The human mind is an astonishingly powerful organ. One of the most amazing — even seemingly magical — things about it is that a conscious decision to improve one’s outlook and prospects, can result in precisely those changes. This has important implications for anyone who is intent upon achieving a dream — or several dreams. Our ability to impact our own mind is literally the mechanism through which we achieve our dreams
It’s a strange and wonderful thing that a person can decide to focus on positivity, potential, and gratitude, and the mind will begin to manifest positive outcomes. It seems we can permanently change our outlook and even our situation in life, by frequently thinking of the possibility of doing so. That’s, well…mind-boggling.
It’s difficult to say how this works. It may simply be that our situation remains the same, and we only feel happier. In other words, that we’ve deceived our own mind (another strange and seemingly magical event). But it may also be that a positive attitude keeps our mind open and scanning for possibilities and opportunities, and keeps our goals and dreams at the forefront of our minds, thereby dramatically improving our chances of success.
The process seems to be cyclical – the more you focus on positive things, the more positive things you begin to notice, and the more you notice, the more positive you become, and so forth. The simple act of smiling for example, seems to make people feel happier – which leads to more smiling, and off the cycle goes. I’ve also found that positive affirmations help with this process, but that’s a topic for a whole other blog post.
Another interesting aspect of all this is the effect on other people. When you’re happier and smile more, your interactions with people are much more positive and fulfilling – again, kicking off a happy cycle. Not to mention, happy interactions with people tend to create opportunities.
Regardless of how it works, why not take advantage of it? Isn’t it better to feel happier about life, even — or perhaps especially — in the midst of challenges? A better outlook gives us better odds of overcoming those challenges. This line of thoughts leads us to a baker’s dozen of ideas for getting started on a leading a dream life. Perhaps we should all consider the following:
1) Smile: Remember the old saying; “Smile and the whole world smiles with you”? Give it a try it! Smile as frequently as you can. If you’re feeling a little down, force yourself to smile for a few minutes (even if you don’t feel like it). It very often brings changes in your mood. Sometimes the change is subtle and other times, it’s fairly dramatic.
2) Be on the Lookout for Opportunities: They’re truly everywhere. An opportunity to see, hear, smell, feel or taste something new, an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to see something from a different perspective, perhaps, an opportunity to help someone who is struggling. There are many ways to improve our outlook and broaden our horizons, so be open to viewing things in a new way. Take, for example, the idea that humans only have 5 senses. We’ve been told this so many times that we don’t even question it. But is there another way to look at it? What about our sense of what’s up and down — called proprioception? What about our ability to sense ambient heat and cold, or our ability to sense the passage of time? And then there’s our ability to sense pressure (as distinct from the sense of touch with which we can detect textures). Some scientists speculate that the human body may have as many as 21 senses. How’s that for a way to broaden your horizons and improve your outlook? You can almost, well …. sense it? 🙂
3) Meet People: Meet as many as you can and make an effort to actually get to know them. Not only can they change your perspective, they can bring all sorts of other new people and new experiences into your life. Knowing you will improve their lives too.
4) Really Listen to What People Say: Listen to their words, their body language, the language of their eyes, and even to the things they don’t say. The insights you gain may surprise you.
5) Seek out New Experiences: Don’t allow the mundane to run your life. Sure, we all have jobs, and things that we must do. Still, we can break up the routine with fun, new things. So call a friend and arrange to share a very nice breakfast tomorrow morning and agree to bring a favorite book to exchange. Or, after work tomorrow, take a cab to a museum, enjoy the collection and perhaps stop for a glass of wine afterwards. Rent a sports car for a day and take the long, windy road home. Find a tall hotel, with a rooftop restaurant and enjoy the sunset from there. Perhaps get a massage at a nice spa. Whatever works for you – experience life out of the ordinary. If you are short on ideas see the recent FLYODI posts called: While Others Only Dream and While Others Only Dream (Part 2)
6) Be Mindful of the Good in Your Life: I marvel at the fantastic nature of my life and of life in general. Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been tough times in my life — like losing three of my loved ones WAY too young. Nevertheless, my family was (and is) wonderful, I live in Colorado which is filled with sunshine and recreational opportunities, I have unlimited access to the music I love, I have the opportunity to write this blog, and the list goes on and on. Simply reflecting on these things buoys my spirit. I have a friend who survived breast cancer. She starts each day by reciting all of the things she has to be grateful for. She started this routine during some very unpleasant cancer treatments. I can’t offer scientific proof that her focus on the good things in life helped her overcome the disease, but I can’t help but believe it did. Of course the flip side of all this is; don’t dwell on negative things that you can’t change, either.
