Recently while watching a movie called “The Intern” about a retired man on his quest to continue to fuel his spark and passion for life during his retirement age, he serendipitously stumbles upon the opportunity to return to the workforce in a Seniors’ internship program at a booming e-commerce workplace. His attempt to resettle into the modern workplace armed with his traditional skills and strong work ethic appear initially to be no longer relevant or appreciated. However, as the movie progresses he begins to change his boss/ founder of the company in significant and almost spiritual ways.
I really enjoyed this movie, but I am not writing about it to review it. While I was watching this movie I had an epiphany, I noticed how envious I was that the lead character played by Robert De Niro was so organised, efficient, hardworking, kind and considerate. He seemed to be the perfect employee. It made me think about my life, how unorganised I feel at times, my cupboards are a mess, my wardrobe needs to be more organised and I just feel like my days are spent so inefficiently, leaving me with the feeling I haven’t achieved even a quarter of the things I intended to for the day. Yet I am overwhelmed with fatigue and constantly going to bed late and rising a few minutes before noon, losing half my day. I thought about what it would take to be like someone similar to De Niro’s character. Then it hit me, it is possible to be just as organised, efficient, hard working and kind as him, but it would take an incredibly clear minded person with a really positive perception of life and other people. Someone who looks at others without judgment but compassion. Someone who isn’t so consumed in negativity, anxiety and fear that they have the energy to work efficiently and productively. A person who goes to bed at a reasonable time, gets restful sleep and rises early and eager to start their day.
It occurred to me that my biggest hurdle in life was myself, my own thoughts. My thinking has always been unquestionably, undisciplined and it has meant that I have become overwhelmed and left feeling incredibly drained from all the unnecessary and negative, self destructive thinking that I have allowed to run in my mind unchecked. We are quick to pull ourselves up on bad eating habits, but when has a person ever stopped to say, you really should not be filling your mind with “junk” thoughts. It is just as important to ensure your mind is fuelled with healthy thoughts as it is to feed your body with healthy food.
In fact, our lives are a greater reflection of our own states of being, and what determines whether we are in a positive or negative state, are our beliefs. The best way to understand what our beliefs are, is to observe the thoughts that are constantly going through our mind. Our thoughts are the stories we tell ourselves about life, ourselves and others. If the story is a negative one, then it will have a flow on effect to every part of our lives. I realised there is only one way to change, and even though I cannot change my circumstances, I have total control in changing my perception and experience.
So, I have decided to place myself on a healthy thought plan.
This is my plan, from now on, indefinitely in fact, I will be aware of the thoughts that go through my mind particular the negative ones. When I notice that I have a negative thought, I will write it down in a note pad that I will try to carry with me everywhere I go and record the negative thought as soon as they enter my mind. I will then examine why, and what belief system I must be buying into that induces such a thought, then accept it, say thank you for coming to my attention and actively imagine myself releasing that negative thought into a balloon and letting it float away. Then I will replace that negative thought with a genuine positive thought.
For instance, if I have a thought about something I am worried about in the future that might happen. I understand that I cannot control my circumstance and it really doesn’t matter, and my worry about something that I have no control over, which may or may not happen, stems from my lack of trust that I will be okay or that I can cope. I will imagine letting it go, being thankful for bringing my attention to it. Then replace the thought with its polar opposite, but must also be truthful and something I believe in. In this case, that is trust that no matter what happens I always seem to find the strength, support or a way through.
This can only work if what we say in the positive context is genuine and truthful to our core beliefs. If not, we also have to examine why the positive does not feel true to us and keep replacing our negative thoughts until we find a positive thought that rings true.
The key to this healthy thought plan isn’t to stop the bad thoughts, as such, but to focus our mind on the more positive things. What we focus on grows, so instead of living with undisciplined, negative thoughts we can focus on something more positive and eventually our life will begin to reflect that which we become.
I will continue to blog about my progress, it will be a hard and long road but one that I am excited to embark on as I truly believe the results will be life changing.