Happy New Year! January is stereotypically the month where we make “resolutions” about the changes we’d like to make for this year. I’ve learned through the years that resolving to do something doesn’t necessarily guarantee the outcome. Just because we long to change, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Resolving is just the first step. What must happen next for any significant, lasting change is a transformation in our thought process about the routine, or habit, or transition we wish to make. In order for an old habit to be truly broken, we must eradicate old thinking and the replace it with new thinking. We must take inspired action, over and over again in order to condition our minds to the new idea or habit we wish to implement. And one of the first steps in that process is to analyze your current circumstances; ask tough questions of yourself, and them make affirmative statements that you will use to teach your mind the new way of thinking.
One of the ways I like to use to teach my mind to think differently is through Epiphanies – Aha moments – ideas that slam the breaks on old thinking and cause you to stop and interrupt the traditional, learned thought patterns. They create crossroads in our brains; A statement or quote, a profound phrase, followed by a few probing questions and then a positive forward thinking statement that can prompt a different action. They are so provoking that you are now forced to try to ignore the idea. Do this enough, and eventually you will begin to shift from can’t to can, from should to could, from dream to action.
I’m working on a new book called, Epiphanies; A Handbook for Unleashing “Aha” Moments. The goal is to help the reader experience that shift. What follows is a sampling of the material that will eventually find it’s way into that book. I hope it helps, even if only in a small way, to shift your thinking from some day to today.
“The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential.” (Calvin Coolidge)
What is that one thing you know you’re good at, but just can’t seem to act on it?
What is one thing you can do to change that?
Don’t go to your grave with your song still in your heart.
“Greatness, whether athletic or otherwise, doesn’t come from those content on just being but from those who seek being the difference.” (Kirk Mango)
Where in your life have you become content being like everyone else?
What is one thing in your life that you would like to be different?
Being different might not always be popular, but it can sure be fun, if you let it.
“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” (Roopleen)
What dream are you still sitting on?
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, some place you’ve always wanted to go?
We only get to do this lifetime once. See a chance, and take it.
“F.E.A.R. has two meanings; forget everything and run, or face everything and rise.” (Zig Ziglar)
Which one will you do?
What’s the one thing you fear most?
Imagine your life if you could overcome that fear. If you can imagine it, you can live it.
Change is just a two dimensional word unless you take three dimensional action.
“Once a person is determined to help them selves, there is nothing that can stop them.” (Nelson Mandela)
What’s one thing you can do right now to change your current circumstances?
If you are not determined, what is stopping you?
Picture your life as it would be on the other side of your circumstances. Feel it. And let that lead you there.
“Think so far outside the box we can’t even see the cardboard.” (David Murrow)
Can you think of an area in your life where things look pretty limited?
Where do you feel like you are boxed in?
Much of society is designed to operate in the box. But, much of the real life exists outside the box. Don’t be limited by boxed up thinking.
“Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” (Helen Keller)
Where in your life do you feel like you are avoiding danger?
Would changing your ideas about security change the way you live your life?
We like to think we’ve arranged life in a way to where things are secure. But the big question is, would you still be okay if everything changed.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” – Anonymous
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” (Jim Rohn)
Do you find yourself counting the days to your next vacation the minute you get home?
Does vacation feel more like an escape from your life?
If you vacation to escape, there’s a good chance your might need to re-evaluate what you do with the other 51 weeks.
“Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.” (Louise Hay)
Do you ever find yourself feeling too old, or too young – wishing your were older, or young again?
Do you ever catch yourself looking back in regret, or ahead in fear?
We forget that life is a journey. This is not the end. We are merely passing through. Where you are is where you are supposed to be. Embrace that today.
Greg Tutwiler, life coach