How One Question Can Change Your Life
Every new day has the potential to bring a lightness and playfulness about life when we’re in the right state of mind. And when in this state, we see things differently. We notice the little things that bring us joy. We take time to appreciate what usually gets taken from granted. Not because we don’t appreciate them, but because we don’t see them, and if we do, we don’t see them for what they really are.
Everything we spend our lives looking for is right in front of us, within us. When looking for beauty, we need not look farther than the nearest window to see to wonders of nature all around us. When searching for joy and fulfillment, we simply need to express kindness to the next person to cross our path. When looking for love, all we need to do is look within and we become blessed with more than could ever imagine. And once we practice self-love, we’re able to love someone else, deeply.
Life wasn’t always this way. Those who know me, know I’ve been through tough times. At different periods in my life, I was obese, depressed, homeless and without a reason to live. So how am I able to write the first two paragraphs of this blog truthfully? I changed my mindset.
No matter what goes on outside ourselves, it’s what goes on inside that matters most.
Your world is created by what you believe and what you believe changes how you see everything. What you see triggers emotions within cultivated and conditioned since childhood, but never questioned and those very emotions dictate how you react to what you see. Your reactions to situations, people, places and things are reflections of your beliefs and will always act in alignment with your self-identity.
One question changed everything:
If someone walked through the door right now and said, ”you are worthless, you are nothing. You can’t…you won’t…you aren’t enough” how would that make you feel? How would you react?
I was asked this question by my mentor a long time ago. As I am sure many of you would feel, I felt, confused, angry, diminished, demolished. After letting my emotions emerge, he asked me, ”why?” to which I answered, ”isn’t it obvious!? Why would someone say that, why would they want to hurt me for no reason? Come one; you would feel the same way!! No?…”
His answer was off-putting, to say the least. He sat calmly in his chair, looked deeply into my eyes and said, ”No, I would not. I would simply thank them for sharing their opinion and invite them on their way. My self worth is not dependent on what others say or think – it is solely dependent on what I think, therefore no person, situation or event can make me FEEL a certain way. How I feel belongs to me, and I get to choose how I feel in every moment”.
It took years to fully understand and grasp the depth of those words spoken by someone who’s teachings have stayed with me long after parting ways. The wisdom shared is like fine wine, it gets better with time but can only be enjoyed by those who decide to grow with it.
The next time you’re cut off in traffic and begin to feel the rage build, ask yourself:
Why do I feel this way?
What triggered this?
What could I have chosen to feel instead?
To help your reflection here is more context into the teachings of a man much wiser than I:
Imagine the person who cut you off just learned his mother was in an accident, was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery and has little chance of surviving. How would you feel about them cutting you off now? Would the same emotions emerge and if so, would they stay? How would you react? My guess is, like most, you would go as far as wanting to clear the way for them knowing you hope someone would do the same for you should you find yourself in their position one day.
How you live your day is always a function of your inner beliefs. Once you understand and start applying this, you will see things change immediately.
Your life can change in every moment, so why not make a conscious choice to live better?
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