For being happy, you need to differentiate between you and others and in this process our thoughts play a major role. Whenever you form your thoughts, they get two components: facts and emotions. Every stimulus you receive through your nervous system is nothing more than a fact. However, you attach emotions to these facts and they are recorded on your memory sheet. Whenever a similar situation or fact recurs, your memory sheet automatically plays back the previously recorded emotional response.
Your emotional response is acceptable if the emotions are positive. However, negative emotions (big or small) cause adverse chemical secretions that literally poison your brain’s ability to function. Once you comprehend the profound influence negative emotions have on your brain’s chemistry, you can become much more objective and less emotionally involved with the facts in your life.
You may start restructuring your negative emotional attachments to certain facts recorded on your memory sheet. Facts are merely facts! However, you can choose your emotional response to them. You will have to accept the facts you can’t change but if you can change the facts you should do with a positive attitude. Anytime you have any degree of love, generosity, praise and bravery or multiple combinations of these emotions, your brain secretes positive chemicals and enhances your natural abilities to change the facts to what you desire.
It is a lot easier to be always truthful than to be always positive. To become always positive it is imperative that you are at least always truthful, especially to yourself. Otherwise, the negative emotions on your memory sheet will rule your life because they will lower your chemistry and diminish your ability to reason. You will continue to rationalize why you are justified for allowing negative emotions to remain on your memory sheet and influence your thoughts and actions to your detriment as well as to the detriment of those around you.
In the process of becoming always truthful, you will remove many of the negative emotions that motivate you to lie. Once you are honest with the outside world and yourself, the next step is to start reducing and eventually eliminating all the negative emotions on your memory sheet that you have associated with certain facts in your life. While you may not be able to control the facts, fair or unfair, you encounter in your life, you can choose how to respond emotionally to these facts. Anytime you have any degree of hate, greed, jealousy, and fear or multiple combinations of these emotions, you are lowering your brain’s chemistry and hurting yourself.
Fear normally leads the list of negative emotions in all sports and life in general. Yet, fear is the easiest negative emotion to overcome if you are objective and understand its source. It can be fear of failure, making a mistake, losing your job, spouse, health, life or the countless other fears you may have.
Fear can manifest itself as a strong emotion, causing you to hyperventilate and your knees to shake. It can create stress and ruin your health. Fear can be a weaker emotion and cause you to be indecisive and keep you from taking action. Anytime you allow fear to enter your emotions, whether it is strong or weak, your judgment and natural abilities suffer.
Reducing fear and eventually eliminating it is easier if you know why it exists and what to do about it. The first step is to clearly understand that the emotion of fear adversely affects the chemistry of your brain and all of your natural abilities. Next, realize your thoughts have two components: facts and emotions. Every situation you face in your life is nothing more than a fact. Facts are merely facts! It is the fear you have attached to certain facts that allows fear to exist, not the facts. Stop reading and write down all of your fears on a piece of paper. It is important that you are honest with yourself and take the time right now to list your fears in the following way:
I have fears about or I’m afraid of:
After you have written down all of your fears, take a look at the facts that you have attached your fears to. Without seeing the list you have written down, all the facts that you have attached fear to have one thing in common. They are all potential outcomes that have not yet occurred. Once you clearly understand that you are afraid of something that has not happened, you are on your way to reducing or eliminating your fears. On reflection you’ll realize fear is always associated with concern over a future outcome before it even occurs. Fear cannot exist in the present.
Stop and let this sink in! It is only when you are concerned about a future outcome that fear can exist. Since you can only physically exist in the present, you only have control of the present. How well you control the present determines the future outcome — good or bad. Once you clearly understand that your fear about a future outcome contributes to your downfall by lowering your chemistry and reducing your ability to function at your best, it becomes easier to face and handle your fear. The only way to successfully overcome fear is to stay in the present. Focus on what you can do in the present moment and let the outcome take care of itself – win or lose.
