Here are three simple ideas that, when taken together, can change your life. They are so deceptively simple that I almost feel silly writing them down. But every day I encounter people who aren’t applying them to their lives — and almost as often I realize that I seem to have forgotten them myself.
The most important thing is how we feel.
Again, this is simple stuff, but it seems that as we go through our day we get distracted by complicated stuff and miss the simple stuff.
Think about it like this. Many people want a nicer car or house. But if you dig just a tiny bit deeper you realize they want a nicer car or house because of how it will make them feel. Most people would like a promotion, raise, or better career. But it is really how that will make them feel that they covet. Pretty much everyone wants better relationships with their friends and family. Again, if you look deeper it is the feeling that they are really looking for.
On a good day — one where you feel really good — everything is good. On a day like that food tastes better, our car drives better, our job is more pleasant, etc. The opposite is also true. On a day where we feel bad, everything is bad.
So, at the risk of being crazy redundant and obvious — the most important thing is how we feel.
How you feel is strongly affected by what you are thinking about.
When we think about things that make us happy we are happier; when we think about things that make us sad we are sadder. If you take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a great day in your life — maybe a vacation, or a wedding, the birth of a child — and really think about it for a while. You will feel better. I guarantee it. Likewise if you take a moment to think about something that makes you sad, you will be sadder.
What this means, of course, is that if you want to change how you feel you just have to change what you are a thinking about. Crazy obvious, isn’t it? But I bet the last time you were in a bad mood you just stayed in that bad mood until the outside world changed for you. Now, read Truth Three and realize that you are in control.
We can direct our thoughts but seldom do.
When you are driving down the road you see a yellow house; that makes you think about your friend when you were a kid who had a yellow house. You remember he was going to study agriculture in college. Agriculture is about farming. Cows live on farms. Cows give milk. You think you might be out of milk, you should get some from the store.
You are now headed to a grocery store because you saw a yellow house. It’s insane! It’s also how our brains work most of the time. We very seldom consciously choose how to direct our mind. However, we can if we choose to.
Think about a purple elephant on a tightrope. See, you just directed your mind to think about something consciously. Something silly, I admit. But it proves the point. You can direct your thoughts when you choose to.
So, the goal is to feel good.
Your thoughts affect how you feel.
You can choose what you think about.
Stew it a while. It can change your life.
You can start right now.