Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lighten Your Heart, Live Your Life

I have a friend who believes that he could be a great golfer…if only he had time to practice. Another one of my buddies believes he could be a spy(well, maybe not a spy, but every time I talk to him he’s got some national security issue that only he and few other people really understand the workings of). And both of them are absolutely serious in their beliefs about their possibilities in these two areas.

Both of them would be much better off if they understood, “That just ain’t gonna happen,” and moved on with their lives.

I’m not saying I’m immune to this sort of delusion. There are a couple of areas of life that I have clung to for decades and I keep thinking, “If I’d focus on THAT I could do it.” I’m sure my spending many of those decades steeped in positive thinking literature has supported my fantasies.

William James, the father of modern psychology, once spoke about a “lightening of the heart.” I use the term in seminars to refer to looking at life and living it with a sense of humor.

James used the term to refer to the decision to drop illusions such as being a millionaire, being slim, learning a musical instrument or being a great athlete. “Lightening” meant that dropping the fantasies and illusions in our lives made us lighter and better able to reach our true potential.

If you want to understand what you could jettison to make your life lighter simply finish this phrase, “One of these days I’ll……”

Now, ask yourself this question, “If I no longer held that belief, and no longer spent time and energy supporting it, what could I accomplish with the time and energy I would free up?”

Today’s the day I stop thinking that one day I might be Mr. Olympia, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and the education cop for a lot of the dopes who come to my seminars. I’m done.

Wow! I feel lighter already.

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