We are in charge of our lives and in control – to a certain degree – of how people perceive us. From makeup to body language, we can choose how we come across. There are also moments when we don’t feel what we display and that’s when what we hear from the people we trust makes a great difference. Do they remind us of what we strive to be, or do they belittle us and make us feel like screw-ups? It’s as simple as that when choosing our circle of friends.
Our thoughts create certain emotional states. You might think – it’s what happens that makes me feel happy or sad – but what happens is being taken on board by us and we usually have a reaction to it. This doesn’t mean that the reaction cannot be negative, but taking control and allowing ourselves to feel feelings that serve us well is important. Do you get any long-term benefits from lashing out, feeling anxious or sad? Do you get any benefits at all? Although we do have a wide range of emotions to play with, we don’t really have to explore the whole palette. Keep you emotions in check, choose what you feel.
Taking responsibility and ‘taking the blame’ are two different things. Responsibility requires action, a response to circumstances that facilitates growth. Blame is passive. As much as certain people think that they benefit from it by maintaining their public image, blame doesn’t serve anyone. Blame hinders the self-esteem, while responsibility builds integrity and a feeling of self-worth.
How does this apply to how we approach life? Responsibility plays a great role in our perception over the world and we need to discipline our mind to be able to use its power. It really means that victimisation is not an option and that dreadful feeling of failure gets spun into success by avoiding blame and focusing on the solution.
This is a superpower that can turn our life from a passive experience into a dynamic search of solutions. The great thing about it is that taking responsibility is a choice that you and I can make to help ourselves stay focused and in control of our life.
You are getting all cozed-up after a long day of work and growth, with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Or maybe you just went straight to bed, fallen flat on your tummy and let sleep take over. Either way, we are about to get our system rebooted. But the data that we input last will be picked up first in the morning. A bit of an irony when you think about an orderly lineup in processing information.
We can give ourselves the opportunity to be bright and excited next day by introducing three simple practices in our evening routine:
- Detach from work through a buffer activity – yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music or a nice bath
- Be thankful for what you’ve achieved, kindness, love and health
- Visualize yourself succeeding, being accomplished, making the difference you want to make into the world and add some descriptions of who you want to become – powerful, in control, creative, committed
Paying attention for ten minutes to our thoughts today and stirring them into the direction we want to go to will have a great impact on the next day and the next day and the next day. Our future is now.
Are you a snoozer or a napper? Do you dread morning? It won’t come as a surprise to you that these habits are false friends that entice you with a fun activity only to later realize that it derailed you from your goals. And even more, all these sentiments, conditions and limitations that we put on ourselves are sabotaging the great work we have achieved in the day before. How?
Action requires commitment, discipline, passion and motivation. By indulging in habits that are destructive we break the chain of uplifting qualities that we’ve built the day before, having to redo it all. Neutral attitudes, such as leaving the bed with the first alarm, making yourself a cup of warm water, stretching, reading, exercising, without necessarily being over the moon, allow you to make things happen.
While waking up with a smile might not come naturally for a while, stick to routines you can build by using your environment. Build strong processes and your emotions will follow.
It’s insensitive to say that whenever someone inflicts emotional pain on us, they’re doing us a favor. Insensitive but somehow true. If we think of the moments we are hurting that were followed by decisions of taking control over our life and liberating ourselves from the people who were toxic, I know I came a long way.
Putting nostalgia aside, the first relationships I had would have taken me to different places in life – different goals, beliefs and interests. It’s striking how desperate we are for company early in life, not knowing intuitively that just having someone is not good enough.
Like many people, I had heartaches and nights wasted on thinking of the illusion of what if. And in those moments, the power within me evaporated. The power within me was with however I lost. But what was once lost it is now clear to me that it was a liberation. The freedom to carry on forming as a human.