Hopefully, you are enjoying these blog posts as much as I am being able to share them. Much of this material I made available at other times in other fashions. It is exciting to be able to do similarly here.
I don’t pretend to be a writer. I am not. I simply try to share my thoughts. For much of my life I speak professionally in front of groups and extemporaneously. Here you get a similar stream of consciousness.
I attempt to provide you with multiple analogies and examples to help you remember the concepts. Just as in habit formation we need repetition, the more we repeat the principles and concepts the more we remember them. Remember how you learned your times tables. Over and over again.
Keep in mind that the more positive you think the more positive you are able to think. The more you do the more you are able to do. It becomes a reliable habit.
The road ahead will always be twisty and turning and you will have many times when you need to steer back to center many times. That is just the nature of personal change.
Along the path to mastery of any skill there are setbacks, pitfalls and plateaus. What researchers have discovered is the path to becoming better is not a straight path at all but looks more like a stair case.
Once we begin learning anything, playing golf or the piano, or knitting or public speaking what often occurs are, and especially in the beginning, some tough times. It is difficult, we have never thought or behaved or played this way before. As we continue we get better. Just like riding a bike. We attempt to do many things at once and we can’t pay attention to all of them so it seems almost overwhelming, still most of us managed to do it.
As we progress we may have what is ‘beginner’s luck’ when we perform exceptionally, we are in the zone, everything is right and goes well. Then, there may also come along a plateau phase where nothing we do is correct. We actually perform worse. Typically, we get frustrated and angry without disappointing performance.
What we did not know unless we are told OR have experienced playing or performing long enough is that our life will be visited b by these plateaus many times. It appears these plateaus are necessary for improving. These plateaus give us pause while our unconscious minds assemble all the learning bits. It literally seems to suppress some activity while it makes sense of all the learning experiences, hence the sudden lapse in co-ordination or progress.
It will take as long as it takes to get through this plateau and the timeframe is different for everyone. The best use of your time when these occur is to relax, let go, enjoy and do something else. Take a break from the sport or learning activity and come back renewed and refreshed at another time. If you do play stop criticizing yourself or expecting yourself to be perfect. Cut yourself some slack, appreciate that you are learning and celebrate that you are on your way. Have fun in the meantime.
Then when the plateauing is over the learning curve begins again. Upward and onward until the next time the brain needs to assemble everything. It is said some of our dreaming is doing this very thing on a daily or nightly basis.
During your journey of being more positive you discover that as you engage this process is that it gets easier to utilize.
As you repeat it over and over on each occasion you are beginning the process of positive habit formation. Through repetition and through time you make it a habit. Once you have developed the habit you will be delighted to find yourself automatically doing it. You will also discover yourself using it more frequently to transform other limitations you previously we aware of.
SO the best way to develop the habit more quickly is to infuse your positive thoughts with positive emotion. Feel wonderful, find the best you can feel through the day and enjoy it. Nurture the process, relax about it, don’t force it and have some fun.
A habit can be said to be a skill that does not require or even enlist your conscious thinking about it. As creatures of habit we pretty much do things consistently unless interfered with. For example, you probably sleep on the same side of the bed each night, you may even have a particular bed time and ritual you do prior to sleeping. You awaken in the morning and you shower and get ready. You have a bathing order. You wash top down or bottom up same fashion every day. My guess is this rarely if ever varies with you. When you get dressed you begin the same way and in the same order. The same foot gets the sock on first, the same leg goes into the pant leg. You most likely drive to work the very same route and return the same unless you have to stop and shop or go somewhere or for any other reasons. We get angry similarly over many of the same things that always make us angry, or we get upset, sad, lonely over the same things.
It has been said the average human thinks at least 60,000 thoughts a day and upwards of 60% of them are the same thoughts as the day before AND the day before that. Whew, who is doing the counting?
Bottom line we are creatures of habit. We engage in the same behaviors and thoughts on a daily basis without every stopping to consider why or how we developed these. Even though there may be better ways of doing what we do, this IS how we do it.
Imagine that! Most of what we do IS already by habit. We are even known by our habits. Other people can frequently predict how and what we may do or react like in given situations. Sometime, they or we are surprised, but pretty much we are reliable patterned creatures of habit.
So when I talk of making positive thinking a habit it is not as though you have never done it before. You have developed lots of habits good and bad, some required much energy and attention while others seems to develop outside of our awareness. Either way we have learned and set habits. Since we have done this many times we can do it again with complete purpose.
You might consider a habit a skill you do without thinking consciously about it and yet you can enlist your conscious mind when you need to. Driving is an example. You use both your conscious mind and unconscious to drive (as you do everything).
Driving is both an conscious operation and a collection of unconscious habits. This is why you can drive without paying attention and while lost in thought, however, that is NOT the safest way to drive. Safe driving requires both conscious attention and reliable unconscious skill. as
I believe the same is true of a happy successful life.
