Many of us are vaguely aware of the concept that our mental state affects our experience of the outside world. Even if we’re at a party with amazing food surrounded by our friends, if we feel angry or down about something we cannot enjoy it. Similarly, even if we’re experiencing a lot of hardships or health problems, if we’re ultimately content we will feel happy. In a very basic way, the only thing that really matters in a situation is the way we choose to experience it. Most of us will have to experience hardship at one point or another. It may be something like a job loss or relationship breakdown. Or it may be something a bit tougher like a bereavement or serious illness. Whatever we have to face, we will necessarily feel more calm and positive if we can make our mind a good place to be. Nothing positive has ever come out of an agitated, unhappy mind. However serious our problem, we are far more likely to face it effectively with a calm and positive mind. A few minor changes to your mind can change your life.
Be The Change You Want To See
There are many times when we might wish people were a certain way. We might wish people were more honest and loving. We might wish people would talk about their differences rather than fighting them. We may even wish that people would work harder to put others first or protect those in need. However large or small our wishes might be, we should first look if we embody them ourselves. The chances are that we do have some of the good qualities we look for in others. If we value qualities in others, we often try naturally to cultivate them personally. But how can it be developed? If you wish people would be more selfless and generous, watch your own mind closely. Are you giving what you can? Your material wealth is only a tiny aspect of giving. Of course it would be wonderful to do something for charity and set a great example for others. But this is by no means the only way we should consider giving. We can give our time and energy to others. We can listen to them closely and sincerely. We can give words of encouragement and support. These are all acts of giving that cost us nothing. We have a positive impact on our immediate environment and ultimately the wider world! At the very least, we’re not contributing to the qualities that we hate. And at best, we are setting a great example and make someone feel much better. People who feel supported and appreciated are often more likely to give to others too. So you will always be paying it forward! By being the change that you want to see in other people, you are setting a powerful example and are more likely to attract like-minded people.
It is easy to feel like we have more or less learned all we can. By the time we have a home, partner and a family we may feel like we know enough and are getting by ok. We are likely aware of some gaps in our knowledge but don’t really have the time or energy to address them. However, staying curious keeps our mind active and positive. If we still feel that there is a lot to learn and explore, it fills us with motivation. It may manifest in a physical way such as the desire to travel the world and absorb new cultures. Or you may wish to take a class in a new skill or interest. It might take a much more minimal form that is just as valuable. Why not tune in to a programme that you would otherwise shy away from? Check out a section of the newspaper that you usually pass by. Even try talking to someone who you might not think you have much in common with. Staying curious and open will broaden your mind and make the world seem a more exciting place to live.
If we aim a bit higher in life, it doesn’t mean that we need to be dissatisfied with what we already have. We should be grateful and celebrate all the positives of our situation as it already stands, but be open to opportunities. Many people have changed their lives by raising their aspirations. It might be educational, financial, or emotional. You can always aim to be a better version of yourself without having to compete with others. Many people have begun improving their lives from the inside out by changing their mind. It might be with spirituality and meditation, systems like the Wealth Beyond Reason Programme, or the laws of attraction. Whatever method you choose, approach it positively. Try not to feel that you have to “escape” your life or resent it in anyway. With a grateful mind, acknowledge your wish to improve and enjoy the process rather than just the results.
We might have our feet firmly on the ground or be a bit of a dizzy dreamer. Neither is superior or inferior. We probably are naturally inclined one way or the other. We may be a mixture of the two. The important thing to remember is that each side has a lot to learn from the other. Try always to explore other views and ways of thinking. Read up on books that claim to have changed the lives of others. Try to discuss deeper issues with friends and family to get a feel for their beliefs. If a belief differs wildly from your own, try to approach it methodically. What might have caused that view? What are the benefits of that view? Is it positive or harmful in some way? We needn’t criticise anyone’s views out loud, but thinking carefully about them in private can be very beneficial. If we try to think about our own views in this way, such as whether they help or harm us, we can cultivate the good and reduce the bad! Thinking logically about what might have caused the thoughts of others also helps our relationships. We can begin to understand that people can only act according to their own beliefs and fears. They may not mean any actual harm or even understand the impact of their words. Being philosophical as a general approach keeps our minds flexibility and improves our empathy. This is in turn greatly improves our relationships, both personal and professional.
Align Your Behaviour With Your Conscience
This may sound like an obvious suggestion but it is remarkable how difficult it can be to observe. At its root, aligning your behaviour with your conscience means you need to stop anything that you know is wrong. Perhaps you are often impatient with a certain person and know you should try harder to be patient. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable eating meat as an animal lover but do so anyway. There are several ways in which we might engage in behaviours on a daily basis that we don’t truly believe in. At its worst, these behaviours can extend to lying to the ones we love, stealing or worse. Without beating yourself up, it’s time to acknowledge if there is something you’re doing that you would rather not. Be clear with yourself about why it makes you uncomfortable or why you want to stop, and start making changes. Resolve to be more patient, for example, or to go vegetarian for a month. By ridding ourselves of our own behaviours that we dislike, our self esteem will actually grow. We will have a better relationship with our own mind and often with others too. Be brave, be clear, and make a change today.
Do More Of What You Love
What makes you happy? When in the day do you think to yourself that you really love what you’re doing? Try to identify the causes carefully. You might be able to emulate and emphasise them in other ways. If you have a really stressful job, the only time of day that you’re happy might be when you collapse in front of the TV at home! It might not be practical to do more of this, but perhaps that is telling you to emphasise your rest. Make more time at the weekends or in the evenings to truly relax and unwind. You may find your experience of your job improves as a result. Perhaps you feel truly happy amongst friends or family. Ensure then that you are scheduling regular time and activities with them. Perhaps you have good job satisfaction and feel really happy in the the knowledge of a job well done. It could be the feeling of helping others, of being in control or another cause that makes us happy. Try to identify it and find ways of doing it regularly. Not only will we often benefit others in this way but we will feel more happy and content too. Life is short and our enjoyment of it is important. If you’re fortunate enough to find something that makes you feel happy and alive, embrace, celebrate and repeat it!
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“Do what you expect others to do to you”, I’ve been following this for a long time now. And sometimes there comes a time when I hit myself for not adding “but don’t expect the same in return” (which in today’s world happens most of the times), but Karma has a way of returning the good back. And being true to oneself provides this kind of self satisfaction which boasts good vibes. In the end, happiness is a state of the mind right.
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