Are You Willing to Change?

Opposites indeed! from Carolita Johnson_2Whenever we’re talking about personal transformation — whether it’s physical (lose weight), financial (get out of debt), mental (overcome anxiety), spiritual, relational (repair a broken relationship), etc. — what we’re really talking about is change.  And for most, that can be scary.  In fact, many people don’t even entertain the idea of change until the pain of not changing becomes unbearable.

In other words, you have to be ready and willing to change.

While there are many things that can hold us back from changing, and more importantly, the personal transformation that we desire, we are often our own worst enemies.  Think about how many times you’ve gotten in your own way with negative self-talk, by peppering ourselves with self-criticism, and by doubting our capabilities.

This brings us to today’s power thought, brought to us by motivational author Louise Hay:

I am willing to release old, negative beliefs.  They are only beliefs that stand in my way.
My new thoughts are positive and fulfilling.

What’s great about this power thought is that it raises awareness, which is a primary tool in a mental ninja’s toolbox and critical for personal transformation.  In a non-judgmental way, start identifying times, places, and areas of your life when you are being self-critical, experiencing self-doubt, or thinking self-defeating thoughts.  Even better, when you do, replace them with positive, fulfilling thoughts.

To help raise awareness, ask important questions.  What are the thoughts and images going through my head?  Are they helping me, or are they hurting me?  Are they holding me back, or are they pushing me toward my goals?  Are these thoughts of success, or am I focused on failure?

Change Has Power3Another way to help raise awareness and displace those negative thoughts with more encouraging ones is to do push-ups.  Say what?  When you do catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, beating yourself up, or having self-doubt, do five pushups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, whatever.  Choose your favorite because the idea is not to punish yourself; rather, it’s to break the cycle and raise that awareness.

Finally, choose a mantra.  Maybe it’s the power thought above or maybe it’s something else that’s more personal to you.  Choose something that’s important and relevant to you.  Something that encourages you, promotes positive, fulfilling thoughts, and reminds you what’s truly important.

To You … Change That Up!

March 07, 2019

Keep your dream

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro.  He has let me use his house to put on fundraising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse.”  It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses.  As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted.  When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch.”  He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track.  Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000 square foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the-next day he handed it in to his teacher.  Two days later he received his paper back.  On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, ‘See me after class.’  The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, “Why did I receive an F?”

“The teacher said, “This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you.  You have no money.  You come from an itinerant family.  You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money.  You have to buy the land.  You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees.  There’s no way you could ever do it.”  Then the teacher added, “It you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.”

The boy went home and thought about it long and hard.  He asked his father what he should do.  His father said, “Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this.  However, I think it is a very important decision for you.”  Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch.  I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.”  He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same school teacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.”  When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now.  When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer.  During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams.  Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams.  Follow your heart, no matter what?  😉

Join The Conversation