Bit of a different blog post this morning.
While I was lying awake in bed at about 5.30am this morning, I had an insight which has been a long time coming.
I’ve often felt this undercurrent in the past, that there’s something about me that others want to seer clear from. Not all the time – I have some really positive relationships, but nevertheless I’ve had this sense of there being something within me that pushes others away.
This morning while lying in bed the penny dropped.
I have a habitual thought pattern that always sees the negative in any situation. I’m not saying this always happens – I’m just saying there’s a habitual thought pattern which looks for the negative, and totally misses the positive.
It’s a conditioned need for more. When looking at a person or situation, or myself, my tendency has been to look for what is wrong.
There are so, so many things that have gone right in my life, so why have I been so focused on what’s wrong / what needs improving?
I don’t know the answer, but I think it’s just another one of those conditioned negative habits. It’s just a habit. It’s nothing inherently wrong with me, it’s just a thinking pattern that at some point in my life I began thinking, then practised again and again, until it got conditioned into me as a habitual thought pattern.
I’m pretty sure it’s this pattern which at some level I have sensed has been pushing people away from me – some people. It’s a bit like a “loser” mentality. There is so much good around me, but I’m often focused on what’s not right and what needs to be improved.
Often, I, myself have been the subject of this self-improvement project.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to strive to improve oneself for the good of one’s life and for those around you – it’s a very admirable cause, but it needs to be balanced with an appreciation for what is going right, and what has gone right.
Then another penny dropped!: That thought pattern that says “not good enough” directed towards others, is really what hatred is. That’s what the root of hatred is. Hatred is a magnified form of this inner thought. It’s an inner criticism of others.
The truth is, there are always lots of ways that other people and nations have benefited the world. And we can look at those benefits if we choose to do so. But often we tend to focus on the negative.
The daily news is a prime example. The news is a program where we look for the most negative situations happening in the world, and then broadcast it to everybody to remind them to think negatively. And this is somehow seen as ‘noble’.
Let me put this challenging question to you – How many avid news watchers that you know really make a truly positive difference to the lives of others? Think about it.
The Gratitude Plan
So far, a big part of what I’ve written in my blog has been related to forming positive habits. So here’s another opportunity. Here’s what I’m going to do, to condition myself to think more appreciative, positive thoughts – to create a new neural pathway in my brain, conditioned to think differently.
I’m going to get up ten minutes earlier every morning. So up by 6.30 latest every day. Then when I’m at the office, I’m going to spend 10 minutes looking for every negative in my mind, and then consciously looking for a related positive (starting today!).
I’m going to condition this with POSITIVE ACTION EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Here are some examples:
Negative: I can’t believe I have to do this difficult work all day.
Positive: It’s amazing that I am lucky enough to have the skills to do this job, and earn really good money!
Negative: I have such a skinny body. It’s probably really unattractive to women.
Positive: This body is amazing. It’s been around 37 years and it still works really well. My arms work, my legs work, my fingers work, my heart works, my liver works, my lungs work and my brain works – wow!
Negative: I wish my colleague would communicate better – it’s so annoying that they’re so selfish and shut-down!
Positive: My colleague has provided me with a lot of guidance, and taught me a lot of new skills. Without them I wouldn’t be nearly as good at my profession as I currently am.
I’m astounded at how easy it is to turn these thoughts around into TRUE POSITIVE THOUGHTS. The positive thoughts I’ve written above are not pretend ones. They’re not something I have to try and convince myself of. They really are true thoughts. They feel true to me. I just havent chosen to look at life in this positive way consistently before.
Like I said above – It’s just a negative habit that has been built up over years. And I know the way out of an old negative habit is to condition a new, positive habit, so that it becomes habitual.
I’m really excited about this journey. I think it’s going to open up all kinds of doors in life for me!