Your own personal architect
Let's talk about control...
There is SO much in this life that is out of our hands and that we truly have zero control over, yet we drive ourselves crazy thinking we do.
Have you ever stopped to think about what you do have control over? The truth it's actually not much, except for what is happening in your own mind.
Focusing energy on controlling your thoughts helps you to understand yourself better and also helps get the desired results in your life.
There is so much evidence to support the power of positive thoughts. When you choose good thoughts, it literally raises your vibration. You attract more positivity and opportunity in your life, and they are literally healthier for your body, mind and soul than negative ones.
Negative thoughts are like junk food, they feel SO GOOD to indulge in and are often the path of least resistance but at the end of the day, week, month, year, they leave us feeling empty, with lower energy, and attracting more negativity which then perpetuates the downward cycle.
Neuroplasticity shows us that what we think, do and pay attention to, changes the structure and function of our brains. Meaning that what you focus on expands.
Think of your thoughts as the architects of your destiny. When you choose ones that are positive, they help build and create the destiny and life that you're dreaming of.
Are you ready to take more control over your life?
Here are four simple ways to keep your thoughts positive and on track to building out the life of your dreams.
1. Surround yourself with positive people: We are the sum of the closest people to us. Take stock of who you spend the most time with in your life. Is their attitude positive or negative? How do you feel energetically around the people you spend the most time with? Do they raise you up? It's important to spend time with positive and inspiring people, because guess what, positivity is contagious!
2. Intentions: Setting an intention at the beginning of every day is a great way to refocus on creating positivity and striving towards your goals. Take a few minutes each day to write out how you want to feel.
3. Practice Forgiveness: Humans aren't perfect, and no matter how hard you try to think positively all the time, that just isn't realistic. When a negative thought comes in, begin to practice forgiveness and self-love. Be aware of the thought, forgive yourself, then let it go and strive for choosing positively the next time. Progress over perfection always.
4. Do activities that make you feel happy!: This may seem like a no brainer but I'm telling you, we often FORGET to do things that make us smile! Toss on your favourite tune and sing and dance around your kitchen, get outside and move your body, LAUGH, watch a funny movie... whatever it is that raises the corners of your mouth, do it often to keep the vibes high and the living fun :)
Have you ever planted a seed in your garden?
Do you come back the next day and think - why the heck isn't this seed a full plant or flower yet?!
If you are anything like me, you have probably done something like that once or twice before...
We consciously KNOW that it takes time for a seed to grow into a full plant. But when it comes to the seeds we plant in our lives, we are often a little less patient.
I've been learning about vertical leadership development and what it takes for us to grow from one stage to the next.
A key trait of an interdependent leader (the highest tier) is the ability to take yourself off the roller coaster of emotion associated with success and failure and embrace uncertainty as a constant.
An interdependent thinker thinks strategically, has a longterm vision and actively ENJOYs and appreciate the process of creating something new and watching it grow over time.
Essentially, and interdependent thinker learning how to enjoy the process of tending to his or her garden, knowing that there will be both bloom and death.
So let me ask you...
What kind of thinker are you?
1. Dependent thinker: You are generally a conformer, a team player, a faithful follower, reliant on authority, seek direction and align with others.
2. Independent thinker: You are an achiever, someone who is self-directed, drives an agenda, takes a stand for what you believe in, and are guided by an internal compass.
3. Interdependent thinker: You are a collaborator, you see systems, patterns and connections, are a longterm thinker, hold multi-frame perspectives and holds contradictions.
Check out these reflection questions to support your 'thinking' about how you think!
1. Which definition did you most relate to and why?
2. What longterm goals are you working towards?
3. Where can you bring more patience into your personal or professional growth process?
4. How can you enroll others in your vision?
5. Are you actively celebrating small wins while staying committed to the process?
This week with Canada Day & the 4th of July happening, two holidays that celebrate freedom and independence, I've been thinking a lot about what freedom means to me.
Freedom is having the ability to act or change without constraint. It is the ability to think and do what you want without consequences. It is the gift of just being as you are.
Freedom can also be applied to choice. Having the freedom to create your own work schedule, freedom of creative expression, choosing who you love, where to live and what faith you believe in. Freedom comes in choosing courage over comfort, love over fear and living a life with intention.
I've been extremely blessed in my life with the privilege and citizenship that gave me the freedom to choose these things and where I felt able, safe and supported to make choices for myself that embodied freedom.
Others have not been as lucky. I am ready the book The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, a 91 year old Holocaust survivor who endured time in Auschwitz and lost both her parents and beloved to the war. She was robbed of all of her choices during that time except the ability to choose her mindset.
Her story is incredibly inspiring to me. It shows that no matter what situation you are - you always have the ability to choose.
This week, whether you are Canadian celebrating Canada Day, American honouring the 4th of July or from somewhere else in our big beautiful world, I invite you to reflect on freedom and what it means to you with the following journaling prompts.
1. How do you define freedom?
2. Where in your life do you feel free to be exactly who you are? Where do you not?
3. What can you do to be more free this summer?
4. How can you celebrate the aspects of your life that are full of freedom?
5. How can you support others in feeling free?
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.