I would describe myself as a “self improvement junkie,” which can be viewed in both a positive and negative light. On one hand, it’s beneficial to expose yourself to as much positive, constructive ideas as possible. Since we are all susceptible to the power of suggestion, it logically follows that we are going to be influenced by the information, points of view, and philosophies that filter through our minds, every day.
With the year 2021 just around the corner (thank God!), I’m tempted to compare the practice of positive thinking to the annual ritual of creating New Year’s resolutions. As you probably know or suspect, most people FAIL at maintaining their new year’s resolutions for more than a couple months. I believe that there’s a correlation between the value of positive thinking and the widespread failure of New Year’s resolutions.
In my opinion, here are the factors which separate those who succeed from those who fail. And by the way, when I use the term “positive thinking,” I’m referring to a variety of practices and mindsets — everything from repeating positive affirmations to writing down and reviewing your goals on a regular basis.
Creating a Proactive Mindset
Commitment: Just paying lip service to the importance of believing in yourself and pursuing your goals is not going to get you too far. You need to be willing to take action on a daily basis and continually go outside of your comfort zone. Unless you make up your mind to persistently pursue realistic goals that are meaningful to you, your progress will be sporadic and unremarkable.
Focus: There’s a saying in the self-improvement/spirituality world that says, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Although there are several ways to interpret that, the one thing most people would agree on is that if you identify what you want and create an action plan to get it, you will most likely move in that direction and get closer to your desired lifestyle and the greater level of happiness you’re seeking.
As I see it, the attainment of happiness and success (however you define those ideals), boils down to aligning yourself with the concept of probability. While nothing is guaranteed in this world of ours, you can significantly increase your chances of being healthier, happier, and more prosperous by creating a plan, revising it as needed, and making a commitment to yourself to actively pursue your goals on an continual basis.
Your goals and personal values will evolve as time goes on, but if you resolve to develop your potential, identify opportunities, be kind to yourself and others, and make the most of your life, then that simple, but powerful mindset will propel you forward and get you closer to where you want to be.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the quality of your life is directly affected by the quality of your thoughts. The good news is that by cultivating optimism, deflecting your negative thoughts, and a taking a proactive approach to life, you can control both.