Tag Archives for " habits "
Are you focusing your time and attention to the right things? Are you placing importance on the right thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
Did you know that for most people, much of what they do in life was not consciously chosen by them? And many times we have done these things for so long they now do seem important to us, but deep down they really are not. At least not as important as what truly is deeply important. This is because doing so requires us to take command of our thinking and analyze the state of our life. But letting our minds just run things is easier, efficient and more comfortable. Most people have not taken the time to discover what is truly important to them, life just kind of goes along with many seemingly important activities going on all the time. Your brain will ‘take care’ of you in it’s own way and understanding this is very helpful if you want any kind of change in your life.
When you put your attention to something you will see and experience more of it, you will think about it more and even expound on it. Have you ever become interested in a certain model of car from reading and pictures, and then in the next few days you all of a sudden see lots of them on the road as you are driving around, and you hadn’t really noticed many before? Now that you have placed some of your attention, and maybe with some heightened emotional feeling, into the car you want your mind will help you experience more of the same. Your mind is just doing it’s job, to help keep you as comfortable as possible, and make your life easier with patterns, habits and easily repeated behaviors.
When you understand the way your brain works you can better work with it to get and experience what you want. In this case, it is valuable to be aware of what your mind will tend to do automatically so that you understand that you must be purposefully proactive with your thought and attention. Your mind gets programmed through repetition to see and pay attention to what you have already paid attention to. So if you don’t consciously otherwise direct your thinking, your mind will normally keep replaying the same things you have already done and have experience with. This is makes life easier, you don’t have to ‘think’ about a lot of things.
This is why we can feel as though our life has just been going on by itself, because it is. Until you step in, taking command of your thought, and direct your thinking – it will remain as it was. Well actually not exactly the same, your mind will continue to help you expand and develop on the theme – good or bad! In addition, whatever your mind focuses on becomes more important to you. This importance does not differentiate between good or bad.
When you place your attention on anything, this is a command to your brain telling it what you want. So, your brain works to fulfill this. Now this can be anything, even what you don’t want, or a bad experience, or a fear – anything you have focused conscious attention on your brain will help you experience more of it. This is one reason why habits are so hard to break, you keep falling into routines and have the same reactions and feelings over and over.
What can be done about this? Your brain is performing as intended but you are stuck repeating many experiences you would rather not have anymore or you want something new and different. You need to consciously take command of your thinking and override the automatic aspects of your brain. This is where your true power resides, in your conscious command of your thoughts. Just because your brain throws out thought and defense of it does not mean you must follow this – your conscious thought is ultimately in control. It may not seem this way because you have become accustomed to allowing the brain to keep things going automatically, but you can step in and take command anytime you choose.
You may not even know your deepest desires even though they have likely popped up once in a while. You will need to take some time and give attention to discovering what is deeply most important to you, it may not be what you have thought is important. There are different ways to go about this, with most consisting of quieting your chattering mind talk and learning to be receptive to inner information coming up to the conscious level. Doing things like asking yourself questions about yourself and becoming receptive to answers may not be something you are accustomed to doing, so it may take time, patience and persistence realizing that you are really in charge of your thinking. Even adding this kind of activity into your day means that you will need to make time by replacing something already present.
There are a few factors to be aware of that can hamper your progress:
Your brain will attempt to defend the repeating thoughts, throwing out ‘mind chatter’ to dissuade you from your new thinking and actions.
There is more short term comfort in what you already know, even if it is very bad for you. Keep your vision on the long term intention and satisfaction, as a way to get by the desire for feeling good now.
You must remain persistent, more persistent than the brains need to protect what you are trying to displace. Utilize whatever tools and techniques you can to help yourself stay on track. Persistence reveals the winner!
When you begin to see what is truly most important, you will then want to start to change what you focus some of your time and attention to. In order for the new desired experience to come to fruition you will need to continuously give it attention and time in your day. It is like a seed that needs to be nurtured. As you do this your brain will help expound on this and gradually have it become part of the automatic norm for your life just as it has with what you experience now.
Remaining in focus with what you have now or with what you don’t want will only tell your brain to perpetuate it. The first and necessary step for anything to change is your taking command of your thought and choosing what you do want based on what is important to you, then focus on it even if your brain throws up resistance. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and tell your brain what you want to focus on, not the other way around. Your brain will follow your lead once you’ve established your athority over your thinking. Take charge of your life, utilize your true power, choose your thought and your priorities.
