In my twenties and thirties, I prayed my problems could be solved in a flash. If I’d seen a title like this, I’d have bought the book. I needed an inspiring life NOW.
This where I went wrong. It meant missing out on so many opportunities for learning because I discarded practices that might have helped, if only I’d persevered, when it appeared they weren’t working instantaneously.
I was stuck, watching a flicker frame of memories, which always proved the same agonising point that I must have done something seriously wrong to be this miserable. There was no chance of improving my life. My actions were the equivalent of sitting watching video archive for a documentary I was making with the title: ‘Where did it all go wrong?’ There’s only one way to tell this story. It needs impact, so there have to be images of how right it went at some point, and then we need some major car-crash scenes.
This is how the mind works with memory. I was setting the search instructions whenever I thought about my life. Each file was pulled, images splayed, text. I was sitting there, watching this painful, nostalgic, agonising documentary.
It was so agonising that I didn’t want to be told, say, ‘sit down every day for one year, tap your knees twice and say to yourself: My life inspires me, and it will happen.’ I couldn’t wait a year! I needed to do it now, and have it come true straight away.
The difference these days, is that I’m not caught up in the documentary. Now, I’m watching myself, watching the documentary, which makes a huge difference. When we watch a film, we are caught up in it. I know how ridiculous it is when I’m squirming on the seat – those dated detective shows I watched with my mother where the private eye is searching the room of the suspect at the time that the suspect has decided to go back to his apartment for something he forgot.
Here, we’re involved ‘as if’ it’s happening, even though, it isn’t.
Our thoughts have exactly the same effect.
This means that we can’t change our life by thinking about it in exactly the same way. Hence why I’m so passionate about mindset work. My clients come to me because they’re stuck, viewing the same footage. This footage comes from old questions – ‘will anyone read my writing?’ ‘Am I any good?’ – ones we no longer want to ask.
We have to pick out new footage by creating a different focus.
You have an entire lifetime of material, but you’re only regularly accessing a fraction of it. Set the search term differently, and you can go into new areas.
Things shifted for me when I began learning about how the brain works, the way we are essentially programming our minds, and what can happen when we access different memories. The brain will work on whatever program we feed it. Feeding it a program of, ‘where did it all go wrong?’ was only ever going to focus my mind on that. I would only ever see and remember all the times things didn’t go how I wanted them to.
My life felt so average. I’d absolutely no hope it would feel amazing, even though that’s what I wanted. I was too busy being disappointed in what I’d made of myself. I couldn’t imagine achieving my dream of an incredible life that thrilled me.
But how could I change my life if this is what I was thinking?
When we realise we’re making a documentary, it has a chance of changing, in the way an editor, going through the footage, sets a title for their documentary. When the title becomes, ‘How is life inspiring?’ Suddenly here’s an entirely different documentary, made from the same memory bank.
For something to be created – say an inspiring life – it has to be conceived. Inventions must be designed. Nobody ever came up with a brilliant concept by telling themselves they were worthless, that it was never going to happen.
Do you believe you can create a life that inspires you?
It’s okay if your response to that questions isn’t a resounding, ‘yes!’ The fact you’re reading this post means you’re looking for something, just like I was.
Where is your attention?
In order to create a life that inspires you, it’s vital to focus on the things around you that enable you to feel inspired. It’s time to start searching for that different footage for the new title of your life.