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“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

As I prepare to attack the week ahead, I wanted to discuss how our attitude or reaction to our personal reality can affect our lives in good or bad ways. We can all recall good times and bad times in our lives, right? Who decides what is good or bad? We do.

If I were to take a survey of the people you work with, what would they say about their job? Odds are there will be some that love the job they do and the service they provide. Others will dread going to the job and if offered, leave at the earliest opportunity. The employee’s attitude colors their day. People that expect the bad will get exactly what they want. People that expect the goodwill also get exactly what they want. The trite expression about the glass-half-full or half-empty applies.

Each of us has a lens we use to observe our world. This lens is colored by our experiences, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. This lens can also be our paradigm. This is the internal map or neural pattern we use to identify common objects. It is also the map we use to assess our current situation.

Some, like the late Dr. Stephen Covey, believe we each have the power to alter or change our internal map. We can rewrite the script. Others believe that we can change our state of consciousness. The theory is if you can alter or rewrite your internal scripting you will naturally change your outlook.

I did this several years ago. My life was wrought with troubles. I was in a lot of debt, my marriage was failing, and I wasn’t performing that well at work. I started to think about why I always lost when others would win. I started to give credence to the statement that I could, in fact, rewrite my script.

I began journaling. I began dedicating time to meditation, exercise and eating right. I began to control what I let into my mind and what I protected my mind from. I began getting serious about my spirituality, reading my Bible (The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad), doing my daily spiritual exercises, and studying all I could.

I came across books like “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity”, by David Allen, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Dr. Stephen Covey, and learning more about nutrition, mindfulness, and minimalism. I began reading lots of articles about habits that bring about happiness and well-being.

Slowly my mindset changed. I realized that the bulk of the things I was doing was for someone else. My goals were about what I was supposed to do rather than what I wanted to do. In other words, I found the “why” behind my goals. At that moment, I began to alter my thinking. I began to realize that I could win if I changed how I approached life.

I began to look at my habits. I began to look at what I did each day. I began to look at what I was bringing into my world. I used to like watching horror movies. I used to like listening to death metal. I used to like eating a lot of garbage. I also had a lot of negative thoughts going through my mind, filled with worry, anger, and paranoia. One of the key things that caused me to change some of my habits was Masaru Emoto (see http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/water-crystal.html) who has done some wonderful experiments learning the effect different things have on the formation of water crystals. Visit this website to see what I saw. The learning: What you think, what you hear, what you read, what you see affects your internal structure (70% water). Change the inputs of ugly, vulgar, lust, etc. to good, peace, love, happiness, etc., and you can alter yourself dramatically.

Besides adapting new habits, I also created rituals that house these habits into chunks of activity. I wrote down all the things I learned that I wanted in my life. I wanted to read daily, exercise daily, eat well daily, write daily, and learn new things daily. I also wanted to bring beauty, peace, and tranquility in my life. So, I began simply. I read a page a day, I did one push-up a day, I ate one healthy meal a day, I wrote a few sentences each day, and I try to read an article, watch an educational documentary, or read a blog posting.

I take life one day at a time. I focus on what I’m doing and do not allow myself to be distracted by the “noise” that tries to envelop each of us. I remain focused on my goals and do my best to edge ever closer to the finish line.

My attitude: Life is good, it will continue to get better. I will improve a little bit each day in all areas of my life. I will continue to evolve, learn, and grow.

I extend my well-wishes to each of you on your own personal journeys to greater understanding and happiness.

Until next time…