Have you ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly sail through life and enjoy achievements more readily and seem to tackle life's issues with more ease than others? Have you ever wondered why some folk seem happier than others in general most of the time? If I was to bet why life seems to come easier to some than others I would bet that mindset & a positive mental attitude (and not genetics or upbringing) has a whole lot to do with it.
After listening to the troubles of many people in the last 8 years (over 10000 hours of listening!) and watching some excel towards positive change and others drag behind, I have been deeply intrigued as to why some excel when others cannot.
What I've most definitely observed with everyone I've coached is that your past, your upbringing, circumstance, money and support.... all these factors have nothing to do with exceling & finding happiness. Those that I have seen do extraordinary things with the tools and advice given to them in fact are those that have had the worst past, the worst trauma, have little to no support and are struggling financially sometimes all at the same time. Yet they become what I call on our retreat program a 'star'.
I can pick 'stars' when they walk through the door. From the way they treat our team and staff, to their tone, to their body language, to the general way that they hold themselves. There is an aura around them, something they give off that immediately makes you want to spend more time with them. You can tell they are ready. They were born ready. There is something at the essence of their being that is ready. They all encompass the same fundamental mindset tools that set them apart from everyone else.
"If You Want Your Outside World To Transform. First We Have To Transform Our Inner World." CLICK TO TWEET THIS QUOTE
Your Mindset Is Visible & Sensed By Others. Like An Aura That Follows You Everywhere.
We all experience difficulty in our lives. Some yes have had more difficult circumstances. And some not so much. But the way that we face adversity defines us. The way we carry ourselves or hold ourselves kindly through those periods defines us and our human strength. The way we treat others on a daily basis also defines us and our human spirit. It is sensed and felt by all around you. And what you project from your core outwardly each day can make great waves of either positivity or negativity. We cannot change our circumstances but we can change what we project by learning to behold a set of attitudes or 'ways of being' that will create a butterfly effect for positive change in your immediate world and the world in general.
I had a near death experience when I was 26 that shook me to the core. Laying on the bottom of the ocean out of air, my life literally flashed before my eyes before passing out. I was in awe of just how small I seemed in those final seconds that felt like minutes and how grand the entire world around me felt at that moment. And in my heart how much regret I felt. The power and enormity of the sheer amount of vast space around me as life slipped away was eye opening to say the least. But the feeling of regret stayed with me. I couldn't shake it. I was completely silent and deep in thought through the days that followed. I contemplated every aspect of my life.
I wanted no regrets. The one thing that kept arising in my mind was that when my time was to come I wanted to look back and be proud of the person I was and I did not want to end it with that feeling of regret. My regrets were that I had focused all of my time and energy on things that in the end didn't really matter, like money, bills, success. And that the time was precious and should have been spent living freely and enjoying happiness and helping to in turn bring happiness to others.
I made a pact with myself then to view life differently. It's been a pursuit of happiness since that day that is both challenging and rewarding. Have I gone off track at times. Hell yeah. But I always try to get back on the horse. I wanted to know then how to, when adversity came, to face it with integrity in a way that would speak volumes about the person that I was. And that my time and energy would be spent on things and people that did matter and things that would bring me happiness. I literally stepped out of the small box I had created for myself that day and spread my wings a little. My brain was thirsty for knowledge... but I didn't really know where to start.
'The state of your life is nothing more than the reflection of the state of your mind.' Wayne Dyer
The book I read just after that experience was the 'Power of Intention' by Wayne Dyer (RIP). My mum (bless her) had given it to me before I left for a 3 month trip that turned into a 5 year hiatus and that book stayed with me the whole time. Reading Wayne's work (RIP Wayne) was the first shift in my mindset that has stuck with me and will stick with me for life. He was right, the state of my life was nothing more than a reflection of the state of my mind. Essentially I felt like a victim of circumstance and behaved just like one. My intention was to have enough money to survive and pay my car loan and not to serve, grow, be free and have adventures, happiness & connected fulfilling relationships. I lacked the willingness and commitment to shift my intentions until I read that book.
Words on a page can be enough to shift your mindset for life. Knowledge truly is that powerful. Like brushing your teeth, practicing these 'ways of being' becomes a daily habit that will totally shift your life into new directions you never thought possible.
It's easy when faced with challenges, relationship troubles, circumstances out of our control or just general life grief to forget our core values and to lose sight of the person that we want to be. But it's also just as easier to continuously practice and make habits of simple 'ways of being' over time so that we never lose sight of the bigger picture.
Here Are The Tools That Will Shift Your Mindset From Negative to Positive & Help You Create More Happiness
Choice - In Every Moment You Have Choice At Your Side
Do I exercise my right or believe that I have the right to choose in every moment?
I can't tell you how many people I've coached that have literally forgotten that they have the right, at any time, to exercise their right to choose. They feel selfish for putting themselves first and making choices based on their needs and end having their lives dictated by the needs of others.
I too have to remind myself constantly that my life is the way I choose it and is more malleable than I make myself believe with all my stories. We can choose to relate to our thoughts differently, choose to offer ourselves more kindness, choose to do kind things for ourselves just because we can, choose to walk away from things that no longer serve us, choose a different life path, choose what matters to us most and have the courage to go after it. We have the power to choose in every moment to either behave like the person we want to be or not. So starting today what will you choose to do to empower yourself?
