Once you’ve managed to calm your mind, take a step back to examine your current perceptions. Perception is a choice, not a fact. Who you believe yourself to be, depends on the voices you choose to hear and the sights you choose to see. Make sure your perceptions don’t become your limitation. Change your perceptions if they don’t serve, free and empower you.
Very little is needed to make a happy life. All is within you, in your way of thinking. – Marcus Aurelius
A wise pirate once said: ‘The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem’ – Captain Jack Sparrow
Your attitude is the most important choice you’ll ever make. Choose attitudes that exhibit your growth and let go of the ones that inhibit it. Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. Successful people tend to have a lot of latitude in their attitude.
Don’t call the world dirty just because you forgot to clean your glasses – Aaron Hill
Train yourself not to react, but to respond: When next you’re in a pickle, let go of thinking mind and its mental-emotional tangents. This frees you to extract the opportunity the situation brings. Character is formed not by what happens to you, but by what you do about what happens – no matter what: It’s not in the ‘what’, it’s in how you relate to the ‘what’.
Changing your perceptions actually changes reality. This is because if you look at things differently, you’ll start seeing different things. In other words, if your perspective alters, so does what you perceive. With a new perspective, you have a new thought about everything.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Fulfilment does not lie in new experiences, but in a new way of being in the known.
Time for some mental re-wiring
I often really struggle with life. When everything gets too much for me, I have come to realize that my feelings are not based on reality. My perceptions create various mental scenarios and trajectories which completely overwhelm me. Fear of potential negative outcomes leads to yet more negative perceptions in a vicious cycle.
The world will reflect back to you what you must correct within yourself until you realize that you’re creating your unpleasant experiences by your own perceptions. You see that your ‘righteous anger’ or ‘justifiable fear’ starts within yourself. For instance, being in conflict with others is an outward manifestation of being in conflict with yourself. At its core, every conflict is a clash between your expectation and your perception of what is.
My aversion to the noisy commune down the road gave me an opportunity to practice changing my perceptions. Every time they made a noise, I thought of one more thing to be grateful to them for. ‘The noise is happy. There is no music. Noise levels are mostly within reason.’ I realized that if I ran away from it, I would be running away from my own mind again, instead of managing it. My worst enemy would again be living between my own two ears. My perceptions and their associations were the problem: ‘Melville is going down. The commune is going to turn into a Shebeen. It’s getting worse. The next tenants will care even less.’
I realized that I was drawing to myself exactly those scenarios by carrying on like this, so I changed my perception. I chose rather to believe that the commune had come into my life to show me that it is not quiet from the world I needed, but quiet from my mind. It showed me, that it is not quite yet time to retreat from the world. I needed to take it for what it is, to accept it as part of Melville. I used it as a reminder to live, myself. I realized that I was simply announcing my attachment to my peace and quiet and my resistance to change: I wanted Melville to stay the same.
Bad news can be good news in disguise. If fate passes you a lemon, make lemonade from it. Staying positive does not mean that things will always turn out ok. It is knowing that you’ll be ok no matter how things turn out.
Could you do with some mental re-wiring? Get in touch with me here.