I’m a bit of a worry wart. And by a bit, I mean quite a bit. On the same token, I have lived a number of years simply going through the motions of the day-to-day. I rarely expect things to happen (and don’t even get me started on my outlook on GOOD things happening) and when they do, I am always slightly taken off guard. This is not to say that I am pessimistic- surprisingly. I am actually quite the optimistic individual- though usually for anyone but myself.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a very good friend about the current status of my life. This woman is one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I love spending time with her because she is one of few people that can get me to be introspective- and she never judges anything that I say. I could tell her that I want to run off and join the circus or become an astronaut and she would say “That’s awesome, Aliy! How can I help you get there?” Compared to a great many people who would look at me like I had sprouted a second and third head (despite how very much they love me) she doesn’t judge me and probably has more faith in some of my dreams than I do most days.
We discussed the current status of my life- that everywhere I go and everything I do just seems kind of…mundane. That I have huge dreams for my future but I feel that I have so much that is holding me back. That I have met someone who makes me feel like I have always hoped I’d feel for another person, but that being together provides us both with some incredibly unique obstacles that neither of us has successfully navigated before. That I wake up every day and go through the motions of living…and I go to bed at night not feeling like I have bothered to live at all. At the end of my soul search, I finally had the nerve to look her in the eye, shrug, and offer up a half smile.
She began telling me about a CD she had been given that had changed her life not once now, but twice. It was more or less a self-help CD that taught her to think in a new, more positive way. It boils down to this: thinking positively for yourself will lead you to a positive life. It’s so simple, right?!
To give you an example, here is what I’m in the process of doing (or have already done in some cases):
1) Setting Dates- This is something that I have read about in the 4-Hour Work Week, The $100 Start Up, and that I’ve heard about from the someone I mentioned earlier. More or less, you write down the date that you plan on doing things- asking someone out, quitting your job, moving to Tahiti. Whatever it is, write down that date. Write it EVERYWHERE.
2) Find your Dream- This is also something I have heard about from all 3 of the above sources plus Jonathan Mead. Sometimes we have so many ideas, that we have trouble choosing just one or two. Sometimes, we don’t have a clue as to what it is we actually want, so we need to buckle down and find it. It might require working with a friend or even a life coach- but discover the idea that is best- that is the best suited for your overall vision- and make it happen.
3) Believe in good things and good things will come. Believe in bad things, and bad things will come. I am incredibly guilty of this. Something bad happens to me and my automatic thought is almost always “bad things happen in 3s and 7s, what’s coming my way next?” I try to mentally prepare for it. And I rarely get my hopes up. Being extra sensitive, it’s always an extra-large letdown when something falls through.
But what if it didn’t? Or what if my attitude flipped to “okay, my tire got slashed and it is going to cost me $150 to replace, but that’s one less tire I have to buy in two years.” Or how about “Student loans really suck to pay back, but maybe instead of making it so hard on myself, I should find work that allows me to work from anywhere in the world- I could live way cheaper than anywhere in the US, AND I’d be able to tackle travel plans.”
They say it takes 30 days to build a habit. I set (and have actually passed) an official date for becoming habitual in my way of positive thinking- no matter how bleak things get. I will always be a worrier, I know that. However, I refuse to let fear or worry define my future. If I want it, I have to take it. So far, it’s working for me. So far, I’ve encountered only good things, and when I begin being attacked by negative thoughts, I quickly turn them around…bring it on, world.
What about you? Do you feel like you go through the motions of your day without actually living it? Any tips on how to change this?