It began as early as the Bible:
“Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and ye shall find.” Matthew 7:7
“What so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” Mark 11:22-24
Norman Vincent Peale, in 1952, wrote the bestseller “Power of Positive Thinking” which sold over 20 million copies in 41 languages.
Venice Bloodworth wrote about positive thoughts and their power in “The Key to Yourself”.
“The Secret” made a national splash a couple years ago detailing how you can obtain your heart’s desires by believing you have them and keeping positive thoughts at all times.
With access to more knowledge, possessions, material things, and “stuff” than any generation in history, people are still desperately seeking a higher meaning to obtaining life’s riches and happiness. The principles have been around from the beginning of human thought; the presentation of those ideas and ideals just get repackaged in different formats.
The premise is the same, and it is so simple. Basically, you are what you think. So, we should all be millionaires living in mansions working at our true desires. What’s the problem?
Law of Attraction
The law of attraction says that you bring to you those things that you think about the most. If your thoughts are continually negative, you will get negative outcomes in everything that you do. If you think positive thoughts, are clear about what you want, and have the conviction that you will receive what you are asking for, then your outcomes will be positive. You also have to maintain a constant state of gratitude for all that surrounds you. If you see a pretty flower, be thankful for the experience. Give to the Universe in all ways and in return you will receive greatness.
That sounds so easy and uncomplicated. Of course you can think positive thoughts, be thankful, and volunteer your time so that you will achieve your desires.
Then how come we aren’t all rich and happy? Maybe it is time to adjust our attitudes (how we think) and perceptions (how we see the world).
The power of Intention is a strong component of the law of attraction. You have to stay focused on your intention at all times because what you think, you manifest. So careless thinking, even for one moment, will hinder your process in attaining your goals. You have to be diligent every minute of every day.
Ahh…there’s the rub. That’s why most people never achieve their desires and goals. We have a tendency to view the world with a negative focus, partly due to our daily experiences in life. No one lives a continually rosy existence. And since we think based on what we experience every day, it’s no wonder many of our thoughts are negative in scope.
Most people are not clear on the Intention portion of attracting what they want. We often think that if we say “I want to be a successful entrepreneur”, then that is what will happen. Or, “I wish to win the lottery” will result in money beyond our dreams. By using those phrases, all we will do is stay in the state of “want” and “wish”. It requires a total shift in the way we think and/or express our desires in order to reach the greatness we aspire to achieve. And remember, that greatness does not have to equate to money. It can also be love, happiness, respect, friendship, and a myriad other things people wish for everyday.
Changing your attitude begins with changing how you think.
The current guru of pop psychology, Dr. Phil, often states that, “we cannot change what we do not acknowledge”. Those words resonate! First we have to acknowledge who we are and how we think, truthfully and brutally, before we can ever shift our thought processes.
People usually never think of themselves as negative in their attitudes or perspectives. Perhaps it’s hard because often we don’t understand what constitutes negative thoughts and words. If you think or say things such as:
- Why does Mary always have to dress that way? It makes her look so cheap.
- My boss gets on my nerves. He always wants to be right.
- Why can’t you just eat what I prepared for dinner?
You are approaching life from the negative. You are choosing to see what is wrong, instead of either accepting what is, or seeing the good in things.
For one day, monitor your thoughts constantly. Even when you are by yourself just driving in the car, think about what you are thinking about. Are you angry and upset about traffic? Or about an incident that happened at work? Are you thinking about how you are going to give someone a piece of your mind for what they said or did? Are you seeing ugly houses or landscaping that you don’t like?
Monitor your thoughts and opinions, and then truthfully assess whether or not you are approaching life through the negative. Even if your opinions are true, do you only focus on unpleasant people and things?
This is a perceptive exercise instead of a perception exercise, because you will become very perceptive, or aware, of how your mind tends to translate things.
Stop the Madness
Now that you are aware of your thoughts, it is important to understand how those thoughts translate to the actuality of your life. In A Course in Miracles, it states:
“I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the good I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (Chapter 21, Reason and Perception, II)
Ester and Jerry Hicks, in Ask and It Is Given, state “You are the creator of your own reality” (Chapter 3).
So you see why your thoughts, attitudes and perceptions are so important to the outcome of your life. If you want to change your attitudes and perceptions, you have to change the way you think about every aspect of your life.
Sounds simple, right? But it is very hard to do. We are a product of our upbringing, environment, and life experiences. Even people whose lives are really good and are experiencing success have negative thought patterns that need examining.
As I journeyed on the positive thought process, I found myself constantly reverting back to the old, destructive ways I had been thinking for years. I had to constantly tell myself STOP! There is no need to think that negative thought. Turn it around to the positive.
It is hard to do; but it gets easier each day. It will take weeks before you can even make a dent in changing.
Forcefully change your way of thinking into positive statements.
- Mary has a cute little figure. And she is young and having fun with fashion.
- My boss has a lot of good ideas. I will listen and see what I can learn.
- I am learning what foods you like and how to prepare them so you enjoy eating.
