Try this little exercise for a moment. Think about your current life painted by a particular color.
The color reflects the tone and tenor of your days and moods. So what color is your life? Is it a neutral shade, maybe tan or grey? Or is it bold and vibrant like royal blue or bright yellow?
When we were babies and small children, I think we all had brilliantly hued lives. The world was one exciting new moment after another.
Everything was an adventure, a treasure, or something to be explored. We had occasional bumps in the road. We'd fall or get scared or need comfort, but if we were parented properly, we generally felt safe enough to absorb every moment with unabashed joy and wonder. Life was bright and sparkly and extraordinary.
Sadly, we don't stay babies forever. We grow up and life changes us. We react and adapt to our circumstances and experiences, and the bright colors of childhood begin to fade into the tans and grays of the grown-up world. That pure joy of the moment that defined us as small children is buried under the pains, needs, desires and responsibilities of our daily lives.
I am becoming increasingly convinced that it's possible to reclaim childhood joy and wonder. It is possible to live a bold and extraordinary life.
Think about this. When we were babies, we didn't care how much money we had, how we looked, who approved of us, or how successful we were. We were happy in the moment and took pleasure in whatever life presented to us. Now life is much more complicated and challenging, but we are capable of change.
By shifting our thinking and beliefs about what is essential and real, we can start infusing our lives with the brilliant color of bold and glorious living.
Would you like to try?
Here are 25 mind shifts to think about for your own life:
1. Recognize that the only real part of life is the present moment. The past is over, the future is just the stuff of dreams. If you waste the present moment on either the past or the future, you have given away your only real opportunity for joy.
2. Begin to see how perfect your life is right now, even if it doesn't seem that way. Choose to see perfection in the good and bad of life. Both provide us with opportunities for learning and growth.
3. Proactively choose the kind of energy you want to use during your life. Make a conscious decision about it. The energy you put out to the world is the same energy you will draw back in.
4. See yourself as a creator instead of a reactor. Stop waiting for anything and start initiating all of the time.
5. Reorient your life around your values and gifts. You will be in the flow if you do.
6. Put your integrity first, your needs second and your wants third.
7. Recognize that it is productive and positive to take care of yourself and get your needs met.
8. It is healthy to redefine or let go of relationships with people who drain you or don't support you.
9. Address and work toward healing hurts from the past that are impeding your happiness and growth. Talking to a counselor is not shameful. It is a mature, healthy and strong decision for bettering your life.
10. It is OK to say no. You're real friends will respect your boundaries and admire you for them. All others just see your “no” as an irritating inconvenience to them.
11. The moments of greatest growth and opportunity for huge leaps in happiness are when we face a fear and deal with it. Almost always, it is never as bad as we think it will be.
12. Our opinion and perspective is not always the best, even if we are totally convinced it is. Everyone feels that way, so if we listen we might learn something.
13. Our deepest joy and fulfillment comes from experiences and relationships, not from things. Spend less time with things or seeking things and more time doing things with people you care about.
14. Simple is calmer, easier and more peaceful. Any way that you can simplify your life will bring you peace.
15. See the value in regular learning and experimentation. Intellectual growth is exciting and rewarding.
16. View failure as a gift, not an embarrassment. The only way to prevent failure is to stop trying. Failure is a natural element of learning and growing.
17. Recognize the beauty and divinity in all people.
18. Embrace the truth that gratitude fosters happiness and should be practiced daily.
19. Whenever you feel doubt or anxiety,the present moment will always save you. Do whatever you can to refocus on this moment right now.
20. You can live a perfectly fine life just the way you are. You can live an exceptional life by stretching yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone as often as possible.
21. Don't accept boring. Seek out adventure.
22. You don't have to react to anger. It takes practice, but you can put up an invisible barrier between yourself and angry person and maintain peace of mind.
23. What you think determines how you feel. Change your thoughts and your feelings will follow.
24. Live within or below your means. Being in debt or always seeking money creates an energy of lack and need. As you begin to clean this up, you will feel lighter and more joyful.
25. It really is fun to give. Give kind words, a helping hand, a listening ear, your time, your positive thoughts. It feels great.
If you have had any mind shifts that have added bold color to your life, please share them so I can add them to my list.