How to Achieve Success and Happiness- Part I


Positive Mental Attitude

Do you know what is the critical factor when it comes to success? What makes some people more successful than the others? A positive mindset. Many people think that they need a reason(money, power, satisfaction, peace of mind) to be happy. But, in fact, success and happiness move in a circle. If you are happy from within, success will come to you. You cannot succeed if you feel you’re lacking somewhere. You’ve got to tell yourself, ‘I’m happy with what I have and I’ve got to make myself happier.’
Although our upbringing and past experiences play a role in determining our current attitudes, they do not determine our futures unless we let them. All successful people take complete responsibility for their life and absolutely everything that happens to them. By doing so, they ensure that they remain in control of their lives at all times.
Successful people don’t succeed by accident. They succeed by design. If you believe that you are a victim of events that you cannot control, then you will go through life blaming people and circumstances for your failures. When you take 100% responsibility, you go through life asking, ‘How can I learn from this?’

Reprogramming the Mind

If you aren’t currently seeing the success that you desire, then it is very likely that you have mental blocks that are keeping you from fulfilling your potential. Overcoming even the smallest of those blocks can pay huge dividends. Reprogramming your own mind for success and happiness requires a keen awareness of your own mental processes, so one of the most crucial aspects of mental programming is self-awareness. Self-awareness can be increased through forms of daily introspection. The two most effective processes for increasing awareness are meditation and daily introspection. Daily introspection will allow you to come face to face with your underlying beliefs and negative thought patterns, and once you do so, you will be able to eradicate and replace them with mental programs that help rather than hinder you. Many people overlook the importance of subtle practices like meditation and recording thoughts on paper, because most people tend to believe that achieving success and happiness happens “out there,” when in reality nothing happens out there until you first correct the problems within.

Step 1: Watching the Mind

Watching your thoughts without judgement is the key to becoming self-aware and unlocking your potential to create the life that you truly desire. It is very common for people to confuse their thoughts with who they are, when in reality thoughts are nothing more than conditioned mind patterns that operate spontaneously. You can choose to change the nature of your thoughts at any time, and in doing so, you will dramatically change the external circumstances of your life. Lack of money, confidence, freedom, influence, and whatever else you desire but don’t have, is nothing more than a product of your inner world and how you think. Cultivating heightened awareness will allow you to change your core beliefs to ones that support rather than hinder you in achieving your goals and living your dreams.
You would be very wise to spend 5 to 10 minutes every day, preferably before you go to sleep, to write in a journal of some sort. Reflect on your day and write down every thought as it comes to your mind. Do not stop to analyze what you’ve written and do not edit or censor yourself in any way. Simply let the words flow out of you until you feel as if you have cleared your mind. After you are done writing, you can then re-read what you’ve written and analyze the nature of your thoughts. Does what you’ve written reflect a hopeful, optimistic attitude? Or does it reflect a more negative and self-critical attitude? Perhaps it is a mixture of the two. Whether your current attitude is positive or negative is not important. What is important is that you have put your thoughts out in plain sight where you can look at them more objectively. If you had not done so, those thoughts would have passed through your mind without you really noticing them at all. You would have lacked awareness, but through writing your thoughts down, you will have gained a heightened sense of awareness, and that is the foundation for all positive change.
While re-reading what you’ve written in your journal, take notice of anything you’ve written that could be considered negative in any way and underline it. Then, at the bottom of the page, re-write it in the form of a more positive statement. For example, you may have written, “A man at work today made a disrespectful comment and really made me upset.” You could then re-write that statement as, “I got upset today over a comment that someone made, but I realize that the man may have just been having a bad day, and I am ultimately responsible for how I react to him anyway.”
The practice of meditation is another powerful tool that you can use to cultivate a higher awareness and thus an ability to change and improve yourself. Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be bothered and just try to focus on the sensation of your breathing. Feel the air as it enters your nostrils and goes into your lower lungs. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen. Relax your abdominal muscles and allow the air to expand your belly on the inhale. Relax your entire body and allow the air to naturally escape through your mouth on the exhale. Thoughts will come to you as you do this, but simply go back to focusing on your breath whenever you notice them. Very quickly, you will realize the incessant chatter of your thoughts. You may feel powerless to control them, but that is only because you have likely never attempted to. Daily meditation will help you become the master of your mind, and that is a skill of utmost value. Your success in life and your current levels of happiness are always an accurate indication of the nature of your thoughts. The more satisfied you are with life, the more positive your mindset is. But remember that the circumstances don’t create the attitude; your attitude creates the circumstances.
(…to be continued)

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