as published in Pink Tractor Magazine - Jan/Feb 2018 issue
I’m sure you have heard the expression about the glass being half full. You may have even heard of that same glass being half empty. I know I’ve heard it many times. In fact, after hearing it so many times I began to repeat it. I would say how I was a glass is half full type of person. That’s a good thing don’t get me wrong, but over the lifestyle change journey that I’ve been on the last three years something in me has changed in a big way. What changed? Well, one simple word…..mindset.
It’s absolutely incredible the power that our minds have. I sheepishly admit that I had no idea! I stumbled through forty years of life hoping that things would turn out for the best. I hoped that people would like me. I hoped that I would be confident. I hoped that I would be successful. I hoped that I would lose weight. I hoped that I would be happy. I have to tell you that hope wasn’t a bad thing for me, but what I’ve learned on this journey of self-discovery is that you absolutely cannot leave anything up to hope.
Change your words. Change your life. It truly is that simple, but it takes time to train your mind to do this. So many people use negative language consistently and they don’t even know they are doing it. I used to be one of those people. Why does this happen? Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to seem too confident. Perhaps it’s because that is how our family is and we learned from them. Perhaps we honestly are hoping for things to turn out a certain way all the while feeling powerless in the destiny of our own lives. How did I stop myself from doing this? Well, first of all I began surrounding myself with positive people. I got involved in a goal-related business. I was also reintroduced to reading self-improvement books. I love to read, but most of the books I was reading weren’t helping me to be better in any way. This was new to me and I immediately devoured whatever I came across. Reading was a way to expand my mind no matter where I was. When I couldn’t afford the time to sit and read I got books on audio tapes or online that I could download to my phone. My time of watching television, movies, and listening to music subsided. I decided that in order to change my life and its outcome I couldn’t hope anymore. I needed to take the reins of my life and make it happen.
I learned a lot in that first year. The second year was even more challenging because I then began the arduous journey of applying what I had learned to my life. I had already begun this in year one, but I made it a point to sit down and make some big goals for myself. By writing down dreams they become goals. I put dates with them. If I didn’t achieve them by the date next to them I simply changed the date. I didn’t get wrapped up in the fact that I had “failed”. Failure is inevitable in life. Where success really comes from is how many times you can keep going despite the failures. When we were babies we didn’t learn to walk the first time we tried. We fell. We fell. And we fell again. It was probably on that 132nd time of trying that we actually got it right. When we did it was wobbly and uncertain. As we kept going it got easier. Now as adults we don’t even think back about this accomplishment and how incredible it truly was. Now that you are thinking about it take a moment to absorb it. Apply it to whatever obstacle faces you now. Don’t expect to succeed and run in those early days. Be realistic. Look to those who have achieved what you desire. Learn from them. Ask them to mentor you. Read books to help you in this area. Surround yourself with people on the same mission that you are. Celebrate your small victories. Be kind to yourself. When you fall get back up again and keep going. I’m not telling you that it will be easy, but it will absolutely be so worth it.
Back to how I began this column. Look at your glass. Is it half full? Is it half empty? In truth, that’s up to you to decide. I won’t judge you either way. I will share with you that after three years of this journey I am ecstatic just to have a glass! Every single day I get to decide just how full I want to make it. My goal is to overflow it daily. My glass and yours are refillable....how cool is that?! I don’t expect anyone else to do the pouring and you shouldn't either. That's up to each of us! It's incredible that we hold that kind of power over our lives. I hope you decide to grab your glass with both hands. Overflow it daily and enjoy every moment. Cheers!