Fears are based on imagined scenarios that may or may not happen. Most imagined fears never happen. “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world” -Ralph Waldo Emerson. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” -Franklin D. Roosevelt. Napoleon Hill tells, “Fears are nothing more than states of mind”. “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” -Winston Churchill. “If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that 9 will run into the ditch before they reach you.” -Calvin Coolidge. “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” –Seneca. “Cowardice … is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.” -Ernest Hemingway.
“How many feasible projects have miscarried through despondency, and have been strangled in their birth by a cowardly imagination.” -Jeremy Collier. “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” -William Shakespeare. “Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.” -Grace Hansen. “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” -Robert Schuller. “You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” -Dale Carnegie.
Since fear can only exist in your mind when you are concerned about a future outcome, separate the facts that you have fears attached to into two types. One by future outcomes that you have some degree of control over and the other by future outcomes that are out of your direct control.
Before you jump into the water, you have total control over the fact of being attacked by a shark. Once you jump into the water, you are at the mercy of your imagination and God or the attractor fields your mind creates. From my own personal experience I can tell you that it is a very eerie feeling when you are half a mile from shore and you start having fears about being attacked by a shark. If you dwell on it long enough, it can paralyze you and make you want to stop swimming so the sharks won’t notice you. However, you can’t stop swimming until you reach shore because you will drown or die from hypothermia since the water is so cold. The only way to eliminate the fear of sharks is to never get in the water or stop thinking about being attacked by a shark, especially while you are in the middle of a swim and really don’t have a choice.
There are many fears you can create in your imagination if you choose to. By merely changing your focus, you can immediately transform your negative emotions into neutral or positive ones, depending upon what you choose to focus on. Since fear can only exist when you are imagining a future outcome, change your focus and stop dwelling on your fears.
You can focus on the present task at hand, protection or help from God or a Higher Power in the form of a white light, or you can clear your mind of all thoughts by not thinking and allowing your subconscious to act on instinct. All it takes is training until changing your focus becomes second nature or instinctive.
Once you train your mind or memory sheet to focus solely on the present or whatever you choose, fear will no longer have a reason to exist in your life. Since the only thing that you can control is the present and your thoughts, why allow your imagined fears about the future to lower your chemistry and take away from your natural abilities?
Any time you are involved with a future outcome, there are probabilities of success and failure. Your thought selection affects your chemistry, which changes these probabilities and potential outcomes. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill. To increase your chemistry and probability of success, you must focus totally on being successful if everything goes right. No one is a fortune teller and you don’t know what is going to happen. However, you raise your chemistry and increase your probability of success if you are totally positive and have faith that everything will go right. You have the power to choose what you want to focus on. Even if the odds are a million to one against you, train yourself to focus solely on the one chance of being successful. If you allow any imagined fears or doubts about the future outcome to creep into your thoughts, you lower your chemistry and dramatically increase your probability of failure.
Of course, you won’t be successful all of the time. However, if you are brave and willingly accept the risk, learn from the valuable feedback that your mistakes provide and keep trying until you succeed, you will live a much fuller and happier life.
Take a lesson from the great inventor Thomas Edison, who didn’t have any formal education or scientific training. In the process of discovering how to make an incandescent light bulb work, he made over ten thousand experiments that failed. He learned from his numerous mistakes, never gave up and the rest is history. It is obvious that
Fear is the easiest negative emotion to reduce and eventually eliminate, if you train your mind to stop thinking about the future outcome, do the best you can do and learn from your mistakes. Scientific research has revealed that human beings learn and remember what they have learned through repetition. Isn’t it amazing then, that so many individuals expect to read a book one time and retain it forever? It takes time and effort to get rid of your fears as well as your other negative emotions. You can call it “polishing your wheel.” You have to keep polishing your wheel if you want it to shine and keep shining. The constant reference to living your commitment 100% of the time is somewhat repetitious, but that’s necessary. It is designed to be repetitious to encourage you to make living it a major goal in your life. Once you decide to use the commitment to guide your thoughts and actions, it’s important to keep repeating it over and over and over again until you live your life that way without any exceptions. “To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.” –Confucius.
In the next post, we may discuss more factors. Till that time, we may differentiate ourselves with others. Be Happy – differentiate yourself with others.