A situation has come to my attention about someone who has been having problems for a long time trying to insist that other family members go along with how he wants to sort them out. He thinks discussing the mess of the past with others will help everyone with their stress, anxiety and depression, but mostly himself. He has been having a hard time living in the present without including the past.
This is a great example of how many get stuck in the idea that the only way to live fully in life is to go pack into the past and drudge it all up. That the only way to be happy today is to find and identify the ‘nugget’ in the past that seems to be at the root of your problems.
In order to see how personally destructive this is we must clear up some things about our existence and thinking.
First, the only REAL moment in your life is right now. Your future is your projection and your past is your memory.
So, the only way for the past to be a part of your life at this moment is for YOU to bring it here. Something that occurred in the past is not real today, but you can make it real by bringing the thoughts and emotional feeling of it into your thought space today. And through the miracle of your thought power you can choose to feel the same emotional feelings related to something from the past right now in the present. It’ s the most perfect re-enactment.
This is how your emotional pain from the past is brought current. Your past cannot bring itself into the now! Unless you choose to give those memories unlimited power in your life to come up at will and trigger emotional feelings at will.
Now I know that many feel the need to go back and discover the root cause of their pain feeling that this is the only way to alter the way they feel today. This is quite common, but so is the number of people stuck in a place of unhappiness waiting for the cure.
Where actually the only cure is today. How you choose to be and do today. There is a decision you must make, do you choose to live how you can live today or do you keep reliving some particular painful parts of the past?
Why most who think they need to dredge up the past is to ‘know’ why they think and feel as they do now. OK, yes you are a compilation of all of your perceptions linked together throughout your life. Since your perception is all you really have to bring everything into your life with, it influences who you are right now.
However, if you do go back in your past and find what you think is the root cause of particular thoughts and feelings, what then? In order for those thought patterns and attached emotional reactions to not be as they are today you will need to make some personal effort to alter them. They are the result of an initial event plus many other things that have been linked and have influenced your thinking along the way.
So, here is the surprise, just discovering the root cause will not make the thinking habits magically go away, all it does is perhaps relieve your curiosity and wonder about how it all started. You will still need to work on yourself to alter the thought ands behavioral patterns. The thoughts and behavioral patterns can be altered by you either way, so why put your life on hold to search for the one thing you think will make you better, make yourself into what you want anyway.
Some may think I am making this sound too simple. They will say, but I can’t think about any thing else, I can’t function with not knowing. These are valid, but only because you have chosen for them to be. You have chosen to allow them to be in your present moment and have the presence that they do.
What is really going on here is that you are shifting the responsibility of making your life all that it can be today, to something outside of yourself. You are placing the responsibility on the ‘thing’ that is may be the root of your troubling thoughts. “This will fix my life.” It won’t! It will only clarify a question you asked and decided to use as a condition to your happiness.
Even the question itself does not ‘make’ you do or feel anything, you choose to place a condition on it that it must be answered to your satisfaction in order for your life to go on. But, you can also choose differently. The responsibility to live harmoniously in the now is yours.
Why are some people consumed with needing to know about these root beginnings of their troubling thoughts? Because they don’t know what else to do. They think that if I can go back I can undo it all. You can’t, it happened. All you can do to change its influence on you is to change your interpretation of your perception of it. And this can be done right here right now without even knowing the details or knowing if it actually happened.
Other people have made a different choice, to not consider what happened in the past to be the deciding factor in their experience today.
You start by forgiving the past, everything that occurred and everyone in it for what they may have done. And this includes yourself. That’s all, that’s it. It is done, time to live today. Sound too simple? Most of the truths are simple, only us humans figure out debilitating ways to entangle ourselves in contrived complexity. And then stress about it.
I didn’t make this up, if you are involved with a religion, what do they say about forgiveness? But you may not be allowing yourself to fully do it because you have chosen to hold onto the past, and you can’t do both! Why has forgiveness been taught for centuries, because it takes care of these extremely debilitating problems that arise when we don’t.
This is how life works for us humans, whatever thoughts we choose to make our predominant thoughts have the most influence on our now. So, if you choose to think you are troubled today because of your past, you are. If you choose to change those thought and emotional patterns for today, you can do that also.
The only way to make your today any different than yesterday is to think and do things differently.
Sometimes finally discovering that root to your problems actually causes more problems. What if you presently think that maybe a certain person may have done something to you that was traumatic and started the troubling thought pattern. Right now you are worried about this possible truth and anxious about needing to know for sure. Then, say you find out it is true, just as you had thought, the person did something that hurt you. Now what?
