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A new month has brought a new scroll in The Greatest Salesman in the World into my life. It begins, “I will persist until I succeed”. The old me was pretty haphazard at persistence. If the going got tough, I got going (back to the couch, facebook, tv, whatever time waster I chose). I convinced myself that the prize wasn’t worth it and it was too hard. I think the problem was, I didn’t really know what I wanted, so I’d just bounce from one thing to another without any real direction or motivation to dig in and see it through to the end. One of the things that’s got me excited about this journey that I’m on, is I’ve been given the tools and opportunity to find out where I want to go. Yay, me!
The scroll goes on to say, “The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginning; and it is not given to me to know how many steps are necessary in order to reach my goal.” What that says to me is that I will, indeed, make it to the prize if I continue and have faith that my efforts will get me there. And I have to remember that the prize won’t be there on day 3 of the journey, I may have to persist until I get to day 300 or more, but if I persist the prize will be mine.
If anyone needs a clear example of what persistence looks like, I suggest you hang out with a two or three year old. I’m blessed to have one of each in my life and they know persistence! When my 3-year old granddaughter wakes up in the morning she wants milk. And if you don’t respond soon enough or if she doesn’t think you heard her the first time, she repeats her request. And again, and again, and again – I think you get the point. She believes that if she persists and makes her request enough times that she will reach her goal. And, she does.
We all started out this journey of life with that 3-year old outlook of “if I persist, I will achieve my goal” that’s just the way things work, and then we slowly unlearned it through our parents, school, peers, etc. We got too busy following rules and trying to please others that we lost sight of what’s important to us. Do you know what you want out of life? Are you willing to persist until you succeed?
This is new to me. Persistence. One more quote from the scroll: “Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.” I have to keep reminding myself that while this journey I’m on may seem hard and overwhelming at times, all I have to do is take one more step toward my prize. “I will persist until I succeed.” Great words to live by.
Here it is Thanksgiving morning and instead of cooking, I’m writing my blog post. Life has been so good to me. We are having a house full. All of my children, grandchildren and some of their friends will be here today. We’re having two turkeys, one smoked and another deep fried, thanks to my son-in-law who is also whipping up his famous garlic mashed potatoes. My husband is smoking a ham. Others are contributing wonderful side dishes and I’m making the stuffing and a salad. Past years would have found me completely stressed out at this point and not much fun to be around. I’m not sure how I manifested this beautiful day but I am filled with gratitude for it.
This weekend I have the honor of babysitting two of my grandchildren while my daughter and her husband go to Seattle and work at the marathon. My granddaughter is three and my grandson is seven months. I’ve got some craft activities to do with my granddaughter and am looking forward to our time together.
Babysitting this weekend could give me a great excuse to skip some of my daily exercises for my MKMMA course. But I have no intention of doing that. I am blessed to have the great support of my husband and know that I will work it all in somehow. To stop or skip a day at this point would be crazy.
My mental diet is improving and I’m pleased to say this is the beginning of Day 3. It’s gotten a bit easier – so far. I know that those old negative thought patterns are just waiting to pop in for a while the minute I let my guard down. The only way I’m going to make it to Day 7 is to stay true to my lessons and keep positive affirmations in my mind. We learned a new one this week.
“I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.”
Feel free to take it and use it as you go about your day. And don’t just keep it to yourself, bless others with it. You know, for the drivers who won’t let you merge or the one who pulls out in front of you, those people. It’ll make a difference in how your day goes. It’s amazing how things change when you choose positivity and love over anger and fear. I believe that’s why I’m having such a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.
I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. Stay positive. It’s worth it.
For those of you wondering how my mental diet is going, let’s just say I’ve fallen off the wagon a number of times in the past week. That peaceful, tranquil person who was calmly reading, “I greet this day with love in my heart” in my last post turned into the Tasmanian devil a couple of nights ago. It seems odd to me now that a few years ago I identified with Tas. I used to joke that I was just like him, whirling around and causing all kinds of chaos. The sad thing was it was true.
I’m learning so many things about the way I used to be. One of my defenses when Randy and I would have an argument was, “I can’t help it if I feel this way”. For those of you who use that line, sorry, but you CAN control how you feel. Your feelings are controlled by your thoughts and you get to choose your thoughts. Actually, I think that’s pretty cool. If I get to choose my thoughts, I can control my life and my destiny.
So, back to the 7 day mental diet. The purpose of it isn’t to never have negative thoughts. We all do that. The purpose is not to invite those negative thoughts into your mind and dwell on them. When a negative thought pops in, recognize it for what it is, and send it away. If you do this within five to seven seconds, you are still golden on your mental diet.
I made it through yesterday, so today is day 2. I was able not to let it ruin my morning when our cat head butted my coffee cup and spilled hot coffee down the front of me. This mental diet is possible to do, but not easy. Charles Hannel who authored the Master Keys calls this “hard mental labor”. In our reading of the Master Keys this week, there’s a sentence that really hit home for me.
You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought.
In The Seven Day Mental Diet, Emmet Fox says, “And the condition of my life tomorrow, and the next week, and the next year, will be entirely conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which I choose to entertain from now onwards.”
What you think today creates your life. Me, I’d rather have a life full of beautiful, strong, harmonious conditions. What about you?
This week I’m on a diet. Not the usual avoid sweets and eat veggies diet, a mental diet. “The Seven Day Mental Diet” to be exact. It’s based on a booklet by Emmet Fox, and I’m sure you can find it somewhere on the internet.
