My deep journey of self discovery has taken me through many twists and turns, but I recently realised that it has been my ability to take control of my thoughts and feelings which has has created the biggest changes in my life.
The pursuit of happiness
One thing that has become the biggest focus through my journey, has been the level of happiness I experience on a day to day basis. About a year ago, I made a decision. I decided to make happiness my number one priority, and I have become quite obsessed with figuring out how to obtain it! I have fallen so in love with feeling good, that in the occasions that I feel bad, it is completely unbearable.
It is strange because I used to tolerate feeling bad all the time. If I woke up feeling flat, depressed, negative, angry or frustrated, I would just become resigned to the fact that I was having a 'bad day' and not really do much to change it. I would find someone or something to blame it on and then complain and wallow all day long. But lately, these bad days have become totally unacceptable to me, and it has lead me to become very interested in what actually causes them.
When I am having one of these bad days, I can come up with lists and lists of reasons, excuses and things to blame my unhappiness on. But at the end of the day what is really causing my unhappiness is the way that I am thinking! Which leads me to what I want to write about...
Don't let the outer world control you
Most of us tend to feel pretty good when things around us in our life are going well. But then as soon as something negative happens, or things don't go as well as we hoped, we start to feel bad. We use the outside world situations as our excuse to let ourselves feel shitty. We blame events or people outside of us for why we are unhappy.We are so swayed and influenced by the outer world that we let the events and circumstances outside of us dictate how we feel on the inside.
As a result we try to do whatever we can to control the outer world. We become convinced that if we can set the world up in a way that we like, then we will always be happy. We believe that if we can eliminate all the things in our life and in the world that we dislike, that annoy us or that trigger negative feelings in us, then we will never feel bad. I have lived most of my life as a control freak and even upon learning about the law of attraction became obsessed with the idea of creating a world exactly as I wanted so that I could be happy every day.
Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work like that....
Be happy no matter what You have to learn to be happy, no matter what is going on around you. Happiness comes from the inside and it not purely derived from having the outer world mould to your command.
Your level of happiness on any given day is in direct relation to your ability to manage your inner state. You must decide how you want to feel. Do not wait for something outside of you to tell you whether you will be happy or grumpy today. Instead decide that you are going to feel good no matter what.
I can honestly not describe the effect that making this simple daily decision has had on my life. Each day when I wake up, I simply decide how I am going to feel, no matter what happens around me. When something 'bad' happens, it may knock me down initially, but then I remind my self of my commitment to feel good, and I find a way to turn it around.
True power comes from deciding how you want to feel. You may not be able to control all of your outer world circumstances, but you can control how you react to them!
How to master your inner state
I am sure many readers are thinking "BUT HOW...?" Sometimes when you feel bad it can be so hard to pull yourself out. I have written previous posts about how I pull myself out of a negative funk. This is not a how to post. It is more to remind you of the power that you have inside of you to change the way you respond to life. This has been a very long journey for me and I cannot sum up all the steps in one short post, but I do want to leave you with some starting points...
- Realise you have a choice. Take your reactions off autopilot and instead choose how you are going to respond to an event
- Create a calm, balanced emotional state. When I work myself in to a tizz over a problem it is much harder to control my thoughts and emotions. I have many tools I use to keep myself calm and at ease in life, and it makes it a lot easier to respond positively and to control your inner reaction.
- Make the decision to feel good. All you have to do is decide! Cultivate that good feeling emotion from the inside-out.
- Refrain from labelling things as good or bad. Just accept what comes to you. As soon as you judge or label something, you are buying in to a story about it and allowing that story to control how you feel.
- When something 'bad' happens find a way to turn it around. Simply shifting your thoughts will in turn shift your feelings. Ask questions such as; How can I turn this around? How can I view this in a different way? Is there an opportunity or blessing here? What is the positive to this event? What are the good qualities of that person? What are some of the good things that are happening in my life? What do I have to be grateful for?
- Cultivate the state you want to experience. Don't rely on your outer world to make you happy or to create a positive emotional state in you. You choose what state to are going to be in. In the same token, do not allow yourself to be swayed or influenced by negative things in the outer world. Don't let them pull you away from your good feeling place.
- Find ways to feel good inside without the need for external triggers. Think of things that make you happy. Ponder the positive outcome. Be optimistic. Appreciate things.