Mental Health, Motivational

What We Can and Cannot Change

Do you ever think about what you want to happen in a forthcoming situation? Or does worry get in the way and you tend to focus on what you don’t want to happen?

The Ego and Finding Fault

It seems our ego focuses naturally on the negative aspects, due to an outdated evolutionary adaptation and we are then in a postion that makes us hard-pressed to see positives.

Fault finding comes from believing your happiness comes from the world according to your liking.

We then tend to find fault with whatever is going on, to blame others or circumstances, especially where the outcome has been less than, what we consider, satisfactory.

This may have helped us survive in pre-historic times, where man-eating beasts lurked close by, but is hardly relevant to modern life. Now, our egos flood our brains with self-critical thoughts, most of which are not terribly accurate and anxiety quickly follows.

Photo by Anete Lusina on

Lee Jampolsky once asked a stressed-out salesman,

“What is the real purpose of a sale?

Replying about his own needs and that he wanted to boost his sale stats, Jampolsky then encouraged the salesman to instead direct his thought focus outwards – ie. so that his real purpose in a transaction or interaction would be that he was genuinely interested in the person he was selling to, in being patient and kind and, to try to ‘see’ the customer’s heart.

To the salesman’s surprise, his sales rose significantly and he was no longer so stressed when he followed that sageful advice. His customers picked up on those non-verbal and verbal signals that he ‘cared.’

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Contemplating Goals

Without the ego naturally defaulting to negative, there is room in our minds for all sorts of alternative thoughts.

Contemplating a more positive goal at the beginning of any situation may help influence the outcome, (even if you are not convinced of its worth, at first).

What Went Wrong?

Don’t waste your precious time on analysing what went wrong with a situation. Ignore those feelings that you have been short-changed in lifeas they tend promulgate the victim concept, which only makes you feel worse.

Think about what your goal is, making it pertinent to your perception and personal actions and see what happens.

We can attract the exact things that we give thought oxygen to or dwell on.

Jampolsky believes that we can direct ourselves to be peaceful inside regardless of what is happening outside.

Do you Agree?

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Mental Health, Motivational

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

It is so very easy to follow routines every day, release the brakes on the weekends,  or days off, and let “life [be], what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans”, as John Lennon famously sang. If  you look back and find too much time has passed by without you really being aware of it, perhaps these five suggestions from Marc and Angel can help re-set your focus and experience all you can from life, as opposed to simply existing. I have added my own ‘take’ on their words that comes from my experience.

1.  Appreciate the great people and things in your life. – Sometimes we don’t notice the things others do for us until they stop doing them.  Don’t be like that.  Be grateful for what you have, who loves you, and who cares for you.  You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they’re no longer beside you.  Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you.  Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it to live.*

*My take on Point 1:  I think I will say or do one thing to the precious people in my life, today to let them know I really appreciate them. It is too easy to let the days slide by and take them for granted and they will never know how you felt.

2.  Ignore other people’s negativity. – If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your life, you will be out of balance and in the negative before you know it.  Ignore un-constructive, hurtful commentary.  No one has the right to judge you.  They may have heard your stories, but they didn’t feel what you were going through.  You do not have control over what others say; but you do have control over whether you allow them to say these things to you.  You alone can deny their poisonous words from invading your heart and mind. *

  • My slant: No one has the right to judge you. This is important to remember both for our self-talk and when someone might be aggressive or rude. But it is also desirable to let go of this urge to ‘control’ and ‘be right.’ These awful words are the ones that slide off your back  and don’t stick!

3.  Be who you really are. – If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t change.  Uniqueness is priceless.  In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your awesome self.  And when they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it.  Being YOU is worth it!*

*My take: Much of our early lives is about conformity. At daycare, primary and high school, it is all about fitting in, being the same because that is easier for those around you. Do you really want to be just the same as others? No, because your life is different to theirs, so why try to distort it. If you find it hard to exude confidence in being yourself, pretend, and practise. It is not as hard as you think. You will overcome in the end. What a boring world it would be if everyone was the same? Celebrate and feel good about your differences from others. Laughter is a great antidote to cynicism.

4.  Forgive those who have hurt you. – I forgive people, but that doesn’t mean I trust them.  I just don’t have time to hate people who hurt me, because I’m too busy loving people who love me.  The first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  The first to move forward is the happiest.  Be brave.  Be strong.  Be happy.  Be free.* Me: I’m still working on being strong and brave.

5.  Let go when you must. – It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken.  Some relationships and situations just can’t be fixed.  If you try to force them back together, things will only get worse.  Sometimes it’s about starting over and creating something better.  Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over again with a smile on your face. *

  • My take: Persistence is always rewarded. Letting go is difficult, as familiarity is so comforting. Change might feel threatening but deal with it, one step at a time. Change is a natural part of life and your individual journey.

The final words from Marc and Angel:

What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it…

Something to Ponder About