It's fair to say I am partial to the odd quote! I love a quote, you'll see them plastered around the walls of our training room at A Positive Start in an attempt to keep my mind positively focused - and to encourage the students of course! I particularly like the Marcus Aurelius quote that I have used in the titl
'Our lives are what our thoughts make it'.
Like all good quotes, its logical and its simple! it makes perfect sense.
Its kind of obvious that our lives are what our thoughts make it! A widely accepted, yet seldom applied wisdom I imagine.
Take me for example; I'm sure I cant be the only person who has occasionally woken up in a lousy rotten mood for no apparent reason and the whole day just follows suit!
As the third irritating snooze alarm coincides with the i-phone hurtling at speed towards the wall, I reluctantly clamber out of bed, feeling very pitiful as my aging, aching torso drags itself through the four stages of evolution, from knuckle dragging Ape, to, well ..... The Grinch, tripping over the needy dog in the process!
The root cause of a day like this? I know not - there are several possible answers I'm sure, but what is clear is, on days like these, Everything and Everyone is a problem.
Absolutely nothing goes to plan or at least this is the story I tell myself!
I start the day stressed and running late and then spend the next 12 hours trying to catch up but getting nowhere fast.
Breakfast consists of i slice of burnt toast with a side order of greasy butter down blouse, whilst every vehicle on the A7 speedway is either a truck or an even slower truck, both of which are being driven at a snails pace by horn happy, untrained chimps.
Oncoming traffic is playing that ridiculous 'spaced out evenly' game, and no matter how loudly I scream about it, no one cares enough to let me by! Hashtag -Fuming!
By some bizarre twist of fate, today's the day the council have decided to dig up every road between here & the High Street (where I work), and they have ordered in, especially for my frantic journey, a set of red only option traffic lights.
Time being of the essence, fuel station roulette ensues as I free-wheel into the car park only to discover some plonker has handbrake skidded his Nissan Micra into the last four remaining spaces and there's nowhere for me to park my car.
After three laps of the town, scouting for spaces, I'm back where I started and I've had enough! The 'Do Not park in front of these gates OR ELSE' space now seems like a perfectly viable option that will undoubtedly add some much needed interest at some point to my usually dull, uneventful day.
Naturally I'm late for work on the ONLY day I needed to be early, and every customer this side of Mars has turned up at 9 am sharpish chomping at the bit in a mad bid to panic buy our seemingly popular, handy collapsible tea strainer.
My rarely seen, unhelpful boss has kindly popped in at the crack of 9 for a catch up and surprise audit and its only now that I realise, in my panic, I've left the shop keys on the bed.
You couldn't make it up!
If you've ever had one of these days, and I'm sure most of us have, it is well worth remembering the lesson that Marcus Aurelius tried to teach us;
'Our lives are what our thoughts make it'.
Its widely accepted that a human beings first thought tends to be a negative one, and on days such as these those ugly negative thoughts just keep on coming, as though on auto pilot - one after the other.
If you have experienced days like this, where one crappy thing turns into lots of crappy things - like being hit by a Tsunami of small stuff... Then consider this!
What if you could manage those negative thoughts!
If you could stop them dead in their tracks, change them, and change your day!
What if by acknowledging the first thought, accepting that; 'okay, so today I'm not feeling all that great but, rather than running with that first negative thought and allowing every thought thereafter to have a negative impact, resulting in everything feeling like a problem,
What if instead, we could remind ourselves that humans have this incredible ability to control their own thoughts - and choose differently!
So the next time your negative thoughts start running away with you, try this:
Recognize and acknowledge that first thought, (I feel rubbish).
Stand back, take a deep breath
Make the decision to take control of your thoughts;
change the second thought for something positive i.e (but I am so grateful to be alive, or at least the sun is shining or, I am so grateful that I have a choice about how I feel.
Be mindful of every subsequent thought and change them for positive, happy ones!
And remember; its only your perspective (the way you view the situation that makes it so - 'Thinking it, Makes it So! Our lives are what our thoughts make it - whether that's good or bad!
Its fair to say, that in following these 6 simple steps, all of the above would undoubtedly still happened, only my mind would be viewing the situation from an entirely different perspective, resulting in nothing feeling like a problem and more importantly - I'd be having an entirely better day for sure!
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is....
The outcome is exactly the same, only the optimist has more fun!