What Do You Expect?

It is said that our thoughts are like boomerangs. What we send out; we get back.  We are also like magnets, in that we attract certain things in the universe. I believe that I am a magnet because I am  constantly drawn to my refrigerator.  But that’s not quite as inspirational as the motivational implication behind the original phrase.

The truth is that if you are constantly in a negative frame of mind and expect failure and disaster, you probably shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t find much joy floating your way.  Even if you were to encounter a potential joy opportunity, you might not recognize it because the cloud of negativity and angst surrounding you might impede your view. It’s hard to see through the muck and mire of misery!

On the other hand, it you can somehow manage to choose your battles and avoid falling into the pit of despair, many wonderful possibilities will appear and you will be prepared to recognize and be receptive to them.  Like so many others, I have sometimes wallowed in woe and expected the worst. I’ve also had times of choosing hope over despair and I’ve pulled myself out of the pit long enough to entertain a positive thought. Both cases resulted in self-fulfilling prophecy; sometimes with a positive and sometimes with a negative outcome. In other words, I got back what I sent out.

Whenever I am planning a pity party featuring me as the guest of honor; it doesn’t take me long to figure out that not many people will attend because they know I will be serving “whine.” The only thing I attract when I’m in that condition is more negativity. I get caught up in a whirlpool of hopelessness and self-pity which ends up with me circling the emotional drain. It becomes almost impossible to see the opportunities in anything.

If I am somehow able to switch my mental channel to “positive,” my chances for happiness and success increase by a huge margin because I am focusing on possibilities rather than doom. Our thoughts form little connections in our brains and pretty soon, those connections become patterns. There are official sounding medical words to describe this phenomenon, but I prefer to think of the process as mental trail-blazing.  We can either blaze positive or negative trails; and personally, if I’m going to blaze, I’d rather blaze a path toward joy and away from woe.  Our thoughts become our habits and those
habits influence our destiny. Does this mean that if we think happy thoughts, we will constantly be showered with good fortune? Not necessarily; but our chances for finding joy greatly improve when we look for it.

It can be tough to keep motivated and truly expect good things to happen, especially when we begin to feel as if we are losing control. Sometimes, in order to find a solution to a problem, we need to take a totally new approach to the way we think about it. Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” In other words, you have to get rid of “stinkin’ thinkin’ and you need to shift mental gears. I call this the “Etch-a-Sketch” theory. Imagine the benefits of being able to shake your head to dislodge the confusing or negative thoughts and clear the slate…then start all over again. Home decorating shows and magazines always show us how to completely change the look of a picture by simply reframing it. By putting a new frame around an old picture, you’re seeing it in a different way and giving it new life. If it works for Martha Stewart, it ought to work for us! But, how does one reframe a situation? I think it has to do with opening our minds, being creative in our thinking and being aware of possibilities. It means keeping an attitude of altitude and it means training our brains to expect success.

Most of us are in some sort of leadership position. It may be on a large scale; as in a corporate setting, or perhaps on a smaller stage, in a more intimate scenario; like a family.  No matter who we are or what we do, there are people whose lives we touch and influence on some level.  To me, that is an exciting and powerful challenge which motivates me to strive to be the best I can be, personally and professionally. That means I must always be aware of the thoughts I’m inviting into my brain, so I try not to rent mental space to self-defeating images. I have learned that I can’t help others if I’m not helping myself to stay on a positive track.

It is helpful to remember that optimism is not necessarily thinking that everything will always work out the way we want; it is the ability to recognize that there are options and different ways to achieve desired results. It is about reframing self-defeating thoughts and attracting healthy energy.

Life is full of obstacles but it is also full of options. Take a look at this group of letters and decide how it is to be read:

OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE

Do you see it as OPPORTUNITY IS NOWHERE OR OPPORTUNITY IS NOW HERE? Choose a mindset and send out those “good vibrations.” Remember the attractor factor and consider that what you seek, you shall find!

 

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