“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” Mahatma Gandhi
How many times do you keep doing something you don’t really want to do? And how many times do you find yourself not doing the things you would like to do or should do? We often diagnose for ourselves a simple lack of motivation, but it goes deeper than that.
If you’re not getting the results you desire in your life, the first step is to identify your actions or lack of action in this area. That’s the easy part. But how do you change your actions, especially those that have become bad habits? You’ve probably tried the “white-knuckle strategy,” in which you bang your teeth, grit your fists, and clench your head against the wall until you summon up the necessary willpower to either resist an action or commit to one. And I’m sure you’ve found that this doesn’t work, at least not for very long.
The second step is to examine your feelings surrounding the action you’d like to change. Emotions are what cause our body to take action (or not take it). Our bodies are heavy and slow things (no offense intended!) and it’s hard for our minds alone to get them into motion. Strong enough feelings have the power to spur our bodies to action. The word E-Motion clues you in to this principle. If you’ve ever read an inspiring book or attended a motivating training, and you wanted to implement what you learned in your life, but just couldn’t get yourself to do it, it’s probably because you lacked sufficient emotion to move your body into the action required to attain your goal. If your feelings are strong enough, you will follow through, as surely as your shadow follows you in the sunshine.
Now, simply identifying the feeling underlying your actions (or lack thereof) isn’t very helpful on its own. How did those feelings come to be? How can you change a negative feeling? How do you develop a powerful positive emotion? Look at the attached graphic organizer. It’s your thoughts that determine what your emotions will be. In a future blog post I will address the chemistry behind the creation of emotions; it’s absolutely fascinating to me. But for now, all you really need to know is that thoughts are the precursors of emotions.
What is meant by “thoughts?” Here’s a short list:
Thoughts like these build on and amplify each other, or they can negate one another and cancel each other out. It can get to be a tangled mess. The “perceptions” one is a biggie, because we almost never stop to think about how we perceive things and whether or not we perceive accurately.
How can you alter what’s going on inside you to get your desired results? You need to amplify the positive thoughts and feelings and release the yucky negative stuff. There are ways to retrain your brain, even if you’ve been running the same mental programs for most of your life. If you create a visualization and a verbalization about what you want, it can be done, and it’s so worth it. (I plan to teach you some tools to help you with this. Stay posted.)
For now, I’ll just say that simply being aware of what’s going on in your mind will cause a shift. Like I discussed in my previous post, simple awareness will reveal a multiplicity of choices, giving you the opportunity to make the choice that will serve you best. Here is a little exercise to help you become more aware of your thoughts behind the emotions and actions that are causing a particular result in your life. Each prompt may seem the same at first, but each one is designed to engage a different part of your mind.
To identify the thoughts and feelings that are running you, think of particular results you’re currently experiencing and finish these sentences:
- “I see I get these results because…”
- “I hear I get these results because…”
- “I think I get these results because…”
- “I feel I get these results because…”
- “What I say creates … because…”
- “What I do creates…because…”
Write these down. When you see it written down, you can determine if it’s true and accurate, and decide if you want that to stay in your head, or kick it to the curb. When you clean yourself out in this way, putting it all out in the open, you become aware of your subconscious programming, and then it can’t run you anymore. You can work to be consciously in control of a better mental process until you eventually establish a new default pattern.
If I could add a segment to this wheel, it would be to insert “Situations” right before “Thoughts.” The situation can be anything that causes a thought to come into our minds, whether something from the external world, or internal wants and needs. There’s often little we can do about these situations that arise, so the #1 biggest thing we have control over is our thoughts.
If you’ll notice from the wheel, your results contribute to the quality of your life, which in turn generates new thoughts, and the wheel keeps going around. If your thoughts are positive, it will create an upward spiral rather than a downward one.
I hope you have learned something from the “Karmic Wheel.” It has revolutionized my life to discover that every result I’ve ever had can be traced back to the thoughts inside my head. When you change your thoughts, you can change your life!