Where you ultimately end up is dependent on your daily attitude and response.
This morning one of our coaching clients, Monica—a recovering victim of a fairly recent and debilitating car accident—was smiling from ear to ear the minute our FaceTime coaching session began. “What has you in such good spirits today?” I asked her. “I’m thinking differently about things…about how lucky I am to be alive,” she replied. “I thought the injuries I sustained in that accident last year signified the end of life as I know it, but now I realize they signify the beginning.”
All details aside, Monica decided to begin again, in her mind first and then in her life. It’s taken her several months of healing and practice, but she has consciously let go of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” attachments in her head about her circumstances, and she has stepped forward with grace and determination. Her new beginning has nothing to do with the recent New Year, and everything to do with a new way of thinking.
Truth be told, today is really the beginning, for all of us. And we can prevent the wrong thoughts and beliefs from getting the best of us as we move forward with our lives in 2021. We can train our minds to make the very best of the present moment, even when our circumstances are far less than ideal. All it takes is practice.
The mind is like a muscle, and just like every muscle in the human body, it needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be trained daily to grow and develop gradually over time. If you haven’t pushed your mind in a dozen little, positive ways over the course of time, of course it’ll crumble on the inevitable days that get overwhelmingly stressful.
The easiest way to begin strengthening the mind?
Positive Morning Reminders
The morning is vital. It’s the foundation from which the day is built. And that’s why we have to be mindful of how we speak to ourselves when we first wake up. What we tell ourselves first thing in the morning is a big part of what we hear for the rest of the day.
Positive morning reminders are honestly one of the simplest and most powerful tools for mental growth.
It’s all about keeping the right thoughts top of mind from the get-go every day, so they’re readily available on those hard days when you need them most. For Monica, that has meant sitting down quietly with herself every morning after breakfast and reflecting on precisely what she needs to remember. She reads quotes (most of them are excerpts from our books and blog archive) like the ones below to do just that. Some people call them affirmations, or prayers, or convictions, but in any case these positive morning reminders keep Monica on track by keeping peaceful, productive thoughts and perspectives centered in her mind, even as she struggles to cope with her injuries.
She has ultimately learned that peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no chaos, trouble, or hard realities to deal with—peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still remain mentally and emotionally centered.
Starting today, I challenge all of us (Marc and myself included) to follow Monica’s lead for the rest of the year. Let’s choose one of these reminders every morning, and then sit quietly for a couple minutes while repeating it silently to ourselves. Let’s see how doing so gradually changes the way we think through life’s twists and turns and forks in the road…
Challenge Yourself to Embrace Every Experience
Too often we yearn for a very small and selective range of life experiences—the fun times, the happy situations, the things that make us feel comfortable. And yet, the full range of our reality is often quite different. Life gives us an extensive array of experiences that evoke feelings ranging from sadness to regret to pride to anger to love to loneliness… to happiness to excitement and more. These feelings are all part of being a living, breathing human being.
So we can revolt against the unfairness of life—the unfairness of having to deal with loss, having to live through a pandemic, having to feel lonely and uncomfortable and upset. Or we can embrace every experience life gives us, including all our highs and lows—all the blissful moments and painful ones and everything in between. Life is not just happy and comfortable 24/7. It’s well-rounded, it’s full-featured, and it’s real.
Embracing the full range of life’s experiences for the remainder of this year means embracing every moment with our full presence, being open and vulnerable to reality, being gentle with ourselves when times are tough, and practicing sincere gratitude no matter what happens.
It means accepting life as it is, and accepting ourselves as we are.
It means not expecting the best to happen every time, but instead accepting whatever happens every time, and making the very best of it.
This isn’t easy, of course, but it’s worth working on.
YOU are worth working on, starting first thing every morning. I sincerely hope you leverage the reminders above to do just that. And if you’d like some extra support as you move forward, we’d love to work directly with you via our two-on-one coaching or the Getting Back to Happy course.
If you’re feeling up to it, we would love to hear from YOU.
Which reminder mentioned above resonates with you the most today, and why?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.