“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
"I've got the power. Radical mind day and night all the time, Seven, fourteen, wise, divine, Maniac, brainiac, winning the game, I'm the lyrical Jesse James." — Snap, 90's German pop group
Easy. I want you to absorb the first quote with the logical/factual side of your brain and the second with the emotional/passionate part. Because each is important in their own way.
I love Marcus Aurelius. He's THE MAN. I regularly read Meditations to reinforce my personal belief structure. I also let it energize and motivate me to MOVE FORWARD.
What is Marcus really saying here? No one is out to get you. There is no bad luck. You haven't put yourself in a position you can't get out of (most of the time). YOU HAVE THE POWER.
Control your overall thinking (philosophy) and your thoughts (those millions of ideas you get every day). You will quickly realize you have unlimited power to do almost anything in your life or change any situation by just reaching inward and grabbing the strength we all have.
Unfortunately, we tend to focus on the emotional/storytelling side of our brain and let it rule our life and actions. We tell ourselves stories that we are not adequate, we are unlucky, we can never have the good things in life, and on and on and on. We slowly dig a hole full of made up stories when squeezed into a huge ball in our mind, and we find ourselves painted in a proverbial corner.
I run into this frequently with clients. They make themselves believe there is no other option, no alternative, no direction to go. They get frazzled, they lose hope, they break down, and the machine STOPS.
I'm here to tell you there's always another way. YOU have power over your mind. YOU have control over how you react to the outside world. Don't let emotions get the better of you. Here are some suggestions:
- Separate yourself from your current location. If you're at the office, go for a walk. If your at home, step outside into your yard.
- Meditate. Stop thinking of all the bad things. Turn off your phone. Close your eyes and meditate, pray or just clear your thoughts.
- Put your problems in context. Are they really THAT bad? Or are you making them huge and impenetrable in your mind?
- Get focused. When your problem is brought into real focus, begin to think of a number of ways to solve that problem — even if the solution is not in your power at this time.
- Stay calm. Odds are you still have a roof over your head, food to eat and a family to love you. It's not that bad.
- Stop playing the martyr. Most of all, NEVER feel like the world is out to get you. It isn't. It might feel that way, but it just the emotional side of your brain talking.
- Use the emotional side of your brain and power it up with music, dance, art, etc. Fill up your emotional gasoline tank with energy to fuel our thoughts and deliver positive actions.
As Marcus also says, “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”
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