“We become what we think about.”
Those are the immortal words of Earl Nightingale. If you have been following my blog or even read “about me” you would know that this quote has been a defining my life for quite sometime. In my twenties I was inspired by it and made the decision to think positively no matter my circumstances. I had some doozies, including a trusted friend stealing my car, a boyfriend confessing he was already married, and moving cross country with less than $100 in my pocket and weeks until first payday. Honestly, my resolve born from Earl’s prophetic words got me through it all. Often people would tell me I had a right to be mad or sad, but no matter I would choose Joy.
When I reached my thirties choosing joy was second nature. My friends and family would joke that they needed to hold my grudges for me because I had this propensity for forgetting any harms or slights done to me. I routinely forgave people who likely didn’t deserve it. Sometimes this landed me in sticky situations, bad business deals and re-living relationships that were better off gone, but even now with this hindsight, I do not regret it. I believe in a world where people can make mistakes and be forgiven, and for every less than comfortable situation my good will led me to live, I also shared extra joys and fun that I never would have had otherwise. No path is perfect so choosing joy makes sense!
Now, fully entrenched in my forties (ok practically on the way out) I haven’t needed Earl’s words that much for Joy. Joy is, for the most part handled for me. I am reliable for producing, finding and enjoying it!
Now with regard to Order, this is simply not the case. I see the possibility of Bliss in Order but for the most part it eludes me. As I mentioned on Monday, I spent a lot of time trying to “tame order.” and generally cajole it into existence. For this reason, I decided that this week I would go back to my Earl Nightingale roots.
Instead of trying to clean out a closet, or complete my project to get down to 40 wardrobe items, I decided to surround myself with inspirational photos of orderly things and THINK ABOUT what organized might feel like. Looking at tidy spaces brings me immense joy and by not making any promises with regard to implementing what I saw, I was free to fully enjoy them.
There was no pressure to implement anything but a funny thing started to happen. I had been THINKING ABOUT neat and tidy spaces and I suddenly started feeling compelled to do something. The little sock drawer organizer I added to my Tidy Inspiration collection suggested I might like knowing where all my socks actually are… so I emptied the drawer and removed all the mismatched ones. I think they will eventually show up in the laundry but until their friends are found they don’t need to be in the drawer. Ahhh, a small breath of order and I didn’t have to force a thing. I had actually BECOME more organized. It wasn’t work, it was natural. Not cleaning the sock drawer feels more absurd then doing it!
By letting Joy take the lead and following Earl’s tried and true adage, I invited Order in and it wasn’t a struggle!
Let’s be clear. My home is far from the tidiest one on the block and I have a long way to go with regard to feeling like I am fully organized and in control of the clutter. I realize however, that I don’t have to make it a burden. Order is one of my Bliss Habits for a reason and if I make it enjoyable to think about it and continue to surround myself with beautiful inspiration I can let the magic happen.
You can too. Where are you trying to force an outcome? Try a more welcoming approach. Consider that we DO become what we think about and start looking at the things, and THINKING about things in a way that plays to your strengths. For me, it was finding the joy in the tidy images in pristine showrooms. Perhaps you are struggling with keeping a budget but love playing games. Then you could create a game with rewards, and special treats for keeping your promises. Every time you win a reward you are thinking of yourself as someone who does keep a budget and in time, you will become a person who does keep a budget.
The trick is to give yourself a reason to THINK ABOUT about your goals and aspirations in an enjoyable light. In my case, I knew if I had attached any must dos to my consideration of Order it wouldn’t have held my interest. In a short time I would have been talking myself out of all my big ideas and plans for forcing tidy piles in my closets.
Yes, we become what we think about.
What will you be thinking about today?
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