Hey there dear friend,
As long as you and I are breathing, we have no control over whether we feel, think or act on things going on around us. , Think of it for a moment, as long as you are alive, if a lion comes charging at you, it will evoke certain emotions, thoughts and actions. In fact, it will be so fast and automatic that you will only know later if you are alive of course. Everyday, from when we wake up to when we go to bed, we are feeling, thinking and acting. From “should I wake up or not”, to “why am I doing this”; all of it.
What we have control of, however, is the choice of WHAT to feel, think and do in any given situation. Now I know some smart pants will begin to figure out how this applies to the ‘lion coming at you’ scenario. That was an extreme example. If still debating; how many times a day do you have lions and rhinos charging at you?
What happens on a day to day scenario are situations and circumstances that trigger this human machinery of feeling, thoughts and actions.
You are called to speak at an event; you watch a grisly story on TV, someone does something to you, or perhaps you are going through some major life change, positive or negative, name them. In these circumstances, we are programmed through time to feel a certain way, think a certain way and do certain things in a reactionary manner. It is autopilot. We have no say in what we feel, think, say or do. Then, the only logical explanation is; LIFE IS HAPPENING TO ME. “This is the way Life is” “Bora uhai (famous phrase that people use to stay in their comfort zone)” In other words, we blame everything and anything around us, including ourselves.
Luckily, you are reading this article so far because you are not like that. I can bet that you are looking for ways to experience life richly and immensely.
I have a simple guideline that I learnt from Tony Robbins that is helping me transform what I think, which immensely impacts how I go about my day. And somehow, I also see the impact in the smiles of my family. The room is happier, merrier and lit.
Before we get started here is summary:
- In any given situation, there are several aspects, things and parts of that situation happening at the same time
- We often see and choose only one aspect and delete the rest, then go about our day and our life as though that part of life is the whole of life itself.
- This decision and viewpoint impact our moods, our feelings and how we relate with the people around us.
- Most importantly, what we focus on expands and very soon, if that focus was miserable, one lives in misery for a long time even when several other things are going well for them.
- This is the cycle of poverty, misery, low confidence and all the things that we keep saying, “I have tried all I can and this thing keeps coming back to me”
So, to the solution:
There are two main ways to change from a dis-empowering negative state to an empowering, happy state in a moment.
- How we use our body determines our mood changes.
Look, try it. If ever on one of your low mood trails, take a walk, get active and begin doing some jumping jacks, run, take a cold shower, or anything that get your body on an active state. When this happens, automatically, your mood will change. You will have less of the negative thoughts and more of a feel good, enlivening happy thought that you choose.
2. What we focus on determines our happiness and mood changes.
This is a major one because sometimes, you will not get the chance to do jumping jacks or an active body movement. In such cases, your focus is your goldmine.
There are two ways of focusing that brings the feel good mood:
- What are you focusing on?
At any given moment, that you notice your mood changing and you are on a lousy mood, look at what you are focusing on.
Here is a scenario: Some time back, quite recently actually, I would get immediately frustrated and irritated when I checked my bank statement. This feeling would trigger in me a negative state of frustration which would rub on my family and the things around me. I would walk around with a feeling of less worth and hidden frustration. I would let opportunities skip me coz I would debate to myself that I cannot afford it. You may be familiar with this analogy; sometimes, saying you will think about something when in your mind, you are sure there is nothing to think about as your mind is made up about it anyway.
At these moments, my focus was on, my account balance and nothing else.
To some people, when going to speak in public for instance, their focus could be on, fear of failure, fear of being found out to be afraid, worry of what if I mess up among others. There is a link to how our beliefs, limiting or empowering determine our focus, and I will share more about this in my future article. However, the majority of our focus can be changed within an instance of practice to shift the focus.
The danger of focusing on a singular aspect of our life is that the mind often creates a feeling for that aspect and deletes everything that does not match that situation.
That is why, when I see KES 300 in my account, and focus on the lack, everything else that feeds the lack including my beliefs and things that happened to me in the past comes up as well.
Oh this is happening again; how can this happen to me always; what’s wrong with me? I am broke!; Why, Why,Why?
At that time, I hardly can see the smile on my boy’s face, the sweet smell of chapatis my wife is preparing, or even the deep blue sky. Nothing positive can be seen from this focus point.
2. How are you focusing on that thing/aspect?
Secondly, when we focus on something, how we focus also determines our moods. Here, our mind becomes like a camera, zooming in on key aspects of that problem.
If its about speaking in public, you can see the people laughing at you, someone important to you turning their face away, the organizer never calling you back because you messed up, among other things. You begin to see everything in detail that makes the mood worse and worse.
Now, we do not have to react and succumb to low moods and dis-empowering states. And yes, sometimes, dis-empowering states charge us to action. However, that only happens when we use the dis-empowering state to shift our focus to what needs to be done… not what happened, why it happened and why it’s happening to me.
Finally, the good news is that the same way we think negative thoughts and influence our moods, is the same way we can empower ourselves to focus on something positive to our desired objective.
In the next article, I will share the secret to transform from a lousy, fearful, worried, doubtful condition to a feel good state of joy, confidence and fun within an instant.
And trust me, it works!