“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama
Are you a value-adder or value-extractor? Do you find yourself simply going through the motions everyday? Are your kids annoying you? In conversations with friends and family, do you find yourself constantly sharing daily news from TV and social media?
...Or are you making a positive impact on the lives you touch?
It’s amazing how certain simple things can add so much perspective to our lives and create positive change all around.
Last year, I had hit a slump. I lost some motivation in my work and my workouts--two things that I love to do. I found myself in a constant state of negativity and complaining. In retrospect, it was a time for reflection and re-organizing. It was a time for me to dig deep and think of what my mission in life was and if I was in the right path towards it.
I set out to accomplish a goal of reading 50 self improvement books in one year. Since I am a VERY slow reader, I used every minute of spare time I could find to read (and gave up a lot of TV watching...which was probably a good thing). At the end of the year, I was able to finish the challenge and it totally changed my life.
One of the practices that was reinforced by reading many of those books was the common theme that many successful people do on a daily basis-- they carry an attitude of gratitude. Daily.
Initially I brushed it off as a “no big deal” and “silly” kind of practice that I didn’t really need to do. I would tell myself “ofcourse I’m grateful”, although in reality I wasn’t practicing that on a daily basis. I wasn’t actually taking the time to think about things that I was grateful for. I finally decided to do it for a week and eventually implemented into my daily morning power hour.
The attitude of gratitude has helped me become a more positive person. It has helped me become happier, more at peace with myself. It has helped me appreciate important people in my life and helped me be a better husband. I’ve become a better trainer. It has helped me put things in perspective more often. It also rebooted my outlook for my mission in life.
Things aren’t perfect, I have my flaws and days in which the negative outweighs the positive. But for me, perfection is not the goal. Progression towards the best version of myself is what I’m striving for.
Now, you may not get the same results I got, but I guarantee that adapting to a life of constant gratitude will absolutely change your life for the better. First, let me give you some perspective:
Let those facts sink in.
When you're ready, here are some ways you can start implementing an attitude of gratitude in your life.
This is from my experience as well as others I’ve talked too regarding attitude. Figure out which ones resonate with you and adapt them into your life.
Try to adapt the life of gratitude and put things in perspective more often. Soon enough you’ll see a major positive shift in your life. Not only will it benefit you, but you’ll soon be a value adder to other people’s lives….and there is no better feeling than that!
Developing healthy habits can sometimes be frustrating. Most people are trying to juggle numerous things in their life when attempting to adapt a healthier lifestyle or new fitness regimen.
Let’s say you want to create a new exercise habit; walking for 20 minutes every morning before work. You might tell yourself something like this:
"I’m ready for a change. This time I will be very consistent by walking everyday during the weekday. I have my new shoes, my walking partner and I’m ready to get healthier. Monday we start."
This is a story you’re telling your mind. Although it’s not real, it has a powerful effect in getting your mindset right and getting you to move and take action!
You’re good for the first 2 days. Wednesday rolls around and you’re partner calls to tell you her kid is sick and she can’t do the walk for the next couple days...which leaves you on your own. It’s you and your mind.
The next couple days, it’s a little harder to get out of bed early, but you fight through, knowingly that very soon your partner will rejoin you. She then texts you that she won’t be able to make it at that time at all, as her work schedule has shifted.
Now, you are completely on your own...and all of the sudden your mindset starts creating some doubtful thoughts: “Oh no, I may not be able to keep this up EVERY day.”
The following week you stay up late on Sunday and miss your Monday walk which puts a damper on your rhythm. You end up walking only once that week and your mind now begins with the story: “Dang it, I’m screwing up. It’s just tough to keep this going. I’m just not that disciplined.”
Just like that, your self belief is affected.
Your belief system surrounding your habit and the story you tell yourself matters more than most people realize.
So how do you tell a story that can actually help you maintain your positive habits?
The truth is, none of the stories you tell yourself is true. Amplified fears and worries are often made into stories that are far worse than actuality.
Ideally you want to stay in the present, but that is not quite how our minds work. We like stories. We are used to stories, so the key is developing good stories that can constantly be edited to reflect a positive outcome, instead of letting it spiral out of control.
Here’s how to tell a better story to yourself and develop everlasting habits:
When in doubt, always try to step outside the box and look at the big picture. Recite the many reasons why your new habit will take you towards a better life which will ultimately benefit those around you that you love.
Committed to your health,
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