In my experience, it doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are, or what you do for a living, at the very essence, we all want the same thing—to be happy, at peace, and of service (to make a difference.)
When we get to the essence of any resolution, whether it be to lose weight, quit smoking, reduce stress, exercise more, get balance, or be more present, we discover that the essence of what we want, what we are really resolving, is to be happy, at peace, and of service (to make a difference.)
So let’s start there, at the essence.
If you really want to resolve peace, happiness and making a difference, here is some guidance on what to do.
- I resolve being happy and at peace. I resolve making a difference. To turn what we want into reality requires more than just want and desire. We can want to be happy and at peace, and to make a difference, and as long as we want, nothing happens. To turn a desire into reality requires intention a.k.a. resolve. So if I truly want to be happy and at peace and to make a difference, then it’s time to resolve, intend, commit, and choose being (not to be) happy, being at peace, and making a difference. Say it out loud, write it down, in the first person, present tense.
- I tell the story. If I am being happy(or being at peace or making a difference) what could that look like? What could I think, say and do in the moments of my day when I catch myself not being happy (or being at peace or making a difference)? What one thing could I practice each day that brings me happiness or peace or helps me make a difference? What rituals can I practice that remind me of my intention? How can I make this fun? And what’s the ripple effect–the difference it makes in my life and in the lives of others because I am happy and at peace and being of service.
- I stay in the NOW moment, and I practice living my resolution. If I want to be at peace. I practice being at peace. If I want to be happy, I practice being happy. If I want to make a difference, I practice making a difference. It’s very simple really. What I practice most becomes permanent. Just like learning to ride a bike! My brain needs the practice. It helps to give the brain only one thing to practice a day. So perhaps on Mondays, I ask myself, “What can I say or do in this moment that moves me in the direction of happiness or that makes me happy?” On Tuesdays, I ask , “What can I say or do right now that brings me peace?” Wednesdays I ask, “How can I make a difference in this moment?” On Thursday I again focus on happiness.
- I acknowledge/celebrate my progress and I do do-overs. When you catch yourself thinking, saying or doing something contrary to your resolution, don’t blame or judge or criticize yourself. Simply do it over, and re-think, re-say, or re-do it the way you intend. You are giving your brain a new script. And the more often your brain rehearses these new thoughts and actions, the sooner your brain starts focusing on presenting you with thoughts and actions of happiness, peace and making a difference–automatically. And when we are thankful and acknowledge the progress we have made, no matter how small, we receive ideas on how to expand and rise to the next level.
We all have different styles. See which thoughts feel right to you. One thought may feel powerful in one circumstance, and a different thought feels powerful in another. This is what self-awareness is all about. Noticing your thoughts and feelings and choosing thoughts that serve your purpose.
I invite you to try it. Ring out the old. Ring in the new. See what happens.
The ripple effect is of considerable magnitude. Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Here’s your chance to be that change.
May your thoughts bring you peace and inspire you.
PS For detailed guidance on how to formulate resolutions you can keep, click here.
PPS If you want to measure the impact of putting your resolution into practice, take the How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World?(R) self-assessment, save your results, and take it again in four to six weeks to see the difference.
© 2010 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.