“A person cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.” – As A Man Thinketh
In her outstanding book, Choose the Happiness Habit, Pam Golden writes: “Take the story of two brothers who are twins. One grows up to be an alcoholic bum. The other becomes an extremely successful businessman. When the alcoholic is asked why he became a drunk, he replies, “My father was a drunk.” When the successful businessman is asked why he became successful, he says, “My father was a drunk.” Same background. Same upbringing. Different choices.”
The brothers chose different thoughts about the identical experience. Those thoughts over the years shaped the circumstances they now find themselves in.
There was a time in my life when I chose to think about challenges and obstacles as just more of the “bad luck” I seemed to attract. Ever hear the expression “when it rains, it pours?” That was my constant mantra when others asked me how things were going. So what do you think I got more of? If you answered “RAIN,” you’re correct!
Bob Proctor says “you’re either living in the problem or you’re living in the solution.” Now, when I’m confronted with what I used to think was a negative situation, I use a different thought process. I force myself to replace those negative thoughts that creep in with positive thoughts about how I might solve the “problem.” Sometimes I’ll take a notepad and just start jotting down ideas that might be a solution. At the same time, my thoughts are focused on the possible lessons I might learn from the situation so that I might profit from the experience in the future.
If you’ve guessed that it doesn’t “rain” as much in my life as it used to, you’re correct again. In fact, most days it’s a beautiful, cloudless and sunny day! Only occasionally now do I get any rain, and it’s good rain, the kind that makes living things grow.
And that’s worth thinking about.
Note: This was previously published in Day by Day with James Allen, but its message bears repeating many times.