Sunday, December 28, 2014

What If...I [Almost] Get What I Want? Changing from Negative to Positive Thinking.



"Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses."
~ Proverb ~


What If...I Almost Get What I Want?Changing from Negative to Positive Thinking. 

What if...

For as many years as I have understood consequences and criticism I have worried about What if's. Every decision has begun with what if... I fail, I get it wrong, I look stupid, people laugh at me, along with a multitude of excuses/reasons. This has led to many years of almost taking the chance that could make things happen and really making a difference in life. 

If I had a nickel for every time I thought that there must be more rewarding ways to live my life and make a living. So many times I have caught myself over the years saying "I wish I could _____" or "I have always wanted to _____" and "if I could only _____", but, what if... I would have a very large pile of nickels.

How many times have the What if's that we feared most actually ever materialized? How many possibilities have these and other worries about What if's kept us from achieving? This is nothing but fear of something imagined keeping us from something real. It does not make much sense, but unfortunately this is how most of us live most of our days.

What if  we taught our children to believe in themselves and follow their dreams? How about teaching instead to look at the positive side by saying "What if  this works better than I imagined"? Teach them that everyone has fears but they do not need to let fear paralyze them and control their lives. I am not advocating acting foolishly on every thought or idea and ignoring gut feelings, only not to be controlled by negative thoughts.

What if before people become trapped in the debt cycle, we could learn it is unnecessary and avoidable? By the time we realize that material objects are useless in obtaining happiness, we are caught up in a never ending pattern of seemingly endless debt. Living a non-materialistic life does not mean being deprived or doing without. It simply means living with what you need and avoiding accumulating stuff for the sake of accumulating stuff.

What would you tell a seven year old who asked you "how can I make the world better?" or "how can I make a real difference?" Unfortunately, most of us could give them some advise but no tangible example to follow. We could tell them to follow their heart and dreams, but are we doing this? Ask What if...! 

As much as we desire to pursue certain dreams, we continue to stay where it is safe. Happiness does not enter into the equation when the risk is involved. We complain about a lack of opportunities while we are not even sure if we would take the chance if offered. What if we took a chance and it worked beyond our wildest dreams?

What if we did not fear failure, ridicule, or looking foolish? If we could do away with expectations and live each moment for what it is while accepting everything without labeling it as good or bad. As Shakespeare said "Why, then, 'tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. To me this is a prison."

The prison is sometimes built by society or passed down through generations but it is maintained by us. As long as we use What if as a negative escape route we will never get out and break the cycle. Once again I ask, What if we took a chance and it worked beyond our wildest dreams?
    

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