Responsibility = Choice & Power
Responsibility means losing the need to blame others (or the universe) for our discomfort or circumstance. When we blame we become the victim and it weakens us. Choice means choosing to behave like the person I want to be even when it’s difficult in the short term but will lead me more towards long term meaning and fulfillment. Taking responsibility and ownership over my life leads me to feeling self empowered. Taking responsibility could be as simple as sitting down with a pen and paper and deciding to plan your life prioritising what makes you happy over the next few months. It doesn't need to be a dirty word, responsibility can really be a beautiful thing. Maybe you could ask yourself... If I had full ownership over my life, if I was the director and creator of every aspect of my life, what would I change?
Vulnerability = Creativity Innovation & Change
You've heard me above mention that change, learning and growing can sometimes be uncomfortable. The reason for this is that we feel out of comfort zone and depth and we feel vulnerable. Without passing through the murkiness of feeling vulnerable we cannot reach a new birth place for both our own personal growth and lives and can never find the solutions we are looking for or be creative innovate and have effective change. That creativity, innovation and change come from allowing ourselves to be SEEN. Brene Brown says it best when she says 'you can't get to courage without walking through change'. Vulnerability is kind of like being naked on a stage but it only lasts a moment and the kinder we hold ourselves the more painless it is. The rewards after it passes are outstanding and its well worth the short term discomfort. So how is it that you could practice allowing yourself to be seen? Maybe stepping out of your comfort zone? Maybe tackling a particular situation/emotion that is uncomfortable and choosing to hold yourself kindly through the discomfort?
Willingness & Courage = Workability
Willingness means I am open to doing what it takes to create the life I want even if it feels uncomfortable in the short term. Courage is taking the leap to do it. Be open to keeping your eye on the bigger picture and your end game and be willing & brave to give it a shot. As soon as we are willing to try, the cogs begin to turn in the wheel of your life. It creates workability. If you keep saying 'I can't' or 'No' to every opportunity then nothing in your world is workable. Opportunities are abundant, every situation no matter how tough is workable, willingness is what opens your mind to more opportunities and more workability. And practicing courage is when flow begins to happen.
Maybe you could ask yourself, what am I willing to do/say/try in the next week that will make my life more workable and lead me closer to the life I want? You could also identify what you are saying no to or telling yourself you can't do that is restricting your life? Maybe you could take one courageous leap towards more fulfillment in your life and make it happen?
'Courage doesn't mean you get scared, it means you don't let fear stop you'
Lose The Victim - Become The Victor
When you find yourself blaming and feeling powerless and small and as if the world is against you, you can be sure your inner victim will show up. The best way to treat your inner victim is to put it in the naughty corner like a petulant child. Let your victim have a tantrum but don't hang out with it for too long. We all can feel victimised but we are all armed with choice and courage too and change can happen when we shift our attitude.
Inside every victim is a victor, you are always much stronger and able than you will give yourself credit for. Sometimes we just have to pick a side...victim or victor?
Gratitude = Joy
The practice of gratitude brings joy and happiness instantly. Joy is the highest lightest human emotion (above love and happiness) that we can experience. And you can choose to have it whenever you wish.
When you wake up in the morning and the first conscious thoughts of what is coming in your day flood into your mind, what do you think? Do you sigh, groan and roll over or think do I have to? Or do you instantly feel grateful for the fact that there is a roof over your head, grateful for the body that carries you, grateful for the beautiful world of nature and abundance around you, grateful for those that support you, even grateful for your past lessons and experiences that have helped you grow?
Gratitude is literally the most simple and powerful tool you can behold in your kit of mindtools. But it is something to be practiced and practiced without expecting anything in return. Tomorrow when you wake up I want you to open your eyes and instantly find one thing (even just the air you are breathing) to be grateful for. Feel it, mean it and notice how you feel. Carry it with you throughout the day finding small things to be grateful for.
Attitude - A Positive Attitude Is Free
I've worked with hundreds of clients with mental health issues. And there has been a small percentage of those clients that after careful observation (remember on retreat we are in their company 12 hours a day 7 days a week and not for an hour in an office) that are actually NOT depressed as their label and diagnosis says. They actually don't tick any of the boxes that a genuinely depressed person would. They simply have a terrible attitude towards life and are literally actively the creators of their own misery and the misery towards those around them. They simply have a bad attitude towards life and others. They blame, they judge, they expect without wanting to give in return, the play the victim and they perpetuate negativity whenever possible - even after being given life saving tools, education and support. They are unworkable because they are unwilling to take responsibility and cultivate a positive attitude towards life and others. Their circumstances are not the cause of their misery. Their attitude is.
Beholding a positive attitude takes no effort at all. It means choosing to practice happiness and joy and spread it around. Simple things like smiling, a cheerful tone, manners, giving, gratitude, looking for the best in others, losing the need to judge others, helping, serving. Even in times of adversity maintaining a positive attitude can help pull you through tricky circumstances and ensure your integrity stays in tact.
You might consider for the next few days faking until you make it with a positive attitude and see how that shifts things in return? Maybe a random act of kindness?
Intention - Cultivate Your Intention Through Your Thoughts
Our thoughts create our intentions and our intentions create our reality. If we have the intention to do what we think we have to do we can end up on that treadmill for weeks, months or years and we have lost the ability to be the master of our own life. Instead what if we mustered the courage to do have the intention (thinking, feeling and visualising what we want as if it was already true) of what we feel will help us serve the world or bring us happiness then where is that likely to take us? Intention is being aware and mindful of what you are conjuring in your mind and choosing to allow your headspace and energy to be filled with the intentions that will bring us the most happiness and meaning. To do this you might take a few minutes right now to visualise your dream life? Maybe do it everyday until it starts to feel real?
'Start where you are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can.' Arthur Ash
So today it is time for you to transform your mindset into a positive one!
Maybe pick one thing to start with and share your comments below.