Positive Beliefs: Life is a Wonderful Adventure

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When you allow more positive beliefs to your life and reduce the limiting beliefs to your life, your daily experience will not be the same, ever.

Yesterday as I listened the Awaken the Giant Within abridged edition (to my disappointment). I did pick up quite a few useful thoughts from there. Mainly there was this idea about beliefs as tables and then there are these stories that either give the table more legs or take them away.

With limiting beliefs, we ought to question them and take some legs away.

With positive beliefs, we ought to strengthen them and add more legs to the table (reasons to believe). The stronger the references, the stronger we will believe them.

Positive beliefs allow us to live more fully, we are not limited by the unseen any longer. We allow us to be something we can be.

It’s an incredible realization to see that what you believe supports your reality. I am suggesting you to become a bit positive lunatic, not completely though.

Optimism is in itself about having positive illusions about life. This makes life worth living, even if this is partially true. Optimism in itself can be dangerous too as I’ve written before.

Martin Seligman, one of the founders of the positive psychology field and also a person who has developed something he calls “learned optimism” – which can be helped to cure people who have what he calls ‘learned helplessness’. It’s very interesting concept, where he also warns of the dangers.

Stock market crashes and too overly optimism is not a good thing. Then our decisions are not based on the reality at all, but to our illusions.

With the positive beliefs, I believe we can though questioning find right mix of realism and joy of life. Life has more to offer to us than we think and we have more to offer to the life than we can imagine. That’s why we need optimism and positive beliefs.

Questions are a good tool to sharpen the thinking, and with this we can test if the reasons and references for our beliefs are true or not. By doing this the questioning exercise often enough, we quickly notice that the negative beliefs are not worth it. Positive beliefs combined with actual gratefulness makes life really joyful.

List your positive beliefs about yourself and the world.

Then make another list about the negative beliefs.

I did this exercise yesterday and  I noticed that most of the negative beliefs that popped up didn’t make much sense. I started writing right away reasons that these are actually causing more pain than any good to me and I started to distance myself to these thoughts.

At the same time, I started seeking more positive beliefs. In fact since my imagination was only limited, I could come up with a few good ones, yet I felt lacking something. Then I tried googling and right away for example this list of 100 positive beliefs comes handy, you can take a belief or two from there that really resonate with you and make it your own.

Life is a wonderful adventure,

Janne

Exciting Life

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Uncertainty can be a torment or bliss.

When you grow and adopt growth mindset, you’ll start to invest more which means taking risk and working to reduce the chances of failure. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Uncertainty is always present.

Then at times, you’ll know you will probably win. Or you will know something will probably happen and you’ll start thinking how could you use that something to your and everyone’s advantage.

When you grow, you’ll learn. Through the learning you’ll see. When you see the future as exciting potential you are living an exciting life. Every morning starts to be exciting, because exciting opportunities start to appear here and there.

Suddenly your attention is not on what whet wrong, but what can potentially go right. Of course your still work the basics right and work to reduce the risks, but you will start to see the potentials.

Seeing the potential, and living the potential to something it could become, something more or something surprising is what makes life exciting.

 


Some thoughts, that life should be exciting. Exciting takes work, we need to learn to see the exciting and the potential. Or that’s at least the path I’ve had to walk: to see all the potential.

 

BR,

Janne

Thousand times more

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How would you feel after being 1000-times courageous, would you be more courageous?

How would you feel after you would show caring 1000-times would you be more caring?

What would you know if you would read a 1000 books?

What about after writing 1000 books?

I achieved my reading goal of 40 books for this year on Sunday and I began to ponder what would be meaningful endeavor next. Instead of setting just merely next year goal, which certainly will be part of my bigger thinking, I remembered from the concept of 1000 times more from coaching session with Vesa Honkanen  and I thought the 1000 times is a pretty awesome concept.

It might be interesting to visualize a bit what would doing 1000 times more mean and what could the results be. One of the most energizing thoughts I had would be 1000 times more positive – what would that mean and be?

This reminds me of 1000 awesome things by Neil Pasricha. That’s certainly 1000 more awesome than before. I didn’t know the name of broccoflower before I read his 1000th awesome thing, before that I called it “fractal thing.”

