What is stopping you from finding happiness?
What if I told you that you are stopping yourself. It’s your fault.
Not your mom’s, not your spouse, not your boss, but you!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that your circumstance aren’t favorable. I know that you may have many things in your life that make it difficult for you to really thrive.
There are always going to be things in this world that will try to bring you down.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot control the world around you, but you can control your thoughts, and that alone can change everything in your life!
James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
Simply put your life and the degree of happiness you experience is directly reflected by the type of thoughts you think.
For instance, when I was suffering from depression, for two long years I cried myself to sleep every single night. It was painful and I was so distraught every day. My thoughts were all over the place. I was focused on my divorce and the fact that my kids didn’t have a strong family unit. I was upset that my career hadn’t taken off. I was troubled by the unknowns and all the moving parts in my life. There was so much going on and I was focused on all of it.
That kind of thinking nearly destroyed all of my potential, until I opened a book by John C Maxwell one day.
The book was about growth and thinking. It was the first time in years that I opened my eyes to the possibility that I was miserable just because I chose to be. So, I set out to change everything in my life by first changing the way I thought about everything. This is how I did it:
Have you ever heard that you should take great care in naming your child because that is what he or she will be known by forever. In Biblical stories, God would change people’s names once they encountered him, because that signified the new journey they would take. Your name has meaning and that meaning is repeated to you every time someone calls on you. In the same way, as you grow up you not only find meaning behind your name, but also in the words people speak to and about you.
If you were raised in a home where your mother gave you positive feedback and encouraged you, then your more likely to have high self esteem.
If you were criticized by your parents, then you are more likely to suffer from low self esteem.
That’s the power of positive and negative affirmations. It’s the act of building your thought process around who you believe yourself to be.
So, now you’re an adult. You can’t change the past. It’ll do you no good to hold a grudge against anyone who spoke down to you when you were younger. The key is now, to start feeding yourself affirmations every day.
Tony Robbins, one of the worlds most experienced, successful and knowledgeable leaders in personal growth, advocates the power of speaking affirmations to yourself daily. After reading his material and listening to him on YouTube, I decided to try it for myself.
So, on my bathroom mirror I wrote 10 things I wanted to believe about myself.
Every single morning I would wake up and tell myself those things aloud. For instance, I would say, “Paige, you are intelligent, beautiful, a great mother, a world changer, Etc…”
Slowly but surely my confidence in those areas grew until I realized that my whole demeanor had changed. That’s what self- belief does! It makes you realize the power to make your dreams come true is all in the way you think about yourself.
So practice positive affirmations every day! After all, if you don’t say nice things to yourself, don’t expect others to.
Success isn’t something that hard work alone produces. If that was the case then many hard working Americans would be millionaires, but they are not.
Success has a lot of moving parts, and hard work is one of them, but not the only.
One of the most important factors of success is the mastery of your mind and the ability to see yourself successful.
Let me stop for a second to give you a brief explanation of this concept.
Being rich and being poor are both mindsets. Two people can make the same amount of money every week. One can blow it easily and be frustrated when they don’t seem to be getting ahead (poor mentality) and the other can save, reinvest and be wise with their money so they can meet their goals and have a level of financial freedom (rich mindset).
Both of these mentalities are taught.
If you were raised with very little, you have learned to live in a state of survival. Your mind focuses on what it needs to survive. It doesn’t look any further. So, even when great opportunities come your way, you tend to sabotage them, because having money isn’t something you can truly see yourself enjoying. People with these mindsets often demonize rich people. They like to say that having money is a bad thing and it’ll change you in a bad way.
For instance, I have a friend who was raised in some pretty terrible circumstances. All he knows is struggle. So, he gets employed at my family’s restaurant. His work ethic is amazing! He’s skilled and talented. Concerning his skills, he could have really taken off in the industry. But because of his upbringing and his poor mentality, he always sabotaged his chances through his negative attitude. He would blow his money and always found himself in the most comfortable place he knows- the struggle.
On the other hand, there was a young employee that had started working for my family at 16. Over the years, his hard work has paid off and now he owns his own restaurant. He has a rich mentality. He could see himself as an executive, and he took advantage of every single opportunity that was presented to him.
