What do you tell yourself? Positive, life-giving things? Or is it a little more along the lines of the opposite?
For many of us, the default messages we tell ourselves are usually negative:
That's beyond me.
I'm not good enough.
I don't deserve that.
It didn't work out well the last time, so why try it again?
Do you know you are what you think? What you tell yourself? (Delusional messages excluded, of course.)
Desire greater intimacy with God? Even Divine Union with Him?
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With the rational, conscious mind, we feed the subconscious and unconscious parts of us. And it is these parts within us that create most of our attitudes and fuel most of our actions. Almost all of what we do and how we operate in the world are driven by bottom-up thought processes(2). If you feed these deep energy reservoirs negative, fearful thoughts, your life will be driven primarily by negative, fearful impulses. Conversely, if you feed yourself positive, life-giving thoughts, images, and ideas, your life will be inspired primarily by positive, life-giving attitudes and energies.
In this moment, I'm faced with significant physical challenges as I work to rehab not just my left Achilles tendon, which I tore last September, but my entire body and mind, which was thrown for a loop when I couldn't use my left leg, exercise, or move in a healthy, integrated fashion for almost eight months.
Every day, I wake up at 3:00 am with pain and stiffness; by 3:01, I'm already knee deep in what has become my morning ritual of three solid hours of prayer, meditation, physical therapy, and super-hydration. At six, I begin round two with two additional hours of intense physical and mental training (skipping rope, doing Burpees, running the agility ladder, running The Murph, performing quadrupedal movements, working the heavy bag, etc.). By the time the clock strikes eight, I've already put in nearly five hours of significant physical and mental training; and that's just the morning session (and doesn't include what I do at the noon hour, in the afternoon, or in the evening before bed).
To keep going is extremely difficult; it requires everything I have. Every day, and in nearly every moment of the day, I tell myself things, and they are ALL positive. I banish negativity, and I feed my innermost parts with things that inspire me to keep going, to keep doing the work needed to accomplish my goals. I believe I will be better than I was before my accident—not just mentally, but physically. I believe I will overcome every obstacle I'm facing in this moment. I believe, as I work at it, the bear I've been facing-off with in the cave will eventually be driven out, and I will have what I want. I believe I will be better than I was before (yes,I repeated that one); I believe, too, my challenges (and how I face them) will inspire those around me to never give up on their dreams. I believe the following vision statement (which is one among many I feed myself every day): "I dream...Of playing at life, and, at 104, being the oldest 11-year-old walking the face of the planet. In fact, I dream of one day being the oldest human being still living on planet Earth; and, when I'm in my nineties, of being the most flexible, functionally efficient, and vibrantly healthy person I know."
In my heart and mind, I'm in it for the long haul. I will never give up; I will never give in. I will have what I want, because I will work for it. Do I know what I want? Absolutely! In my heart and mind, it's crystal clear. Am I willing to pay the price to get what I want? Again, absolutely! I will pay the price because I'm paying it right now, and I will NEVER stop paying it right now. These things are a part of the script I feed myself over and over and over.
Again I ask, what are you feeding yourself?
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are generally right.—Henry Ford
Start to create for yourself a script of positive, life-giving thoughts, images, and ideas, and then feed on that script every day, all day. If you're up for it, follow my lead. Follow me as I pay the price day in and day out with no days off.
The only easy day was yesterday—US Navy SEAL maxim
The things you remember in life are the things that were hard to get.—Unknown
Peace to you, friends...
Delusional (from Merriam-Webster): characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.
A great reference is Dr. Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking Fast and Slow, which was published in 2011.
IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):
Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline (Body-mind Mastery)
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice