Sunday, January 17, 2016

On Effort and the Power of Positive Thinking

Sometimes you don't want to get out of bed.

Sometimes the idea of waking up feels like a weight on your chest, pulling you down before you're even conscious. When you break the surface of sleep your eyes are stuffed with feathers and must be pried open with crowbars. You want to call in sick to work, avoid talking to people or getting dressed. You want to stop worrying about money, you want to call your ex, you want to skip your workout and eat a platter of bacon and cheese for breakfast (not that that's always a bad thing...).

What do you do? You can't afford to miss class, work, whatever you're doing on a daily basis to live life, so you throw on the t-shirt you wore yesterday and down a cup of coffee with heaps of sugar, hoping it'll give you the energy to power through the morning. You head out into the world with a cloud hanging over your head. Do you tuck your chin and stuff your hands into your pockets as you make your way around your city, avoiding eye contact and limiting your field of vision to your own angry footsteps? Do you commiserate with classmates about the poor weather or grumble to your coworkers about the number of meetings you have scheduled this week?

It's easy to fall into this trap of negativity.

Obviously, this is not an ideal state to be in. This is a depressive, upsetting way to exist that allows negative energy to take over. And I get it, some days it just seems like everything is going wrong and you are seriously never going to get anywhere. Like nothing is improving, like you want to just fall down and stay there for a while or something.

But it's not forever.

Life will change. It will always change. Everything does. Sometimes these awful days, weeks, even years, are the shoves we need to get ourselves moving forward. The universe is telling you, okay, so what, you don't like this? Then I challenge you. I challenge you to change. You want something else? You want to be happier, more successful, wealthier? You want to start a company, expand your social circle, run a 10k, grow a garden, learn to ride a horse, become president?

Make it happen.

Eventually you'll be able to laugh at yourself and remember the world is not out to get you. Good things will come your way. But you can't wait for the universe to go and hand them to you. No, you have to act as the catalyst for your own change. Stop sitting around waiting for somebody to give you the keys to your success and freaking go after it! It's going to take some effort, a bit of elbow grease. You have to actively wake up every day and remind yourself that you have the power to choose the way your day goes. But you NEED to put in the effort! That's half the battle.

"Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work." 

- Stephen King

The rest of it boils down to staying positive.

I believe in positivity and the power of expecting good things to come into your life. I believe in the law of attraction, which is the idea that what you think, you attract. But you can't base your progress on dreams and wishing alone- you have to put in the work, the effort, the sweat and tears. Thus, in order to shape your life the way you want it, you have to combine effort and positivity. Believe that things will work out as you work towards them.

Start simple. If you wake up feeling tired, remind yourself that it will get better once you're up and moving. Tell yourself that today is going to be a good day, and set the intention to make that happen. Then get to work. Listen to your favorite song, sip a cup of coffee, or do something else for yourself before you leave for a job or a class. Take a few moments to take care of your email, write a paragraph, just get started on that one thing you need to get done. Your dreams aren't going to come true all at once, remember, but the little things you do over and over will help you reach your goals.

When you're struggling during the day, focus on the good things instead of the bad. Do you hate your job? Think about the parts you enjoy. Do you hate taking out the trash but love interacting with customers? Focus on that. Do you hate making phone calls but love designing webpages? Focus on that and get the other stuff done to help move you forward. Feel trapped by the people you're living with? Maybe embrace their good qualities instead of constantly letting yourself be irritated by their bad ones, and at the same time start saving up to move.

Though positive energy is useful, it can't be everything. If you're in a relationship that makes you miserable, only striving to see the good it in won't work. Definitely give it a shot, but it might turn out that your challenge is no longer in looking for the bright side, but in having the courage to cut yourself free, to make a potentially scary change.

Instead of being afraid to make big changes, welcome them into your life. As with every other scary, negative or upsetting thing in your life, approach it with a positive mindset.

By choosing to look for the good in things and consistently striving towards bettering your mindset and the situations you find yourself in, you will attract more positive energy. I truly believe this brings more love, happiness and general goodness into your life. If you're miserable all the time, you will attract misery and unfortunate things because you'll be looking for them. So flip the script! Take action! Grab your life with both hands and spin it around- see where it lands and keep moving forward. Don't be afraid to fight for the things you want.

I believe in you. Believe in yourself.

"Lovely days don't come to you.
You should walk to them."

- Rummy