A successful thought life is a lot like successful driving.
Successful driving requires that we stay within the lines.
Successful thinking requires that we stay within the lines of what’s good for us. Here’s what I mean.
A few month’s back I woke up thinking about a family who went through some terrible circumstances. Because there were no happy endings, just thinking about it brought me down.
What I realized then, was it’s up to me to monitor my thoughts.
When my thought life goes somewhere that is not good for me, I need to steer my thoughts back to subjects that are good for me. Subjects that will keep me happy.
I’m not saying we should never deal with difficult topics.
I am saying we have to ask ourselves, is thinking about this necessary?
Is thinking about this going to bring me down?
How we think throughout the day will determine the quality of our day.
So number one is…
1.) Monitor and Select Thoughts That Are Good for Us.
Did you ever think about what you expect from others?
I’m guessing the answer is ‘No’ because most people don’t think about their expectations of others.
I’m hoping after reading this article that that will change. Here’s why.
Expectations are a lot like traps where fish or clams get caught.
However, unlike fish or clams, we’re the ones who get trapped.
We get trapped because we expect others to do certain things and when they don’t we become unhappy.
What most folks do not realize is having expectations of others is a lot like handing them the keys to our life.
For example, my son is learning to drive. As I rode with him, I quickly learned how he has expectations of his fellow drivers.
I’ve strived to explain to him that expecting others to act or perform in a certain way can lead to a great deal of disappointment.
My wife is wiser than I am, however she frequently will say, ‘This should happen,’ or ‘They should do this.’
I must tell you my opinion of the word ‘should’ is a lot like another word that starts with ‘sh.’
Psychologist Victor Frankl said two things that always resonated with me.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
We can choose how we react to every situation.
My job was eliminated four times during my career. As Frankl said, I had no choice but to change myself. Once I learned what was happening the most positive response I could make was to accept my lot in life and quickly develop plans for my future.
So number two is …
2.) Develop Expectations That Are Not Dependent On Others
This post originally appeared on thewiseramerican.com