Are you working on breaking a habit?
That seems perpetual sometimes, no? I mean, we can always improve. And that improvement comes down to working on habits of the mind. Because of course, that’s where they live.
I was a born skeptic. At least, I can never remember a time in this lifetime when I wasn’t one. I question, well, literally everything.
It took me a long time (a very long time, actually) to believe that keeping an upbeat attitude would pay dividends. I just had no natural inclination for this. And enough horror happened in childhood that the old “Life’s a bitch and then you die” got cemented into my brain.
Even as I grew through life and good things did happen (who knew!), I always watched over my shoulder for what bad would come next. Because I just knew it would arrive like drought follows rain.
Not a terribly effective way to live your life! But I could wallow in whatever misery and say, “See! I told you the bad would appear!”
And then as life rambled along, I started to also see that there was actually a better way. Not everybody thought in this manner, and behold and lo—their lives were better for it.
A lot of folks would say (as I did once) that their attitudes are more positive because their lives are just better for some ethereal reason.
But I found this not to be the case. In fact, many people focused on living with a positive attitude have had far more horrible things happen to them than have happened to me.
I wasn’t in that Nazi concentration camp with Viktor Frankl. His work centered around finding meaning—no matter what—and the folks who did were more upbeat and positive. Including himself.
And they made it out of the camp alive.
This got my attention.
Few of us, thank god, will have the opportunity to put our minds to a test such as surviving a concentration camp. But that doesn’t mean that our own stinkin’ thinkin’ won’t bite our butts in myriad ways.
It sure has mine.
I tend to need practical examples of success in order to embrace any belief system. And the more I studied the effects of a positive outlook, the more examples I found. They’re legion.
And I found that odd theory to be true as well—when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Now, I won’t get all quantum physics here, but that’s scientifically bearing out as well. Physicists have shown that particles react differently based on the observer studying them.
Finding that also changed my life.
Not that I don’t fall back into the negative. Old habits die hard! Because negative thinking, disbelief, have nipped my heels all my life.
But I’m committed. I’ve seen the change in so many people’s lives, and in my own as well. And now, as soon as the negative arises, I stop it.
Actually, I use the same command that I do while training puppies: “Leave it.”
That just works for me 🙂 Probably because I’ve said it so many times to wayward pups that it’s meaning is cemented in my mind—just as that skepticism used to be. Which causes an immediate, physical reaction to just stop.
Then I reality test—do I absolutely know the bad scenario is the truth? Unless I’ve become clairvoyant, the answer is of course no.
So, I find the good outcome that can occur, and choose to focus on that.
And it works every time.
You know the craziest part about that? Far more often than not, the positive occurrence manifests.
Just look at all the heartache I saved myself in the process.
So yep, old habits die hard. Once thought to be killed, they come back to life like zombies from the walking dead.
That just means you’re getting somewhere 🙂
Because even zombies can ultimately be killed.
And it all happens in the mind.
And that I know for true.
How do you slay your bad habits?