How many of us are guilty of thinking “when I ______, I’ll be happy?”
The blank space is often filled by any or all of the following: get my dream job; become rich; meet my soulmate; get healthy, among numerous other qualifying conditions that we believe must first happen in order to then be happy.
But here’s the problem: our external circumstances seldom have the power to change the way we feel about ourselves deep down.
Life, as we experience it, is just a reflection of our inner mirror. It responds, almost magically, to our energy. If that energy happens to be one of negativity and lack, then that’s what we’ll get.
As Dr. Kim D’Eramo brilliantly writes on her book “The Mind/Body Toolkit”:
The only thing life can offer is support for the internal state you have cultivated.
Let that sink for a while – it’s extremely profound.
Just think about a time when you were in a terrible mood. How did you relate to your environment then? How did everything seem to you? Probably not very pleasant.
If you are in a horrible funk driving home and someone cuts you off , you will likely curse his/her entire family and wish him/her all sorts of evil. Your day will be further ruined and any subsequent activity would be likely tainted by the floating dark cloud that insists on following you around.
Conversely, if you were on cloud 9 from having had the best date of your life and then someone cuts you off, you’re likely to be more forgiving and not make any harsh assumptions about the character of the poor soul. You would be more willing to brush it off and continue to daydream about your date. You’d also probably feel more inspired and energized, projecting that energy into any subsequent activities.
That’s your internal state creating your circumstances.
The same concept applies to every other aspect of your life. The act of BEING what you’d like to be so that you can accomplish what you’d like to accomplish doesn’t mean you’re sitting around waiting for it to fall on your lap. BEING allows you to build the foundation for your actions.
Let’s say you’d like to lose weight so that you can rock your body at your friend’s pool party in 3 months.
If you were too focused on “HAVE-DO-BE”(lose the extra pounds – rock the body – feel proud of myself), you’d potentially:
- never start a weight loss plan because you were too miserable feeling depressed over your extra weight to even take any action;
- take one step ahead and fifty behind because you were not in the positive mindset necessary to make the changes. In other words, you were forcing change upon yourself while at the same time struggling on a deeper level against it (I am never gonna loose this weight, I tried it before and it never works; plus I love chocolate way too much to give it up).
- find no joy in the process because you went into it thinking that confidence was what you’d get OUT of it; so there’s no intrinsic motivation to push you through it.
And so failure is most likely to be the end result.
However, if your inner state of BEING is one of: “I got this; I don’t need to eat three twinkies for dessert – I can have a banana instead to satisfy my sweet cravings” your body, physiologically, will respond very differently than if you were reluctantly eating that banana pondering whether it was really worth the sacrifice.
By having this positive BEING attitude, your actions – ie. choosing the banana instead of twinkies – will follow intuitively. And this would be just one instance when you made the right choice and felt good about it. The positive reinforcement derived from feeling good about your choices leads to even more aiding behaviors that when combined result in the achievement of your weight-loss goal.
In the end, you’ll probably realize that that number ceased to be an obsession, a qualification for happiness and confidence, and instead it became something that just happened as you allowed yourself to enjoy every step along the way.
Whether it is the mysterious workings of the universe or the complex relationship of body and mind that propels us to achieve our goals when we embody what it takes to achieve it, isn’t really the point. The take home message is that we cannot force our way through life and expect nothing but greatness in return.
We need to first BE, then DO to finally HAVE. Anything other than that would be swimming against the current and setting ourselves up for disappointment.
If you’ve ever swam against the current you’ll know that not only do you rarely make any progress, but you often don’t even move from the same spot.