Man, do we hear this all the time these days. Be confident. Be happy. Think positively. All good ideas, in theory. But how do you make them actually work?
Positive thinking as a mindset has been around a long, long time. Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich is a mainstay in these circles. I can list about a billion other titles (and I bet you can too!). And while all of this can change your life, I always loved Deepak Chopra, MD,’s take on this: Unless you actually feel it, it’s all mood making. In short, not real.
It’s that ‘getting real’ where the trick lies.
And it’s easy to get discouraged when you start working on this and nothing happens. Or, it seems the converse does. A good friend said to me not long ago, “I tried being positive. It didn’t work for me.”
Do I ever know that feeling! Been there. Many times. And I bet you have too! How to change your mindset is the real key.
Through lots of trial and error (I never do learn easily!), I’ve found a couple of tools that really worked. For me at least.
1. Persistence. First off, like anything in my life, I learn by repetition. Kinda like training one of my dogs. It’s funny when I’m working with a new puppy, she’ll have no clue what the heck I’m talking about for many sessions. But then, with consistency and repeating the lesson, the light bulb dawns. I can see it on her face. ‘Oh!’ her expression says, ‘you want me to hold that bumper! I got it.’ I hate to say I’m trainable like a Labrador puppy, but, well, such seems to be the case!
And it’s just like when you go for session after session and that bumper falls out of her mouth time and again (handler error! I should hold it there. LOL), events pop up in real life to say—see, you’re not getting there. This doesn’t work. But the bumper analogy helps me in real life. Because I’ve seen that light dawn in a Labrador’s eyes once she ‘gets’ it. And sooner or later, she always gets it. And that gives me faith that sooner or later, I’ll get whatever principle I’m working on too.
Funny thing about that—it works.
2. Feelings. I have to keep at it ‘til I feel it. And oh, my, was this a game changer for me! I love the works of Neville, especially The Power of Awareness, originally published in 1952. His premise is that all desires are attainable by assuming the feeling of them fulfilled. “The assumption of the feeling of the wish fulfilled makes the future dream a present fact.”
I know that sounds like a bunch of hocus pocus—it did for me too in the beginning. But the whole point is that you must feel it to make it happen (to get real). And that ain’t easy, especially in the face of defeat. But like continuing to put that bumper in the dog’s mouth ‘til she gets it, persistence in feeling that emotion makes it easier and easier to do so. And then, crazily enough, it actually works.
Now, I love the idea of quantum physics, although of course I don’t actually understand it. I was born without that part of the brain. And I don’t know if it’s that which makes the desire come to life, or perhaps that the focus itself keeps you taking steps consistently forward. Or, if it’s simply magic.
And actually, I don’t care. I don’t much have time to care. LOL. And I bet you don’t either. What matters to me are results. I like seeing the fruits of my labors. And I bet you do too! In a world where we all have too much to do, it’s easy to get caught up in those things that don’t make much difference in your life. It’s easy to place priorities in the wrong (i.e., ineffective) places.
But we do have control over that. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
So, I’m off to focus on and feel my latest desires. What are yours?