The Big Self-Improvement Secret
The “Big Secret” about self-improvement really isn’t a secret at all, but there are still so many people that are unaware of it that it might as well be a secret. Maybe if we called it a secret, it would spread faster.
The Self-Improvement Secret
What’s the secret? The power of your thoughts and feelings.
2020 has not been an easy year and it would be easy to get bogged down in thoughts of COVID-19 and the illness and grief that it has caused worldwide. It would be easy to focus on the wildfires and hurricanes, the negativity stemming from political campaigns, and the riots. Yes, we need to work on turning things around. We need to follow the guidelines that keep us safe from the Pandemic as much as possible. We need to help the victims of natural disasters, take a stand on local and national politics, and help keep things calm in our neighborhoods. When we’ve done our part, we need to let go of any negative thinking that erupts.
An article in Lifehack, Philip Viana states:
People have a distorted view of the world when they are in a negative state of mind. It becomes a cycle where negative thoughts reinforce negative emotions, which in turn produces negativethe cycle is not broken, and left to run uninterrupted, it inevitably has a detrimental physical and mental effect on the person experiencing the spin. In addition, if these cycles spin often enough, they can lead to clinical depression and anxiety.
Take a look at this
So, let’s do a brief exercise. Write down how you are feeling right now —sad, happy, angry, lonely, tired, etc. Don’t go into detail— just note the basic feeling If you have one.
Set a timer for three (3) minutes. You can spare 3 minutes, can’t you?
Now in these three minutes, think only happy, positive thoughts and connect positive feelings to them— perhaps about the things/people you love the most, things you are most grateful for, things that make you laugh. Notice any negative thoughts that creep in and replace them quickly with something positive. For example, if you remember how you felt the last time you had a real laugh remember, as well, how it felt while you were laughing and how you felt when the laugh finished. The thoughts without the positive emotions associated with it are like rooms without furniture. You can go there but it isn’t enough fun to make you want to stay.
So start your three minutes of positive thoughts and emotions now. When the timer goes off, notice how you feel.
Do you notice a positive difference?
What if you did this several times a day? What if you got into the habit of positive thinking? What if you began to think about:
- your accomplishments and the accomplishments of your friends rather than your shortcomings?
- the things that are going right instead of the things that are going wrong?
- the people you like rather than the people you don’t like?
- what’s good about your job instead of what’s bad about your job?
- the good things about you rather than what’s wrong with you?
- how well your body serves you rather than all the things you don’t like about it?
- the beauty in your surroundings rather than the bad weather, the potholes, and the yards that need to be kept up?
- your talents, abilities and gifts rather than thinking “Oh, poor me?” and so on…
If you do this, for a short period of time daily for a week, you will notice a change. If you do it until it becomes a habit you will never be the same and you will notice an improvement in areas you haven’t even begun to work with. The self-improvement secret as now in the open.
As a Man Thinketh
In the lovely little book As a Man Thinketh, James Allen starts his first chapter with the following:
“The aphorism, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,’ not only embraces the whole of a man’s being but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
He continues: ” Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.” Deepak Chopra says that if you want to know what you will be like ten years from now, examine what your thoughts are today. Get it? Thoughts are powerful and coupled with emotions they are doubly powerful.
So what do you want in your future? If you want joy, peace, love, compassion, achievement, beauty—make those the content of your thoughts and feelings today. That, my friend, is the self-improvement secret.