Developing the positive thinking habit works the same way all habits are formed. It requires your conscious determination, repetition, sticking with it without quitting, and encouragement.
For this discussion, the analogy I will use is taking up running.
To start, a person decides to to get healthy, or for whatever reason, by jogging. After making the decision to being one must ACTUALLY begin. This overwhelmingly obvious point is lost on the procrastinator who will get around to it someday. By the way, the cure for all procrastination is to put off procrastinating for another day.
The person goes out to jog. At first, they cant jog far or long and they might even get sore but if they keep jogging a bit each day pretty soon they can jog further with less discomfort. Soon they begin to notice the benefits of jogging. They feel better when they run, they feel better after they run and it has gotten easier.
Because of these benefits and because the body releases chemicals (another aspect we shall discuss at another time related to positive thinking) the person actually begins to look forward to running as a result. They get disappointed if they can’t for some reason. Jogging has become part of their daily routine, they have formed the habit of jogging daily. They even think about it when not jogging.
We form positive habits by being deliberate about forming them.
We make the decision, we do the action, we keep doing it without quitting and in time the habit is formed. The key to making something habitual is how often we do it without quitting and the enjoyment we derive from it. I have pointed out how the military conditions a troops thinking by repetition and high emotional involvement. That is a great example of conditioning and making habits.
People have learned all sorts of habits, good, bad or destructive, and indifferent habits/ A good habit may be brushing after meals, thinking positively, a bad habit may be smoking or over eating or picking one’s nose in public, and indifferent habit may be which sock you put on first or your bathing order.
We do know habits are hard to break. If you have ever tried to stop engaging in a bad habit, like biting one’s nails, you know if is tough. So a wise way to think is that we should develop good habits to serve us because they too will be reliable and difficult to stop.
Don’t you think it is time that we take charge and develop positive habits? Once you develop the positive thinking habit it too is difficult to stop. Isn’t that great news? You make a positive, powerful and permanent change. You develop a reliable habit to automatically use and to put into use whenever you need to or want to consciously.
I think this is fabulous news for us humans, don’t you?
Still, as I have attempted to point out, the world doesn’t change necessarily, it is whatever and however it is. It keeps going on. Some may think we do have influence as creators, but that is not in the scope of this discussion at this time. Perhaps, we do have influence as creators.
The point is regardless of what the world offers you or why you can develop your abilities though practice (or rehearsal) so that you can determine how you may positively respond to whatever it offers you.
Just because bad things happen one does not have to choose to feel unhappy. There is always a choice. We will explore this more in depth at another time as well.
You can change your response to what the world offers you. You can learnt that you have choices you may never have exercised before.
The way you do this is to use do what I have been describing for yourself. Take the time and make it a habit. You will find then that the challenges thrown at you actually contain within them opportunities.
You will transform your thinking and as you do more and more things become good, whether they are inherently good or not. None of that matters. You determine how you think, how you feel and how you act regarding what the world offers. You become the victor.
When you do these things and change your thinking for the positive you enhance your ability to make good decisions. When you act on your good decision you get good results. Who doesn’t want to get better results? You do, don’t you?
I think this is a marvelous way to live. Being in control doesn’t mean having to control all the time. It simply means that whenever necessary, or whenever you want to, you are able to be more resourceful. You are able to exert control when you have to.
Being in control means you put yourself in charge of your creative processes and fashion yourself and your life more as you want it to be. In this regard you are very much a creator.
Whether you are new to this thinking or seasoned in this approach think positively about it and you will find more positivity in life. Look for what is good and new. It is there, right in front of you, right inside you, IF you will ONLY look.
There is the saying, ‘the kite rises against the wind’ which means that challenges provide us opportunity to grow. We become stronger when challenged, when we need to rise to the occasion. Muscles are built by lifting weights. The main point to understand is that however, you regard challenges is how you will experience them.Opportunity is everywhere, you can learn from any experience.
So to sum this all up: We become what we think about most of the time through the day. So think powerful positive thoughts about yourself, others and situations and events. Look for the very best and you find the best. Give the very best you have because you will get back whatever you put out there..
You don’t have to let negative happenings or negative thinking bring you down. It can ALWAYS be otherwise. If you slip up, get up! Go on, steer back to center without drama, criticism, or fanfare. Celebrate that you noticed you were off track and get back on track. It is that simple.
In order for life to be better you have to change it. You will discover many things that delight and amaze you. Changes will come more swiftly and you will find yourself happier and healthier overall. All you have to do is begin. Take the first step forward.
I believe this is worth it, what about you? Will you begin to day to make a real difference in your life today? What things can you do to make yourself feel more wonderful? How much fun can you stand today?” Rex Sikes
There are many things to continue to discuss and we will in future blog posts. I hope you are enjoying reading and putting to work suggestions you get here. I welcome comments. Meanwhile make your day glorious, after all it is the only day, today, that you have.”
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