Remember, you can’t change someone else. All you can do is change how you react to them. Don’t let someone steal your progress and joy by being negative towards them. It is better to just accept them as they are, or eliminate them from your frame of reference. It is your choice. You are in control.
Take time to learn from the thoughts you are changing. Ask yourself why you are always thinking that way. What circumstances in your life led you to be so unhappy in your thoughts? Go internal to understand who you are and how you can change. Each situation in life is a lesson that you are either learning, teaching, or facilitating between others. Those situations are there to teach you. If you keep repeating the same patterns, then you aren’t growing or learning life’s important lessons.
Changing Your Mind, Changing Your Attitude
You will find that your attitude will slowly adjust to align with how you think. It’s not something that you have to work on. As you start thinking in a more positive way, you will find that you are not as grumpy or judgmental because you have learned to let go of the need to try and change others or things out of your control. Once you realize that it is not your responsibility to tell people what to do and how to act, your attitude will be one of acceptance, and you learn to laugh off those things that you cannot change. The world begins to fill with humor as your attitude accepts all things from all people.
After a while, once I learned to think positive thoughts about situations that would have totally set me in a rage before, I found that my attitude was one of compassion towards bad situations. That compassion translated to how I spoke to people that were annoying, and found that they responded in a much gentler way once they realized that it was not going to be a fight or struggle. Calmly tell your demanding boss that he has so much to teach you, and ask him or her to explain further rather than just being turned off by the bad behavior, and watch that person change in how they treat you right before your eyes.
Perception is Reality
Ever hear that phrase? Are you starting to get it now? Your world is dictated by how you perceive reality. Negative perception…negative reality. Again, shift your perception and you will shift your reality.
Attitude of Gratitude
One premise of the law of attraction is to always be in a state of gratitude. Look around you every day and see reasons to be grateful. Did the sun come up this morning? Give thanks. Smile at the newspaper attendant or coffee server. Be patient if the lines are long for your morning bagel.
The attitude of gratitude also has to do with how you give back to the Universe. Do you volunteer at the community picnic, or at the Children’s hospital? Do you stop to help someone who looks lost and could be a tourist in town? Giving back of your talents and time, in the true spirit of simply giving, will reap rewards, based on all that you have sown. Don’t do it for any glory and recognition except that of how good you feel when the day is done.
Giving back is so important in reaping from the Universe. It focuses you on others rather than yourself, and you will find your perception of the world changing to one that is greater than you. Your ego takes a seat behind your gratefulness for the opportunity to share your talents with others. And slowly you will find that how you perceive everything about your world changes.
If a person expects the worse, that is what they will get. If you tell yourself, and the world, that you are not lucky and never win anything, then you have created your own reality. People who win the lottery are the ones who expect to win. They play with a positive attitude and true belief that they can win. And you can win! No matter how large the odds, someone always wins eventually. It really could be you!
Just like the thought-changing process, you can apply the same principles to your perception. What is your view of your world?
- I can’t go back to school to get my degree now. It will take too long.
- I don’t know why I was born. I never seem to be able to find love and happiness.
- I will never get that job. They always give it to people who suck up to the bosses.
Recognize any of you in those situations? Your basic belief system is more than just chanting positive affirmation to change the way you think. It is deeply intrinsic to who you are.
If you view the world in a very pessimistic way, you are defeating yourself before you can even try. Perception is a deep-rooted emotion that will take constant work and diligence to affect. And remember, always go to the root to try and figure out why your world-view is so unenthusiastic.
- It may take me a long time to get my degree, but the time will pass anyway and I might as well have something positive at the end.
- I am working to find my purpose. Love and happiness will return to me the more I give it to others. I am just going to relax and spread positive thoughts to everyone I meet.
- I am going for that job! Even if I don’t get it this time, I will continue to learn and grow in order to meet my goals one day.
People who expect the worse get the worse. Change the channel and go into every situation with positive outcomes on your mind. Work around any obstacles, and be surprised if things don’t turn out well. Flip the script on your perspective and perception of your life.
How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?
Well… practice, practice, and practice. Changing attitudes and perceptions that have been carried for a lifetime are not easy. Monitoring thoughts throughout the day takes diligent focus. When those negative thoughts creep in, stop and think about them. Then banish them. Tell yourself that you don’t need to think that way anymore (I mean literally tell yourself that). Say to yourself that those situations are over, or not your problem, or just don’t matter anymore.
Many people last a few months, and then go back to the old way of believing and acting, because it does take patience and concentration to continually change habits. Those who successfully change and start benefiting from the abundance of the Universe find that paying attention to thoughts and deeds do matter.
So the choice is yours. Constant study helps you stay focused. The books I mentioned earlier in the article are great references. The Secret is also a book to have on hand. Other helpful resources online include howtoadvice.com/AttitudeAffirmation that goes into information on the conscious and subconscious mind connection. TheAttitudeDoc.com has lots of resources and articles that inform on changing attitudes.
But my most helpful mantra is the affirmation I have all over my house and that I say throughout the day. It comes from The Key to Yourself.
“I am healthy, strong, young, positive, loving, harmonious, successful, and happy.”
That just about covers everything!