As a single footstep will not make a path
on the earth, so a single thought will not
make a pathway in the mind. To make a
deep physical path, we walk again and
again. To make a deep mental path, we
must think over and over the kind of
thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.
-Henry David Thoreau
Have you ever noticed how many of your perceptions of the world you live in are projected onto you? In the modern day world, there is continual bombardment of messages being thrown at you whether it appears on television, billboards, magazines, newspapers or the internet. While at first it may seem it is easy to ignore these subliminal messages, you have to ask yourself – have you really blocked them out?
If any of you have had an opportunity to experience some time in a different culture, other than the one you were raised in, you will immediately notice how dependent your thoughts, ideas and beliefs are on where and whom raised you. I raise this point to make a bigger point, and I find that Morrie Schwartz of Tuesdays with Morrie says it best. If you have spent time or have been raised in America, I think you’ll find what he says to be true. “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”(42)
Allow his observation to give you the freedom from being weighed down by all of the self-criticizing you may be constantly berating yourself with because you feel you aren’t good enough according to someone else’s standards. For example, maybe you are truly happy with how your life is progressing despite others’ lack of understanding. Instead of allowing them to cause you to hang your head, remind yourself that true validation comes from within and let that be enough. After all, if they truly were secure enough in themselves and loved you unconditionally, they wouldn’t cast such negativity in your direction.
Or yet another example, maybe you aren’t happy with a certain aspect in your life and feel you would be happier if only you had . . . (fill in the blank). What you should first ask yourself is, “Why do I want this so badly? What about possessing/achieving/finding this particular thing is so appealing?”
Often times, even as adults, the desire to want that new golf club, the new car, a bigger house (the list could go on) is frustratingly strong because somewhere in your subconscious you believe it will bring a sense of satisfaction assuming you aren’t worthy enough prior to your acquiring this thing. But aren’t you worthy at this very moment? Just because some ad, that certain relative (you know who I’m talking about) or your neighbor look down their nose at you because you aren’t living life according to their standards doesn’t mean a darn thing.
Peace of mind, living a life of contentment, will not come when you earn that bigger paycheck. It will not come when you finally purchase that house you’ve had your eye one or when you find someone to walk down the aisle with you. It will only come when you realize right now, at this very moment, you are worthy. You are good enough. This doesn’t mean you’re done growing, through challenging yourself or that you should ignore the many lessons that are yet to come your way (because they will).
Absolutely not, but what it does mean is that in order to truly appreciate and enjoy life, you must believe in yourself. Your thoughts every day become who you are, and if you believe you are worthy, you will project that out into the world.
So let the thoughts that dominate your life be beautiful, strong and full of promise. And remember, if you make it habit to believe that the life you have imagined will come true, and you put in physical effort every day, your dreams will be your reality. It will arrive . . . [you] will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
In other words become the type of environment, the type of culture, you want to live in, and it will become your reality.