee. We fell in love the very moment we met Bo, and adopted him that day.

Bottom line. Our thinking. I truly believe we do become what we think about. And the awesome notion to this is that we can control what we think about. We can control the people we hang around. We can control what we listen to, watch and eat. It’s not easy and I falter, too—get caught up in something that takes tons of negative energy and delivers more harm than good. But, knowing what will bring success, allows me to get right back on track.

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. However, it is simple.

Give it a try. Why not?