There are some themes that I write about again and again because I know the power behind them. Whether you’re just starting a journey of self-improvement or you’ve been fine-tuning your life for years, transformation isn’t random, it’s definite. I know that how good or how bad you feel about your life comes down to a couple of key concepts which influence every aspect of who you are, the choices you make, and how you live.
When you are trying to make changes in your life, there are two core steps that are simple to understand but can be powerfully transformative. And those steps are:
1) Change the way you think.
2) Change the way you act.
No matter what books you read about self-improvement or what religious, spiritual, or mindful path you may follow, these are the two themes behind all mental and physical self-improvement. When I’m sharing ideas or strategies, everything circles back around to these two themes, and these are fundamental to your behavior and overall level of motivation. But there are also two sub-themes that I often return to in various forms. Those are:
1) Removing the resistance that blocks meaningful progress. (Which is a key to motivation.)
2) Happiness takes practice.
I know that life can be hard. Sometime you may feel like you don’t have the energy or the capacity to do these things; to observe the way you think and act, or to actively participate in removing obstacles or adopting habits of happiness. But even the smallest action or thought, if repeated consistently, will transform your life, at first in small ways and later in big ways.
My goal is to reduce all of this to simple strategies. It doesn’t take much to nudge your life in a better direction–just a little something to push you out of your rut or comfort zone. So here is a simple strategy to get you started:
You can begin to remove pain; you can begin to feel even just a little happier and feel like your life is moving forward again just by making a conscious choice to change something, no matter how small your effort is. Start by choosing one thought that doesn’t serve you in a positive way, and change it. Let that be a theme for your life until it solidifies. Replace your old and worn-out way of thinking with a new, healthier idea or belief. Keep that new idea, belief, or thought on your mind constantly. Live from the perspective of that new thought. Practice it until it’s a part of you. Act from the truth of your new idea and this momentum will carry you forward, slowly but definitely, and your life will begin to transform. Then you will have the capacity to be happy again. Now, repeat this process and keep building yourself up, one better belief at a time.