Did you know, your thoughts create your feelings which create your actions? Yep, it’s a pretty simple formula that works every time.
This is good news and bad, right? Good if you have good thoughts and like your life. But this could be pretty bad news if you’re stuck in a rut and don’t love the life your living.
Because…guess what? It’s pretty much up to you. You have control over your thoughts. It’s the ONE THING no one can hijack from you.
Not sure? Well consider Victor Frankyl who pretty much fathered this thinking. He realized, when trying to survive a Nazi concentration camp, that although they could take a way his dignity and basically all his human rights, the one thing he still had control over was his thoughts.
So he took action and fought his way through, even surviving because of his choice to not surrender his thoughts. He could find something to be grateful for in his circumstances, and think of that.
So is mastering your thoughts worth it? You bet it is, and can truly be a matter of survival and ultimately the way you learn to thrive in your life.
Okay, okay, you’re thinking… I get it, that makes sense, but how do I start? Especially since this is hard if you’re really in a funk and need to dig your way out.
Don’t worry, I’ve got-cha :), you can just follow these easy steps to take back control and master your thinking.
First, you’re going to learn the 3 Commitments you need to make and keep with yourself. I learned this from my good friend, Johnny Covey, in his Head to Heart technique.
Be Respectful (to yourself and others). Fact is, we are often hardest on ourselves and you might be your biggest critic! This has to change if you’re going to love yourself, which is critical. So, if you catch yourself thinking a critical/negative thought - maybe about how those jeans look, or berating yourself for not doing something, etc, etc…. Remember your commitment to be respectful to yourself. Thinking negative thoughts and always being frustrated with YOU, is simply not respectful. Or maybe you’re problem is generally with others, and being critical or negative of them. That’s got to stop too, it’s simply not respectful. Funny thing is we usually can master our respectful thoughts towards others more easily than ourselves. Be aware you must learn to LOVE yourself, and thinking and acting respectfully is a great place to start.
Be Your Best (and accept others best) Your best is all you’ve got and that is enough. We are often hard on ourselves for not doing things right, or not being “perfect” when you’ve got to give yourself a break and realize your best is good enough. Sure you’re best will get better over time, but for now, don’t worry about that and love yourself where you are at. And especially, allow others best to be good enough too. Most people really are doing the best they can, and as we accept that, it frees us to be more accepting of ourselves, and that creates more love for everyone.
Be Present (don’t worry about the past or future) We lose so much when lost worrying about what has been or will be. That’s not where the magic is happening. Life is always happening-right now, and that’s the only part we have control over. So commit to being really, really present in all the moments of your life. If you start doing this, you’ll be amazed at how many times you’ll catch yourself in regret or worry, which is just not necessary.
I’ll give you a quick example of controlling your thoughts and keeping all three commitments. I’m writing this while on a flight from Porto Alegre to Sao Paulo, Brazil, a flight I almost didn’t make! About an hour ago we got to the airport and just as the Uber pulled away, I realized we left our passports in the hotel. DISASTER! We had meetings in Sao Paulo and this was no time to miss our flight. Dave quickly got another Uber, and I hopped in the car to head back to the hotel while Dave worked his charm at the ticket counter checking our bags and us into our flight. Another important fact; I don’t speak Portuguese! So being super limited in conversation, and with my phone not working, there were many things that could have gone wrong. Before speeding off, I asked Dave (who does speak Portuguese fluently) to call the hotel to let them know I’m coming and hopefully convince them to grab our passports out of the safe and have them ready for me. Now both Dave or I could have been frustrated with either person, or ourselves, for forgetting the passports. Criticism or a fight could have ensued. But we didn’t, what good would that have done? We just needed to work together, and act fast, to get the passports back. We were being respectful and doing our best. While on the way back to the hotel, and not being able to talk to my Uber driver, rather than feeling stressed, I decided to practice being present. First, I chose to believe that everything would work out perfectly and we’d catch our flight. Next, I realized I could stress the 15 (or could be 30 minutes each way depending on traffic) there and back, or just relax and take in all the sights during my drive. That’s exactly what I did. No stress, just interesting sights to see and the feeling of the warm sunshine, and gratitude for a crazy fast Uber driver! Then the miracles fell into place. Dave (after a few attempts) found an agent who would check not only him, but me (not even present) into the flight along with our bags. And yes, even managed to upgrade us to the front row, he’s truly gifted at these things! Then he called the Sheraton and explained our situation, and against policy convinced them to open our safe, and have the passports on hand when I returned. I quickly retrieved the passports and the Uber driver had me back to the airport (yes, backroads and extreme driving ensued) with just a few minutes to spare. When safely back to Dave, with passports in hand, we both were elated with the outcome, grateful that everything did work out miraculously. High fives all around. And here I am, casually and without any stress, sharing my tale with you. That my friends, is being respectful, doing your best and living in the present. And it’s a happy way to be. No concerns or worries about what we can’t control, just allowing life to unfold and through our thoughts, deciding exactly how we are perceiving the situation and outcome. Are you ready to master your thoughts and be prepared for any situation? I challenge you today to pledge to keep these three commitments. Be Respectful, Be Your Best, and Be Present. Even when stressful situations hijack your life, you’ll be surprised at how happy you can be when you take control of your thoughts!