I’ve had a hard life. I hear that all the time. Every life is hard though, you know that… right? It’s not like super smart people or rich people or people who match advertising’s definitions of beauty—they aren’t immune to thinking debilitating thoughts. On a very recent post, Iris Higgins the former Diet Consultant talked about a thin, attractive model who cried over her non-existent “fat.” Everyone has the same neuro-chemicals to play with. It’s not how your life is, its simply a matter of which of the chemicals you got trained to ask for.
I know people who were beaten silly or were molested as kids and they have happy, healthy lives and successful relationships. So that’s possible. I know people who were teased horribly for disfigurements as kids and they have grown up to have a positive self images and rewarding lives. So that’s possible. I know people who grew up so poor they routinely didn’t have food and yet they have grown up into grateful, generous people. So that’s possible. I know people who had violent spouses, terrible diseases, backgrounds as refugees, or as the children of addicted parents. All of these people experienced tremendous hardship. What broke them free from repeating those cycles or being destroyed by them, was their willingness to change their thinking.
Without knowing it you walk around all day in a sea of your own thinking. You judge the world, other people and especially yourself. If you use your own background as some sort of basis for that discussion you’re lost. Because any opinion anyone ever had about your life could only guess at who you are, and people are helpful so they will have pointed out areas where you could improve. But that makes you feel like now something’s missing.
Only you define you. But you have to realize that non-intellectually. You can’t believe it’s possible you have to enact it as a verb in your life. Like an actor, you must literally think the person’s thoughts that you want to be. That is literally how you become that person. That is all a specific person is; is a pattern of thinking. If you change your patterns you change yourself. The weird thing is, once you get good at changing that same ability gives you an understanding that you don’t really have to change much at all. You finally realize that who you were originally was actually pretty close to the real you.
Stop telling people about your past–about those previous yous. Yes you will have to refer to it occasionally as a part of living life but you don’t have to dwell there with those old versions of yourself. You certainly don’t have to volunteer to bring it up. Focus on who you are being. Focus on keeping in mind who you intend to be and that intention will become reality through your thinking of it. Do you see where you come from? Can you see why you might say you’re unlucky, or talk about how you never get a break, or even when you say I can’t. That’s your idea of yourself and that is a worthless idea. You have the power to choose what you build with your consciousness. Change in life is when the idea becomes a verb and is thereby released into action by you.
You have no fetters. You wake up every day fresh and new and capable of being anyone. Be the person you would enjoy being. Be selfish that way. Think of how you would like to be and then intentionally think that person’s thoughts. Because the one that feels best is actually you. So just do it. Remind yourself with notes, whatever you have to do. But your life has never been anything but a role you play, so it’s time you started taking more control over your script and playing the role you’ve always wanted to play.
Forget the past. Intend your future. Think yourself into a wonderful life by taking the actions that flow naturally from the new person’s thoughts. That’s the only way it ever happens.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.