What is a seven day mental diet? Here’s the prescription straight from the booklet: For seven days I must not allow myself to dwell for a single moment on any kind of negative thought. I’m sure your first question is, “how’s that working for you?” That’s quite a topic of discussion among the members of the alliance. The beautiful thing about the alliance is you know you’re not alone in this and there are some great ideas shared by the members of phrases they use or how they keep from having negative thoughts. I’m so blessed to have this resource available to me at the click of a button.
So how’s it working for me? Let’s just say we got this assignment on Sunday and it’s now Thursday and I’m on reset, so starting over as of a couple of hours ago. I was headed to an appointment, took a wrong turn and freaked out because I was afraid I’d be late. On Sunday I thought I’d breeze through this. After all, I don’t have to go into the office and deal with co-workers and customers, traffic, and all that fun stuff that goes with the work day. I’m retired without a care in the world. I’m learning that I can’t let my guard down for a moment or those negative thoughts creep in. I even decided to change my mantra from “no negative thoughts” to “only positive thoughts” knowing that what I focus on, I attract.
Today I’m going to tackle this in 24 hour increments instead of looking ahead at a whole week. I’ve learned through the years that when a task seems daunting it’s often easier to accomplish if broken down into small chunks. At the same time as we arrive at week 7, we have moved to a new scroll in The Greatest Salesman in the World. It begins, “I will greet this day with love in my heart.” Coincidence? I don’t think so.
This morning as we were getting ready for the day, I asked my husband a question about a particular on-going project. Most of our projects are construction related, so he truly is the expert here. We’ve been married for 44+ years and he’s one of the most patient and positive people I know. I was surprised by his response. I didn’t realize that this project carried with it some not too fond memories and he had quite a few opinions about it, not necessarily positive. Since I’m working on my mental diet I didn’t react, but pointed out to him a couple of times that he had a really strong opinion.
We carried our conversation downstairs and since I was leaving soon and needed to read my Scroll II, I picked up the book and asked if he minded if I read it out loud? And then without waiting for him to respond, began, “I will greet this day with love in my heart”. He continued with his morning routine and I sat there and read out loud. After I was finished and we were having breakfast he thanked me for sharing that with him and said he realized that he needed to change his thoughts and be more positive about the project.
Love. It’s that easy and yet not. We’ve been conditioned our whole lives to be afraid of things. We are actually only born with two fears, (1) loud noises and (2) fear of falling, all our other fears we learn from our environment. I’ve got 63 years of ‘learning’ that I’m working to change. I know that through the MKMMA I will get all that I want out of life. Today I promise to keep those negative thoughts away. I will have control of mind and my feelings. I always keep my promises.
PS: The Beatles had it right.
To begin, here’s a couple of definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary: “Opinion (noun) A belief held often without positive knowledge or proof.” Followed by, “Opinionated: (adj) Holding stubbornly to one’s own opinion.”
As I mentioned in my Week 5 blog post, the members of the MKMMA have been challenged to not have an opinion for two weeks. And, if we catch ourselves having an opinion, even if we are into a week and a half, we need to start over from the beginning. From the comments in our Alliance page on Opinions, it has been difficult for most people to make it a day or two without catching themselves having an opinion.
If only I could say that I never have an opinion. Oh, but I have. Ask my husband. He can probably tell you my opinion on a lot of things including which way the toilet paper should be hung in the bathroom.
On a corner that I drive past most days there’s been a mini-billboard erected with an opinion on a topic. A few days after it was erected, someone spray painted their differing opinion over the top of the billboard. It remained that way for a week or two and then a clean billboard was put in place of the painted one. Two days later the new billboard was painted with the opposing opinion. Today when I drove past there was a Reward sign offering $1,000 for information on the spray painters.
Do I have an opinion on all of this? My best answer is “sometimes”. Part of the time I can just observe what is taking place and other times my opinions can’t seem to contain themselves and I have an opinion on the initial message, then the counter message, then the reward sign. I ask myself why do I need to have an opinion at all? Does it directly impact me? Should I only have an opinion if I’m directly impacted? And then there go the voices in my head swirling around and ending up with some kind of opinion on whether I should have an opinion.
It feels like my opinions have to be right because they are mine. And if your opinion isn’t the same as mine, well I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. What is this overwhelming need to be right? When my husband and I can’t remember who the artist of a song was and have different opinions, you can bet we will be using Google to determine who is right! Someone wins, someone loses.
The lesson I am learning from this is that, for me, when I don’t have an opinion, it’s actually easier. There’s no competition, no winner, no loser. And, if I may, in my opinion, that’s the way it should be.
Week 5 already. Time is flying by. Almost time to turn to a new scroll in The Greatest Salesman in the World. We are to pick one sentence from this scroll and carry it forward to beginning of the next one. As I do my readings each day, I read each sentence and try and decide, ‘is this the one I’ll take forward with me?’ After reading the same words three times a week for nearly 30 days now, they feel like old friends.
This week we wrote a press release that shows us living our Definite Major Purpose. Mine’s posted here at the top of the page, check it out. Of course, I had an “aha” moment writing the press release. I’m learning something new every day. I LOVE THIS!
Oh, and this is week one of a two week exercise of having no opinions. That’s right, no opinions. It’s a fun and challenging exercise. Join me, try it just for one day. We were told to “be the observer, and have fun with it”. I’m sure this blog post is peppered with opinions.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in a Mastermind before. It’s wonderful! (Yeah, I know, opinion). It’s better than Facebook (another opinion). This mastermind is full of great, supportive people (uh-huh, opinion). We are all working on our own unique changes, but we are all supporting each other. I’m connecting with people and making new friends. Very powerful stuff (yeah, I know).