7) Show Loved Ones You Care: It’s never too soon to tell someone that you really care about or appreciate them. Perhaps you could could do it today. And perhaps you could do it again, in a novel way that they won’t discover for several days or weeks — like putting a nice note or gift in a bag they only use for travel, or in the final pages of a book they’re reading. 🙂 Better relationships with loved ones is a key ingredient of a dream life.
8) Help Someone to Grow: Perhaps it will be just a small thing. Maybe you could give a favorite inspirational book from your own youth to a young person, or help someone visualize a business opportunity, or just maybe, you’ll share this blog post with someone who’s feeling down. Each of these activities can help improve your mood and get that positive mental cycle going.
9) Be Mindful of the Impact of your Environment: Try to make your personal space enjoyable and inspirational. Living in an area with a spectacular view (like here in the Rockies) can dramatically improve your outlook on life. Looking at those snow-capped peaks, it’s difficult NOT to think of great things. To explore the idea of living in an inspiring place, check out the FLYODI post entitled, The 11th Hard Way. But even if you can’t move to an inspiring location, your can make you personal space inviting and inspiring — even if it’s a efficiency apartment. Keep it clean and uncluttered, treat yourself to some inspiring artwork for the walls, choose soothing or inspiring colors, and perhaps fill the place with the music you love. You spend so much time there — shouldn’t it be a place that encourages living the life of your dreams? Homedit.com has some very nice design ideas for small spaces.
10) Take up Yoga: I’ve said it before but Yoga will dramatically improve your outlook on life. It will also help you focus your mind on achieving the life of your dreams. See; Approaching the Practice of Yoga
11) Change One Habit for the Better: Take steps to improve your diet, or take up walking a couple of miles each day. Better health and fitness will lead to a better mental attitude. Perhaps most importantly; If you smoke – quit NOW. It’s the most profoundly life decision you can make. If you can’t do it yourself, get professional assistance. I recently spoke with a high school buddy who managed to survive a massive heart attack. Sadly, he is now battling lung disease at a ridiculously young age. His doctors tell him it could all have been avoided had he not smoked. My friend says that now, when he sees a young person smoking, he just wants to shake them or else, pull up his shirt and show them his ugly coronary bypass scars. My friend did stop smoking. He did it in the ambulance on the way to the hospital — just about the time the defibrillators paddles hit his chest. Take steps to protect your health now — you can’t reach your dreams without it. Sadly, many of my friend’s dreams went up . . . well, in smoke.
12) Turn Off the TV: Television is a primary source of mediocrity – of the mundane – in our lives. In my view, it brings our minds down. Plus, it’s a HUGE time waster. According to the A.C. Nielsen company, the average American watches over 4 hours of TV a day. That adds up to over nine full years of TV watching in a 65-year life span. Nine YEARS! Just think of the implications of that! Would you willingly dedicate nine full years of your life (or even 1 year) to all those commercials, mindless sitcoms, and so-called “reality” shows? Is your life better for watching all that television? Think of all the amazing things you could do with that time. So, turn off the TV and go out and chase your dreams! Better yet; pitch the TV out the nearest window! 🙂 When you reach the end of your life, I somehow doubt that your dying thought will be; “If I had only watched more TV”. Check back here at FLYODI, because there will soon be a blog post dedicated specifically to television and it’s impact on your chances of achieving your dreams.
13) Read Positive Stories, Quotes, and Jokes: I’ve found that positive tales and quotes are a really effective way to improve my outlook and keep me focused on achieving my dreams. Similarly, a good laugh is always a welcome pick-me-up. Here’s an idea; always have a couple of jokes in your mental “pocket”, that you can access. Friends will appreciate it and will view you (and life) in a more positive light for having had a good laugh. Incidentally, You’ll find a new motivational quote every day on the FLYODI homepage — and also a new word of the day for your enjoyment. So, a horse walks into a bar….. 🙂
What is Your Life’s Story?
Much like a recent FLYODI post entitled; “Twelve Easy Ways to Make Your Life Better“, the preceding techniques will not only enhance your life in the short term, they will put you into a better mindset for achieving your long term goals. These actions actions can dramatically improve your life, and they’re almost certain to improve the lives of those around you too.
I can’t tell you how much we here at FLYODI would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Have you had experiences with the techniques mentioned in this blog post? If so, by all means, share! 🙂© Copyright 2014 FLYODI, All rights Reserved. Written For: FLYODI: Life -- Better!