Many time people in this position now become very angry with the person because they can, they now know for sure. Now on top of the original problems you had surrounding your suspicion you have deep resentment and anger. Much better, right? No, now you are in a worse situation that still requires you to come to terms with all of it in order to attempt to live in the now.
Any and all negative emotions only hurt you not the person you relate them to. Your emotions are completely experience by you alone. If you are mad AT someone, feel hatred TOWARDS someone, HOLD disdain or resentment, guess whose body and mind are suffering from the negative energy? You. Here is the interesting point, you are the only one who can turn on an emotion and you are the only one that experiences them. Hmm, So who can change them?
Danger, continuing this WILL be hazardous to your mental and physical health.
This incessant desire to find ‘the’ answer is no different than other forms of striving where we have an insatiable desire to have, do or be something. And just the same as with striving, if we place a CONDITION of its acquisition we are setting ourselves up for failure. Things regularly turn out differently than we may initially desire. Then our conditional response is set into motion, usually not one of pleasure. The trees that survive heavy winds are the more flexible ones!
As I said earlier, why not start right now to forgive anyone who you think may have done something, in case they did. Forgive yourself for being involved, however you may have been. This is the only way to actually relieve the pressure of the emotions you are feeling regarding what may have happened. Even discovering that root event will not relieve the pressure. Forgive and you can begin new and fresh, allowing yourself to be receptive to what your now has in store for you rather than trying to mix the past with the present.
Frankly if something in the past were so potentially painful why would someone want it over a new moment with out it?
From here you can begin to work on the thought patterns and behaviors that are not in line with what you really want ion your life without the burden of constantly refreshing the past. There are many techniques for changing your predominant thoughts to thoughts that are positive and life affirming, such as positive affirmations.
That is another topic but start with a wholesale forgiveness of everything that has happened in your life and everyone that was or may have been involved. This will help you turn your past into memories rather than emotionally charged events you are bringing up to the present.
High self-esteem and great self-confidence are not supported by dwelling on the past, they are boosted by a positive attitude towards your life’s possibilities. The best stress reliever is letting go of the past. Positive thinking is rising above the mire of the past.
For your past – thank it, forgive it and bless it!
For your future – move on, find peace and be happy!
Forgive, learn, grow and live. . .
John Halderman, a writer, speaker, and trainer intent on helping you get real results from your personal growth efforts.
He supports methods, tools, and knowledge that bridge the gap between information and effective results.
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Have you ever allowed yourself to do something that you really should not have?
The human mind is a wonderful thing, however, it can work against you if you allow it to.
Is can be beneficial to understand how this can happen so you can prevent it, keeping yourself out of undesirable situations.
Last week, in my family we experienced a situation that is a good example of how the mind can lead us astray – if we let it.
My youngest daughter came to a point of thinking something was OK to do, when it was not.
It appears that her path of thought was supported more by her desire to do something rather than all the facts.
She justified, in her mind, that certain things occurred in ways that supported her desire.
The mind can do this easily.
This allowed her to make decisions that further supported what she wanted.
It’s a normal function of the mind that it tries to find solutions that support our desires – this is how we grow, develop and fully experience our life.
You may have noticed how your mind may attempt to circumvent your values in an attempt to take the shortest route to producing your desire.
You support this line of thinking when you take a small step allowing your mind to guide you to think something is acceptable now when previously it was not.
It’s usually a small step, but then another small step, and another and so on.
And you will find yourself doing something you shouldn’t.
This is where you may say something to yourself like;
“It will be OK this time”, or
“They didn’t tell me not to”, or
“But I really want this”, or
“Who will know”, or
“Just this once”, or
You may recall some of your own.
Here is where you need to be in command, to temper the minds tendency to give you what you want- no matter what.
This is an opportunity for you to solidify your standards and principles.
Every time you stop your mind from taking the shortest route to give you what you want, you strengthen the position of your values.
Even when you think you have developed habits that are based on your principles, still be on the watch for what you are doing.
Keep monitoring your thoughts and actions, your unconscious mind can slip into finding the easiest way to accomplish your desires without telling you – that’s how it’s built.
Don’t take for granted that you are all set with your thinking.
Change is constant with new and different circumstances coming before you that need your interpretation.
Continue to filter everything through your principles.
Justification is just a convenient way to circumvent your principles in order to get what you want.
Justification turns off the filtering mechanism you use to interpret what you do.
Vigilant thought management is the key.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your
words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — Anonymous
“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” — Heraculitus
“The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.” — Stephen Covey
“Character and personal force are the only investments that are worth anything.” — Walt Whitman