Are you a half-empty type of thinker or a half-full kinda person?
By now, everyone on the planet understands this concept but are we really ready to take responsibility for our own way of being and square up to our subsequent experiences?
In my line of work, I often hear accounts of the difficulties that people have in their efforts to stay organised and in control.
I don’t doubt that staying or even becoming organised is way difficult for many people (hence the fact that I can earn a living from it and operate a successful business) but I feel for my clients who are drowning in a sea of helplessness.
More than the experience of being messy or disorganised, what people often suffer from is the feeling of being unable to do anything about it. This can be associated with shame, lack of control, dismay, self-loathing, avoidance and even a victim-mentality.
This, in turn, creates a language and way of seeing the world which results in more of the same. I’m not going to go into the belief that we create our own reality – not in a short blog post – but there is little doubt that we have a degree of control over our reaction to circumstances and our way of dealing with the things that present to us in life.
When I am presented with Tarot card readings, daily horoscopes or meaningful quotes, for example, I am often more caught by what they bring up for me more than what they are supposed to be about.
I know of one woman who commented that she was thrilled to have passed on two things which she valued to her child – good manners and a sunny disposition. She valued these qualities and not surprisingly they became infused in her offspring. Good manners bring out the best in others and a sunny disposition creates goodwill as we move through life.
I can’t advocate ‘make-believe’ happiness, but I do feel strongly about being conscious of the way we operate, the things we talk about and the goodwill we share with others as vehicles for crafting a better experience of life.
Avoiding complaining, looking for our role in the way things turn out and ending the habit of making excuses in our lives goes a long way toward shaping our experiences and giving us control - by way of taking responsibility.
Imagine the feeling of success when you make a choice about something which, in the past, you have given over to another person or event – and then perhaps complained about.
Or, the triumph of experiencing control over a habit which has plagued you for years because you have always thought it was ‘in’ you. And yes, the sadness or heartache (read ‘embarrassment’, ‘foolishness’, ‘anguish’) when you have made a mistake or a poor judgement call. It’s yours. No-one else’s. Warts and all.
Try to look inside of yourself and see your role in the experiences you have in life. Take responsibility – even some, to start.
Consider how to make changes – small or large. Develop a new habit. It can be done. I have a friend who, at 50, suddenly started keeping her bedroom immaculate. All her life she kept it messy. One day, that changed. She made a clear decision.
Start talking differently about your experiences, or don’t speak about the things you don’t want. Be mindful of how your behaviour is influencing your reality. Read Steven Covey’s ‘Seven Habits...’ and value ‘proactivity’.
Make small changes, watch carefully. Above all, be kind to yourself – but don’t hide behind ‘I can’t help it...’, ‘there’s nothing I can do...’ and ‘If only...’.
You can make changes. Now.