I just may start the 1000 positive things, it feels like my thing anyway.

 

How would you feel for taking an extra step for thousand days, how would you feel?

Virtue is the Purpose of Life

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Doing good, doing the right thing in whatever position you are in life is the purpose of life according to the Stoics. Take responsibility of your soul, of what you can do, because that’s all you can do.

Do not judge, writes Marcus Aurelius.

Do not judge, always seek to praise were Abraham Lincolns words according to Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Virtue is doing the right thing when we have the freedom to choose otherwise. Marcus Aurelius is fascinating example of this, because he was the emperor of the known world, ruler with absolute power. Yet he was living in virtue.

Trying to put this to the scope of personal life: should I discard all my desires I ask myself again? Then I remember the difference between a desire, lust and a positive desire.

What causes us to be virtuous? What causes positive desires?

Sigmund Freud suggests that it may be sublimation. Something negative we have done earlier in life may cause to turn into something major positive later in life.

Reflecting on my own past, I certainly feel that the reason I contemplate so much on the virtues, what is right and best for everyone is because I feel that when I was younger I wasn’t very good example. Due to that earlier experience I certainly want to go to the opposite direction as fast as I can, which is a very positive.

We want to progress and above all we want to be something more than we were before. As stoics put it, at least we should try to be better than animals. And the way to do that is through civilizing ourselves and taking responsibility of our souls. By putting our values to work and working from where we are now.

 

Further info

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Wikipedia

Marcus Aurelius Lecture on Stoicism

Freud on: Sublimation

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

What We Focus on Grows

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What we focus on grows, this is such a powerful thought! Essentially anything that we give our attention to strengthens. Anything we put our conscious thoughts, will grow stronger.

I.e. if we feed our thoughts about tiredness, those thoughts will strengthen. In the same way, if we focus to what has gone well, we positive feelings that come through it amplify and will last longer.

Applying this to the real world: how much positive feedback do you give? Precise actions and numbers please! I noticed some weeks back, how easy it is for us to think the feedback as something mainly negative to give when something goes wrong. I met some other passengers on the bus that only intended to give complaints.

Woken up by the thought I thought I must also try to give more positive feedback on every possible occasion. Positive feedback strengthens and grows that which works. Naturally strengthening what works is a far better approach than nagging about what doesn’t work.

In fact a good tip that I just picked up from the How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Caernegie is to always praise first. Of course the point is to find genuine praise, which is possible by learning to find things that are genuinely praise worthy.

That which we focus on strengthens. We will find more positive if we direct our attention through the positive.

Strikethrough the Unwanted and Ask How Instead

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Words reflect our thinking. If we rephrase our words, we also reprogram our thinking.

Some examples:

  • Limiting “best known result” – If we too much limit our thinking by setting the best possibility that ever has existed in our reality, we may not be able to think broadly and imaginatively. We hamper our own and the growth of others.
  • Impossibilities “It can’t be done”, “I can’t afford it” – easy trap to fall into is to say something can’t be done. It has never been about it can be done. Much more productive is to ask how it can be done?
  • Negatives – swear words and in general anything that evokes the negative feelings. It can also be the tone of voice, i.e. yelling or screaming.
  • Distractions “I’ll do this later…” – effective way to decide is to ask yourself, when is this?

To practice these, notice the thoughts, write the thought down, strikethrough and replace it with smarter way to say it.

Janne

Enthusiasm and Bouncebackability are Ingredients for Greatness

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Enthusiastic person will be successful. The trick is to stay enthusiastic with everything life throws at us. Anyone with daring goals is going to face something unexpected that may be even called failure, although I dislike the word, because failure is only failure if you fail to learn and seize doing anything afterwards.

Winston Churchill said wisely: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Emotions are contagious. So while we may be enthusiastic, someone or something may offset an another, even stronger emotion usually due to a mistake or something unexpected. When we finally meet this emotion we are often struck with either negative or confused emotions: our enthusiasm will be tested.

