The fact is that we all want to live positive, successful lives. I’ve never talked to one person in my life who said, “Tom I really want to be an unsuccessful, unhappy person!” The fact is none of us consciously would choose to live a miserable life. But that fact sadly does not stop any of us from actually allowing ourselves to slump into a life that is less than we desire for ourselves. In fact, there are dangerous habits that can, and more often than not, do sabotage the success of we most of us achieve daily. I think of these habits as the 3 Ps of dis-functionality.
Most of you probably have heard the saying “who in the world peed in his/her punch bowl?” In the context of our Day 2 challenge the 3 Ps I’ve identified above are the pee most of us allow others to pour into our punch bowl daily; and that’s why for a lot of us our punch does not taste that good!
Every day people like you and I work hard to create a great passion fruit punch in our lives. We all want to create lives for ourselves that are positive and productive. Innately we want to live enjoyable and successful lives. Yet newspapers, phones, Facebook, Instagram, televisions and computers figuratively pee in our punch bowls. People gossip and spread negativity and fear through these mediums every day. And by doing so they pollute our minds and emotions. They ruin the passion fruit punch we are all trying to create for ourselves.
So how do we proactively deal with people who are killing our passion and ambition by distracting us from our life goals? Well that’s a great question, and it's not easily answered. Here are some thoughts that have helped me and may help you stay on track as you journey towards your better life.
Initially we have to recognize that we cannot allow anyone to pee in our punch bowls. They are in fact our punch bowls and our punch recipes. So, one thing I have learned in my life is that I need to stay away from people and things who amplify negative messages; people and things who have the singular goal of distracting me away from my goals in life! It’s really important, I believe, that we all understand and embrace this concept. If you ask most people, I think they would say they do a good job of staying away from the Negative Nancys in their lives. Other people believe they have some amazing super power that allows them to listen to, or talk about, negative subjects or issues that have been reported to them and not have these things direct negatively affect their lives. Neither of these assumptions are true and here’s why:
1. We want to produce results in our lives right? Whether we want to accept it or not, we will all leave a legacy after we pass from this life to the next. For that fact alone most of us desire to produce result in our lives so that we can know our lives mattered. Many of us in North America want to earn more money so that we can generate a better lifestyle for ourselves, for our families, for the causes we support. We want to take better vacations, maybe we want to pay for higher education for our kids or financially support a family member or a close friend in need. Whatever it is, we all have a desire. We want to produce positive results in our lives! We want our lives to matter.
These desires are called “outcomes.” Factually speaking, more often than not in you get out of life the outcomes that you create. I’ve said this before, and I’ll mention it again, we are 100% responsible for all of the outcomes in our lives through what we create. We humans are creative beings so what we create is what we get. Let’s take this principle to heart because it is this principle that carries our thinking to success in Part 2 of this challenge!
2. Question for all of us to consider: what generally controls the human creative process? Well, in reality I would suggest EXPECTATIONS control our creative process. In other words, expectations are what you look for in life, in products, in relationships, and what you look for is what you find. That is why expectation manifests itself into CREATION. This reality is not some form of magic, there’s no secret’ sauce to this thinking, it’s simply the concept of seeing what you are looking for. If you are looking for the best in the world, the best in people, the best in a situation, you will find the best in those things. If you are focused on and seeing the negatives in life, you will see the scariest things in the world, the worst attributes of people and have a “problem for every solution”.
3. If we believe that the driving force of our CREATION is what we are EXPECTING to happen we have to ask ourselves “what is driving my (our) expectations?” And the answer to that is whatever it is we are thinking about drives our expectation. Expectation is driven by THOUGHT! You may have heard a counsellor or therapist or teacher use the phrase “thoughts are things!” In reality I would argue that thoughts aren’t things originally, but they become things after that thought directs your ATTENTION and your EXPECTATION and your CREATIVE PROCESS to produce those things. This is why much of the Personal Development industry focuses on THINKING. For example, books like:
a. THINK And Grow Rich
b. The Power Of Positive THINKING
c. The Magic Of THINKING Big!
A few years ago, I was at a Fitness Conference and I decided to attend a Meditation Break Out Session. Have you ever tried to control your mind? Like, really thought about controlling your mind and what is coming into it? I have to say, until the day I attended that meditation session at that conference I can’t remember ever actually intentionally trying to control my mind in that fashion. Let me tell you, it was during that 45-minute session when I realized controlling my mind was like trying to control an adolescent monkey with ADHD. I was hearing everything going on in the room. The buzz of the light fixture above me, the air conditioner kicking on and off, the squeak of the instructor’s shoes on the floor, the breathing of those around me, the lady who sneezed on the far left of the room! My brain was thinking about the phone conversation I had regarding work earlier on in the day, the news I had listened to while getting ready that morning, the stories I had read on the slumping economy in the morning newspaper and on and on! I quickly realized that controlling my mind was not easy!
I suspect like me, many of you struggle controlling your minds as well. So, what can we do then to be successful in settling our minds? I would suggest we need to look into what is controlling our thoughts and that is relatively simple to do. We think about whatever we put in front of our eyes or allow to pass through our ears. Whatever we are watching, reading, or listening to – these are the associations that influence our thoughts and our lives. Our minds are really computers and they function on what information we feed them. “Garbage in – garbage out” if you will. So, if we program our computer to find and create what we want to find and create – it will! But if we open our computer up to virus-plagued websites, an ERROR notification will pop up. The same occurs in our minds, in our thinking. If we open our minds up to virus-plagued influences our functionality and success in life will be limited and we won’t be nearly as happy or successful in life as we should be. If we program our mind to find and create what we want to find and create – it will – and we will be infinitely more successful, and happy, with our creation.
4. So, our action item for Day 2 of the Your Better Life Challenge is to cut out the fat! Society is becoming obese in the head with negative knowledge and this is slowing all of us down and hindering us from achieving the results we want to achieve in our lives. Metaphorically speaking, STOP allowing people (through your hand-held electronic devices, your televisions, your radios, through print) to pee in the amazing fruit punch (life) you are attempting to make for yourself. No more political rants, people gossip and world problems that you have nothing to do with, nor can do anything about! These things are completely intruding on, and ruining, the creative amazing punch we are all trying to concoct for ourselves in our own heads. All of us can build a delicious, exciting, passion-filled fruit punch if we choose to limit the outside influencers who are determined to ruin our punch!
5. Today’s final challenge step is this: protect your punch people. In every interaction moving forward we need to be cognizant of what information we are allowing into our minds. Only allow good ingredients into your thinking and an awesome world will open up for you. Cutting out the brain fat is key to the success we will achieve.
Take these thoughts and mull them over for the rest of your day, people. Give them an honest chance to settle in your minds and in your souls and see if maybe, just maybe there’s something in today’s challenge that can help you move yourself forward towards your better life.