Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The 30-Day Mental Diet

I’m about to undertake a self-improvement challenge that is far more difficult than any weight loss plan. Starting on June 1, 2012, I am putting myself on a 30-day mental diet. And I invite you to join me.
That’s right. For 30-days, I am going to break my ingrained, life long negativity habit. After these 30-days are up, I am going to be negativity-free…permanently. Notice, I didn’t say that I’m going to “try to” break my negativity habit. I said I’m going to do it. See how positive I’m already being?
What’s involved in a mental diet?
A mental diet involves only thinking positive thoughts. If you think this will be easy, for you if not for me, think again.
You see, negative thinking is automatic for most people. In fact, I’m so steeped in negativity that I don’t even recognize my negative thoughts. See if you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios:
-          Your boss asks you to give a speech in front of the Board of Directors, and you think, “I can’t do that. I’m terrible at giving speeches!!!”
-          A driver cuts you off on the freeway and you automatically judge him (or her) as being rude and selfish.
-          A co-worker makes a comment that you feel is critical of you and you get defensive, feeling that the co-worker is either jealous or out to get you.
-          You look in the mirror at your overweight self and get depressed, thinking that you’ll never be able to lose that weight.
Do you recognize the negativity here? No? Well, some of it is subtle. In fact, you may think that you’re just stating a fact when, in fact, you are being negative. For instance, is being terrible at giving a speech really a fact, or is it a negative concept of yourself? See what I mean?
Stopping Negativity
Of course, it’s unrealistic to think you will be able to stop all negative thoughts instantly. They will creep in. But the key is to change the negative thought to a positive one as soon as you recognize it.
But you need to be vigilant in catching negative thoughts. And the only way you can catch them is to recognize them.
Here is a passage from the classic, consciousness-raising book, “Three Magic Words,” about what kinds of thoughts to ignore on a mental diet:
“What are these thoughts that we are going to refuse to entertain? They are any thoughts that might in the smallest or greatest manner cast into a pessimistic or poor light yourself, your family, your friends, your social group, your state, your nation, or the entire human race. They are, in short, negative thoughts of any type, regardless of whether they seem personally aimed at you yourself, or even at an inanimate object.”
This is a tall order, but we can do it if we really try.
Why go on a Mental Diet
Perhaps I should have explained the reason and benefits of going on a mental diet upfront—thoughts are things. What we think about, day in and day out, is what we will produce in our lives. Whatever we think about ourselves, we will become. We can, indeed, change our lives by changing our thoughts. As Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at changes.”
So while it seems that we may be in denial when we say that the world is a peaceful, loving place (for instance) we are actually creating this world according to our thoughts.
So won’t you join me for this 30-day mental diet? I would love to hear your experiences!

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