Not so cool anymore huh? Today I had exactly such scenario. In the morning I was rather tired, yet I was also rather enthusiastic about new work week and possibilities. Eventually on my commute I decided to start reading Frank Bettger’s book “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” which I had been excited to peek on quite a while. I didn’t get very far, but on the first pages the book discussed about enthusiasm – one of my favorite topics.

Because emotions are contagious, we need to tune into positive emotions. I like the idea that since we are working we can do the work with excellent attitude and enthusiasm. So with these thoughts I started the day and everything went rather well until afternoon, an unexpected error happened and it left me a bit dazed and confused.

Because it was at the end of the work day, I couldn’t quite put my finger on to it. I understood that the ability to recover from setback is crucial and all in all I handled it all okay, yet the feeling wasn’t the same after all.

Something lacked, but I couldn’t quite put my finger to there and then. Now I know: enthusiasm.

Therefore bouncebackability it’s not only about doing what is necessary, it also means finding the enthusiasm quickly 🙂

Enthusiasm is found the way it is always found in the beginning of the day, the same routine we just may need to stop and restart. It’s mostly about directing focus: to the positive and to the things we can control.

There will be always setbacks, it’s up to us to face them with smile.

Life is What We Think

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Life is what we think it is: it’s the sensory input and then however we interpret that.

Much of our suffering is caused by ourselves, because if we would have thinking skills we would focus to what is best at each present moment, instead of thinking too much of the past or worrying about the future.

Our life is a construct of our thoughts and these feelings that follow. And yes through conscious thought intervention (called stopping and thinking) we can actually affect how we feel in the long term. Actions lead to results, which come back to us as feedback which causes feelings.

What is in our control is our attitude towards life.

If we think like is cool, then it is cool. What we focus on grows stronger and we will find the strength to live.

If on the other hand we do not see life as an opportunity, then we the negative begins to strengthen and grow, which then in turn causes more negative intended and unintended consequences.

What we focus on, grows and determines how our life is. We have the choice.

Ability to Find Positive in Daily Experiences Increases Positive Experiences

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Ability to find the positive in what happens increases the likelihood of future positive experiences. This is because our mind has a sort of lense through which we look, if we look positive we shall also find it. When finding positive becomes a habit we tend to find the positive experiences more easily and thus we experience more positive experiences.

About six years ago I started writing to my journal the at least three positive things from each day. At first it was a bit challenging, however in few weeks I could find effortlessly several positive things from the day. Now years later days are filled with positive things and half-dozen positive things come effortlessly and dozen with a bit of thinking.

This habit of training myself to find the positive has also rippled in many ways to the everyday life. I’ve learned to apply it to whatever happens and I try see most events from many perspectives and finding the value of the experience.

Value of positivity is such as:

  • Seeing challenges as chance to get stronger
  • Seeing past as a treasure trove of learning
  • Not being something yet, is call to adventure

By being more positive means merely focusing on what is good with the world, rather than what is wrong. It is constructive approach to the strengths and possibilities.

Two Superpowers: Accepting the Circumstances and Focusing to What is in Your Control

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I was writing my life story today morning and I realized a pattern emerge: Whenever I’ve accepted present, taken responsibility and focused to do my best in the given circumstances I’ve ended up well.

Sometimes grass is greener other times. Other times it isn’t. You yourself have a hunch, are you just escaping the responsibilities of the present, or is the present influence negative to you. You have to search inside your heart for these answers. Once you know, you probably know if the present actually could be improved significantly just by assuming massive responsibility of the situation.

I’ve been in such situations often and I still end up being. As example, last spring there was a project I felt completely miserable with. When I noticed that something is wrong, I am focusing my effort to things that are not under my control. Then I decided to refocus my attention to what I can do. With this my thoughts clicked, and I began to do my best in what is under my control. The sense of control was restored and I began to feel better.

Sometimes our attention wanders off to wrong things, or we get caught off guard with something which we need to process: accept what is and find our circle of control where to focus to.

I have been in so lucky in life, that I’ve learned to recognize the negative influences to my life and find good influences. In environment of good influences, it is merely I that needs to grow into acceptance, responsibility and focus.

Only once we accept our circumstances we can begin to improve those. We should only focus to what is in our control, otherwise we gonna burn out or get depressed.