When I was growing up, I had the good fortune of having a mom who would make us go around the table at dinner every night and describe one fun thing that happened that day. What I didn’t realize then was that Mom was teaching me a valuable lesson in finding the positives in each day.
In the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about the power of positive thinking. The concept isn’t new – one popular book on the subject, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, was published in 1937 – but it really went mainstream in recent years after the release of Rhonda Byrne’s book and self-help film, The Secret, in 2006. Even Oprah loves it – so, enough said, right?
The Secret is based on the Law of Attraction: like attracts like. The basic idea is that your dominant thoughts and feelings affect what occurs in your life.
So, if your thoughts and feelings are more often positive, you’ll attract more positive experiences into your life – and vice versa for negative thoughts and feelings. Most people wouldn’t be shocked to learn that I’m a big fan of this philosophy, but my endorsement comes with a few disclaimers.
It’s not enough to just want something – if it was, Leonardo DiCaprio and I would be drinking sangria on a yacht full of kittens right now. Just sayin’. The first step is to decide what you want, aligning your feelings with how it would feel to have it.
But in tandem with that, you also need to align your actions and lifestyle with what you want.
Let’s say you want to have a more positive body image. You could get a cute personal trainer and start drinking green smoothies, and you might reach your goal weight. But, even if you did that and reached your ideal weight, but didn’t change your mindset and still spoke negatively about your body every day, your experience would still equate to having a negative body image.
On the other hand, if you repeated a mantra of self-love for your body, but filled it with quarter pounders all day and didn’t take care of it, you probably wouldn’t be feeling so hot either because your actions wouldn’t reflect that of a positive relationship with your bod. The key to getting what you want is for your thoughts, feelings and actions to all align with one another.
Another issue that some people have with getting results is a lack of clarity on what it really is that they want. When you think of your ideal partner, you probably have a specific list of ideal traits. Maybe it’s: dark hair, light eyes, a doctor, and loves the Green Bay Packers. But is it really a specific look that you’re after, or do you want someone who makes you feel passionate?
Do you really care if they’re a doctor or do you just want security? Does it really matter what team they cheer for (OK, could be a deal-breaker for you die-hards), or do you want someone with common interests?
Think about the feelings and experiences that you want to have and not so much about the details that you associate with those feelings and experiences. If you get too wrapped up in finding someone who meets your criteria to a T, you could be missing out on someone who is super cute, makes you feel secure and will join your fantasy football league.
While you’re focused on what you want, don’t forget to feel gratitude for what you have. All those feel-good vibes will put you in the ideal position to keep the good stuff coming your way. And hey, even if you still don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, if the only thing that happens is that you count your blessings and feel gratitude for what you have, you can’t lose.
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.