Create a new reality for yourself. Do this by choosing a new life vision, then living by design, both choosing the actions and emotional states that create that vision. The power to create future change is in the present moment. The past is a memory and the future a possible dream. In the present moment, the things you 'say', 'do', 'think' and 'share,' are where you have power. It's where 'what you do', 'how you act', and 'what you say' makes a difference. At no other time than the present, can you have any control over your destiny, and make your dreams possible.
Steven Covey understood this very clearly when he chose 'Be Proactive' as the first principle, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He explained that proactivity is most effective when you work on areas or things where there is real power to create change. By doing this, you expand the circle of influence in your own life and into the creation of your future.
Bearing in mind as well, that you have no power over other people (at best you have influence) and the many things that happen in our day-to-day circle of concern. But you have power in how you respond to these situations.
With this in mind, I'd like to share two habits to help you positively respond to life, and create more power in your present moment. People who use these two habits have lives that are clearly different from those who don't practice them.
Gratitude is a habit that shifts your world from a negative experience to a positive one. When you practice gratitude, the world goes from being half empty, to being half full. It makes the present moment a good place to be, one to cherish and enjoy, not one to regret, fear and avoid. More than that, as a positive emotion, gratitude expands the boundaries of your heart and mind, and changes your outlook on life. Shifting your perspective from a negative focus to a positive one, it opens you to new possibilities and new solutions you may not have seen before.
If things that happen to you are viewed as pieces of information, then Reflection is the wisdom that comes from contemplating on those pieces of information. Cultivating this as a habit helps you gain knowledge, understanding and insight so you can learn from things that impact your everyday, and empower you to make better choices and changes. Without reflection you are likely to be none the wiser, and simply keep repeating the same old patterns and getting the same results.
I used to run a lot, half marathons mainly. After each race, I'd reflect on my results and tweak my training programme, allowing me to improve my results as the years went by. If I didn't go through a reflection process I would have probably kept pushing the same training strategy, hoping it would get me a better result.
By adding these two habits as daily practice to your lifestyle, you will grow your power and influence to create the kind of life you actually want.
HOW CAN I USE THIS CONCEPT?
Gratitude is cultivated by following a daily ritual of acknowledging things you are grateful for. Each morning in a journal write down 5 things you are grateful for and why. Even better, share with a partner or loved one.
Reflection is best initiated by asking yourself a question, for example:
What did I learn here and how is it useful to me?
How does this new knowledge change my work or life?
What does this new knowledge show me about myself?
What is the lesson here?
Why is this information so important to me?
Why did this happen?
What did I do right or what could I have done better here?
Dr Mark Vella is Director of the School of Lifestyle Medicinewww.lifestylemedicine.co.za [email protected]
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