The point is that you have to train yourself to see your life the way you truly wish it to be. Don’t just talk about it. Close your eyes and imagine, just as a child imagines. Make it real to you. If you want a happy marriage, then picture the love you’d feel. Experience it in your imagination. If you want massive success, focus on what it would look like to you. In your imagination, see yourself being able to give, live and thrive as a wealthy person. See happiness!
In every single book I have ever read about success, this concept is always explained. Visualization is what has gotten major CEOs, entertainers and multi-millionaires to their level of success. It’s not a secret, it’s not hard to understand, most people are just comfortable in their poor mindsets. Don’t be those people! Dare to dream!
3. Giving Back
When I was looking to get myself out of depression, I started doing a little research. The common thread I would find in all the advice written on the Internet is that volunteering and giving helps tremendously in fighting depression.
So, I made it a major point to give. When I would see people on the side of the road, asking for money, I would go out of my way to help.
When someone was hurting, I made it a point to give them empathy. I stopped focusing on my issues and started helping people with theirs. This literally transformed my life.
Not only did it gain me the respect of a large number of people, it helped me realize that my life wasn’t as bad as others. It gave me a sense of purpose. It made me understand that I matter to people.
My word of encouragement, the inspiration I give through posts and blogs, the energy I possess all adds value to other people’s lives. In turn, it gave me a real sense of satisfaction and purpose.
Have you ever heard of “The Secret”? It’s a book that exposes the secret of life. It is a best seller and probably one of those books that will stick around for decades or longer. It’s powerful. The fundamental principle in the book is that gratitude is the key to totally transforming your life.
So think about it. What did you give thanks to God for today? I mean like really open your mouth and say thank you for. Anything? Probably not.
We live entitled lives, me included. People get rich off of making life easy for us. We so easily take advantage of automobiles, apps and even indoor restrooms! These things and many other things we take for granted every day make us a little entitled. So, more often than not we tend to be ungrateful or we just don’t truly take the time to say Thank you every day.
When I realized that gratitude was the key to an amazing life, I started a journal just for that purpose.
Every morning, I woke up and wrote a few things I was grateful for. After a few weeks, it was as if luck surrounded me.
It was like God was just so pleased that I was content, He wanted to give me more. That’s exactly what gratitude does. It opens your mind and releases eternal Grace in your life.
In short, if you want life to truly change start saying Thank You for all the little things! Even if your environment never changes, you’ll have found a contentment and peace you wouldn’t trade for the world.
If you want to get out of a rut, you have to fix your focus on making progress.
Small achievements really give you so much self esteem. That’s why video gaming is such a craze in American society. It allows for people to realize achievement without even moving!
The only problem with that is it simply manipulates your mind and you don’t usually have any long term growth resulting from those highs you get when you win or succeed on a game.
Similarly though, if you set small everyday goals, and you knock them off your list each day, you will start to really believe in your ability to do more. For instance, If you are trying to learn a new skill, but it seems a little out of reach, don’t jump right into it and expect to be a success. If you want to record videos or be a photographer, you’re not just going to go shoot and expect perfection. That rarely happens. If it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, then your confidence plummets. Instead, do a little research.
Set a goal of learning about one aspect of photography each day. Whether it be from reading materials, YouTubing or listening to podcasts, do something daily that will get you closer to your end result.
When I started focusing on growth, I set a goal to read 3 books a month. It was a little difficult at first, but after the first few months, I really started to love the excitement of finding new and interesting material to expand my library.
Now I have a large collection of books that I seriously treasure! Looking at them every day when I’m leaving the house, reminds me of the work I put into attaining the knowledge I have. Now that is true satisfaction!
After a year, I added more to my goals. I planned my days so I could could manage owning a daycare, working with the restaurant, working in real estate, blogging, making videos and raising two children. It is never easy, and I didn’t see success instantly. It took a long time for me to even be able to spend money to get things I really wanted. I lived with very little in regards to “stuff” for a long time.
The sense of accomplishment was enough to satisfy me on the journey.
All in all, The little steps you take daily, add value to your reputation, because after all everyone respects the slow progress and the grind of those who have achieved something great. The over night successes usually fade quickly because of their lack of experience and understanding of the upward climb.
The journey really holds the most treasure anyway. The destination is simply the end of one journey and the beginning of the next. After all, you never stop when you are focused on growth. You just find other ways to apply the same principles to your life.
With a growth mentality you will find pure joy and lasting success in life.