10 Tips For Getting (And Staying) On The Path To Positive Change
Writing this blog has helped me become a little more analytical of my own development – for the purpose of my own clarification and also to perhaps provide more solid reading for others. So as I sit here today and think about how I’m becoming a different person – more organized, more productive, happier, more motivated – I’m trying to pinpoint the things that have helped me along the way. So here are some tips to help get you and keep you on the path.
1) Read– I’ve read, and continue to read inspiring books (you can find some here) and keep up to date on relevant blogs (e.g Steve Pavlina, Zen Habits, Trizle, etc) that help me keep my thoughts on track. These should not be an excuse to procrastinate but the opposite – a motivational tool. By immersing yourself in new ways of thinking positively, you’ll challenge your mind and also find the things that resonate the most for you. After a while you realize a lot of personal development stuff is repeating the same ideas over and over, but its about finding the ideas and ways of expressing them that have the most impact for you.
2) Think – Keep your thoughts on a positive note and watch out for the negative voices in your head. In my case, blatant negativity wasn’t so much the problem as just mediocre or “blah” thoughts – not totally self-depreciating, but just not the most motivating. In some ways this is a more insipid energy sap because it’s less obvious. And guess what – when I thought about my life, that’s how I felt about it -“blah”. I wasn’t unhappy, depressed or lacking in self-esteem, but at the same time I wasn’t passionate and joyful as much as I could be. If you stop and think about it you’ll see just how much your life is a reflection and manifestation of your mental state. Come up with “replacement” thoughts that you can draw on to replace the negative ones– affirmations, if you will. And play around with what resonates with you the most and has the most effect in altering your mindstate.
3) Write – I did a lot of writing especially in the beginning. I’ve never been able to keep up with a journal per se, but I got myself a nice notebook and started writing down goals, ideas, characteristics I want to develop, visions for the future, positive quotes that I liked, and so on. I find that in moments when I lose motivation, it helps me to open my notebook and read over my thoughts – it helps me get back on track. You might find that your goals change over time, or perhaps you refine them – write everything down. It helps to make things real for yourself, provides a record of your development and the more you write, the more clarification you gain which helps you make progress. And your notebook should be filled only with positive things – goals, visions, aspirations etc. Nothing negative.
4) Believe – Perhaps the most important of all – you just have to believe that you are on the path and that things will work out the way you want. And you know what, once you realize that you can choose your beliefs just like you can choose your clothes or your friends or your meals, it makes it that much easier. Choose to believe in faith, in a positive universe, in a friendly supportive world. And again keep in mind that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. So have faith and you’ll start to see signs of it – people being friendlier, small blessings in your life – maybe a friend buys you a meal out of the blue etc. As the song from Telepopmusik goes:
“There’s nothing to do but believe, just believe. Just Breathe. Another day, just believe… Another day, just breathe. Another day, just believe. Another day, Just breathe.”
5) Observe – observe your thoughts, your actions, your words, your progress and the way life changes when you implement all the above. Again it gives you clarification and quiet time to reflect and develop.
6) Listen – listen to podcasts and interviews with inspiring figures. Hayhouse Radio is a fave for me, especially Dr.Wayne Dyer’s shows. I also enjoy Michael Neill. Sometimes I’ll download the shows as podcasts and listen while I’m at the gym.
7) Repeat – don’t give up! Repeat all these steps, all the time until a new way of thinking and acting becomes habituated. You’ll start to notice your life changing slowly – things coming together for you. It’s kind of like going to the gym- sometimes it’s hard to get motivated into a workout routine, but as soon as you start to see the tiniest results, it becomes rewarding and the motivation is easier to get. Eventually it becomes a routine part of your life and before you know it, you’ve transformed from someone who works out sporadically, or can’t really get into a routine, into “someone who works out 3 times a week” – its just part of who you are. In the same way I believe we can all become “people who manifest their goals and have a positive impact on others”.
8) Balance – keep it real people! Don’t sacrifice living in the real world to be cooped up with your books, blogs and podcasts! Life is for living so use all this stuff to enrich your experience – not to substitute for it. We’ve all come across self-help junkies and to be honest some of them can seem a little kooky and out of touch. So go out, have fun, develop friendships and all that good stuff! And don’t forget to save some quiet time for yourself though – it really helps you to grow. I believe the key is a kind of balance or harmony – these things feed one another.
I’m sure there are many other useful techniques that others have used – feel free to share them – this is just what I have used. Here’s a couple of things I probably should also be doing:
1) Meditation – I’ve been on and off with mediation for years. I know I should be making it part of my routine – it would probably help accelerate things, not to mention the health benefits, but so far I haven’t been able to habituate it. It’s something I’ll continue to work on though.
2) Talk – I’ve mentioned before I can be a little shy so it’s hard for me to talk to friends about my goals etc unless I know them to be spiritual people who will be able to relate to where I’m coming from. But I have heard that if you talk about your goals it helps speed the process – you might meet someone who can assist you, or just the trading of ideas and dialog can be inspiring. So again this is something I will be trying to work on.