Watch your thoughts for they become words,
watch your words for they become actions,
watch your actions, for they become habits,
watch your habits for they become your character,
watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first thought in the morning can be the driving force behind the entire day.
The best part about that? We have the power within us to make every day a good day. We have the ability to practice turning a negative thought, no matter how quickly it appears, into a positive one before it has time to germinate and fester. Before it gathers forceful speed as a snowball rolling downhill, gathering more “stuff” along the way.
And the more we practice at something the better we become. Until it becomes somewhat second nature.
One of the most powerful antidotes to negative thoughts, intentional or not, is by cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Rather than seeing the darkness of a situation, see the light that is shining through the cracks. No matter how tiny those cracks may be, the light can, and will, shine through. Look for it and you will see its beauty.
It’s easy to be positive when things are going in your direction. It’s when one’s back is against the wall and on our third strike, or the 8th life of a cat, that practicing positive thoughts seems nearly impossible. But pushing through the tide, weathering the storm, brings security and strength and a life truly lived well.
To start off the day on a positive note, before your feet touch the floor beside your bed, think of one thing to be grateful for and give credit where credit is due. Give thanks to God.
Pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day and as soon as a negative one begins to form, turn it into a positive. Before turning out the lights at night, think of three things to be grateful for that happened during the day. Mentally reviewing your day to develop your grateful items is better than not doing it at all, but I find if I write them down I can go back and look at them many times over, feeling grateful all over again each time I look at them. An instant pick-me-up for the heart and soul.
When someone cuts you off in traffic, halt the impulse to cuss and give them “the look.” Instead say a prayer that they get to where they are going safely and without hurting anyone.
When you’ve put your name in the hat for a job promotion and you don’t get it, stop yourself from the negative thoughts that can feed off of self-pity and hurt feelings by congratulating the person who did get the position and offer them your assistance if they need it.
When someone pushes ahead of you in a line that you’ve been waiting in, rather than curse and let the anger take hold, force yourself to smile. And think, “I’ve waited this long, what’s one more?”
Our actions follow our thoughts. If our thoughts are positive and loving, our actions will be as well.
And with that, it’s time for me to get some practicing in. I have a ways to go.
All is Grace.