A few weeks ago, I watched a vlog by Danny at Dream Big, Dream Often that inspired me. I keep thinking about it and have been trying to incorporate it into my life. So I thought I’d share it here, in case you hadn’t seen it.
The main point is simple: Instead of focusing on what you need to stop doing, focus on what you need to start doing.
Danny said, “We don’t have to focus on quitting anything. Just keep doing enough of the right stuff and the negative will not have room in your life.”
The positive changes will eventually push out the negative behaviors.
It’s important to make a plan and stick to it. Here are some ideas:
About once per week I’ll get an email asking me how I maintain such a positive attitude. And I get enough of these emails to make me believe people view me as being a positive person, although, I don’t view myself as a positive person. The truth is I haven’t always been so positive.
In 2007 I began working for Dick’s Sporting Goods as a PGA Professional. My job was to manage the golf shop staff, keep the shop stocked with the appropriate types of merchandise, inventory and maintain customer service levels. For anyone who has worked retail, this short story should register with you.
I worked that job and dealt with customers throughout the store; there were good days and there were really bad days. And as the years moved forward the really bad days began to outnumber the good days 10 to 1. Customers in retail are vicious. They complain constantly. They drop trash on the floors. They spill things and use merchandise to cover up the spill. They leave used condoms in the fitting rooms. They make messes in the bathrooms that you could never imagine (especially the women’s room!). They scream, yell and blame the staff for ruining their child’s Christmas.
The list goes on and on.
Dealing with the public turned me into a person who didn’t want to be around people outside of work. So I began to resent other humans. I began to hate being around other people. I saw the worst in humanity and expected people to be awful. I became a negative person.
Then came 2013 and my retail career ended. Unfortunately, my negative attitude did not. It would take me another year or more to eventually purge myself of those negative tendencies and find “Danny’ again. It was such hard work. Every day I had to focus on finding the good in people and expecting good things to happen. I had to go through a complete revolution of my mind to exorcise the negative demons.
It was a long fight, but it was worth it. I no longer maintain that nasty, negative attitude and I am happy now that people email me asking how I stay so positive. It’s a great reminder to me that people can change if they want to change.
There is a truth that exists in this world–no one owes you anything. It doesn’t matter if you are different, odd, weird, pretty, ugly, successful, smart, dumb, etc. Life owes you zero, nada, nothing, zilch. You can pout and complain all you want, but it isn’t going to change your circumstances.
You can hope, wish and beg.
Ultimately you have a decision to make. Will you be the hunter or will you be the hunted? Are you a wisher or are you a doer? And make no mistake about it, it is a decision. Trust me when I say that there have been people far worse off than most of my readers who have dug themselves out of less than nothing to reach their goals.
Which choice do you make today? Do you get outside today and walk even though your legs scream at you to stop? Do you choose to eat some vegetables today instead of fast food? Do you choose to eliminate pay television today in order to reduce your debt? Do you choose to read the Power of Habit today instead of watching television?
As I sat on the beach this morning and listened to the waves crash I couldn’t help but think of how far I’ve come since I started this blog. There was a time when I was experiencing tremendous internal turmoil. Basically, my insides were a raging dumpster fire. I was so lost. Sitting there I remembered this song that was once my anthem:
“Spirit Of A Storm” – Kenny Chesney
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul
A restlessness that I can’t seem to tame
Thunder and lightning follow everywhere I go
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul.
There’s a hurricane that’s raging through my blood
I can’t find a way to calm the sea
Maybe I’ll find someday the waters aren’t so rushed
Right now they’ve got the best of me
And oh, it’s been a long, long time
Since I had real peace of mind
So I’m just going to sit right here
In this old chair till this storm rolls by.
Oh, maybe it’s just the way I am
Maybe I won’t ever change
So I’m just going to sit right here
In this old chair and just soak up the rain.
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul
Every time I think it’s gone away
Dark clouds gather, that old wind begins to blow
The sun’s going to shine someday I hope
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul, in my soul.
A few years back I made some drastic changes. In 2013 I decided enough-was-enough and I went through a revolution of my mind and habits. Here are a few of the things that I stopped doing which made me a happier person:
I am dumbfounded by the number of people who seem to be disconnected from the fact that their actions contribute greatly to their life. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you are probably tired of me harping on this, but it still astounds me. I can tell you that I underachieved for many years working in the golf industry. I settled for an occupation that came easy to me, but didn’t challenge me at all.
There was a time when I didn’t get that I didn’t get it!
When I finally came to terms with the fact that my actions directly contributed to what I was getting in life, my life changed for the better. I stopped drinking. I started eating better. I started a simple exercise regimen. I started reading more. I started the Dream Big blog. I started volunteering with the National MS Society.
I took control of as many factors as I could. I decided to stop leaving life up to chance and decided I was going to dictate the terms. And it has worked much better than the way I was living before. I know some of you are not going to buy what I’m saying and that is okay. I’m not going to tell you what to do.
The fact I have realized since taking direct control of my life is life is better now than it was 4 years ago. That’s all the evidence I need. I’m glad now that I get that I kinda get it.
Barring tragedies out of your control, you determine the course of your life. Challenging yourself, expecting more, working hard and setting lofty goals can help you reach higher heights than will sitting around settling and justifying a mediocre existence. When you realize this and grab the reigns you will instantly swing the odds in your favor.
Do you want to know the one simple thing you must know to change your life? The simple principle on which I base any and all habit changes and on which this blog is founded upon? Here’s a hint: it begins with your mind.
The two topics I discuss which get the most email response are when I write about being overweight or the power of positive thinking. I was going back through email responses to some archived posts and found an interesting pattern-every single email arguing against the law of attraction came from self-professed “realists” (the word I used to describe myself when I was a more negative thinker) who had never tried to implement the principle. On the other hand, those who emailed to express their belief in the power of positive thinking were former negative thinkers who had used the principle to change.
It seems that any time I express my belief that you can alter the course of your life by simply changing the way you think, people come out of the woodwork to debate me-or should I say negative people come out of the woodwork to debate.
Change begins at the moment you change your thinking.
I am a people watcher as many of you know. I watch successful people and I pay attention to their life habits. I also watch less successful people and I pay attention to their life habits. It was this type of comparison thinking that led me to change my thinking about 2 years ago. I determined that I was not pleased with the results I was getting and decided to change my daily habits to mirror those of successful people. To that point my habits were not producing the results I wanted and I recognized that I needed to make changes.
I began by making my bed every morning. I began watching the foods I put in my body. I started exercising a little. I started to read a bit more. I eliminated television from my life. I started this blog. I completely restructured my daily habits and slowly but surely my life began to change. It wasn’t easy, but it happened.
If you are not happy with what you are getting from life, then maybe it is time for a mental revolution?! Maybe it is time for you to take back some control of your life. Maybe it is time for you to take a serious look at the destructive force that is your own thinking. Change happens in a split second at the moment you realize you can no longer continue as you are and something new is required.
Call it the law of attraction or the power of positive thinking or whatever you want to call it-I call it the truth. Know this my friend-if you leave your life to the roll of the dice, your life will be unpredictable and random.