When we’re going through difficult times, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negative thinking. There are many things that we can do to avoid this from happening if you want life to go your way.

Take charge of your attitude

This is perhaps the single most important step that you can take to be happy.  Chuck Swindoll offers this insight, “The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude to me is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearances, giftedness and skill.  It will make or break a company…a church…a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding our attitude we will embrace for the day.  We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”

No one can tell me what attitude to have.  That’s the beauty of choice!  I get to decide how I react to everything!!!

Get up and dust yourself off

Life is meant to have challenges and contrasts.  If we didn’t have these, we couldn’t grow.  When we’re faced with something we don’t want, it puts into focus what we do want.  Our work is to put energy into the things we want to manifest. When you fell off your bicycle for the first time, did you give up riding?   Whatever knocked you off from achieving an ideal life or dream career, get back on and try again.

Try new experiences

Have you every known someone who refused to try something new?  I’m always perplexed by this.  Why not experience what something feels like and then make a decision whether or not you like it.  I’ve often heard that the elderly have only one regret.  It’s not what they did in life that they regret, it’s what they didn’t do.

I promised myself long ago that I would never say “I wonder what that would have felt like…”   I’ve seen crocodiles sunbathing along riverbanks from a gyro-plane.  I’ve released baby sea turtles and watched mothers laying their eggs.  I’ve zip-lined above monkeys. I’ve parasailed over schools of fish looking for whales.  I’ve canoed in pinranha-infested waters along the Amazon. I’ve been swimming with sharks.  I’ve been blessed to give needy children their first pair of shoes. With the flexibility that I have in my career, I’m just getting started!

Meditate

The best way to describe meditation is a way to quiet your mind.  When you keep thoughts from entering (not easy to do, it takes practice) you open up your mind to all kinds of creative and powerful possibilities.  Like computers, every so often, our minds need to be rebooted.  This is what meditation does.

There are many ways to meditate.  No one method works for everyone.  Meditation is great exercise for the mind, it keeps it in peak condition.  A lot of people report a sense of heightened awareness, clarity and energy after meditation.

Know there’s something positive to learn from each experience

Every experience, whether you perceive it as positive or negative, is a step to raise you up and help you to evolve. I used to complain about bad things happening until I realized, how could I appreciate and be grateful for the good things unless I had something to compare it to.  “Stuff” happens in life and those are the opportunities to expand.

Recall that all situations are temporary

Nothing remains constant.  We’re in a continually expanding Universe, which guarantees that people, things and situations MUST change. If you have a nightmare boss, unruly teenagers or a spouse that can use a bit of refinement, tell yourself: “this, too, shall pass.”  These simple words remind me that I’m not condemned to an everlasting bad situation.

Another way to see all experiences is as a cyclical.  Those who are up today may be down tomorrow and back again. Knowing this we can get through difficult moments when things don’t go our way.

Surround yourself with up-lifters

As a child I didn’t understand why my mother would tell me to “keep good company and choose your friends wisely.”  I was too young and clearly wasn’t ready to hear the message. Today we know a lot more about people’s vibrations, frequencies and energies. The scientific and spiritual communities tell us about the importance of surrounding ourselves with people that will lift us up.

Has someone ever approached you and they beamed with light or energy?  How did it make you feel?  What about someone who made you want to back away?  These energies are real and it’s important to pay attention to them.  If I meet someone whose frequency or vibration seems negative, I keep my distance.

Be receptive to how you feel when you encounter someone for the first time.  Knowing this you’ll begin to choose friends and company that brings out the best in you.

Grateful for what you have

I’m grateful for having things like a beautiful house, nice cars, a career that I love, etc.,  But, I also am thankful for small things and the non-tangible like a wonderful experience, a beautiful day, trees, flowers and animals around us, birds singing, the sound of the ocean, you name it.

Recently, I wrote down each day, for one month, ten things that I’m grateful for.  At the end of the thirty day exercise there was a noticeable a change within me.  Things didn’t upset me as they used to.

Now when I sense I’m getting off course, I immediately start naming things that I’m grateful for and it puts me back on the right tract. Traffic congestions don’t bother me anymore.  They give me an opportunity to take deep breaths, play a great song or simply look at the wonderful world around me.

Here are a few more things to practice if you want life to go your way:

  • Name all the people you love
  • Count things that you most appreciate
  • Sign up for a new course
  • Recall when someone helped you
  • Remember how great you are
  • Make a list of your achievements
  • Photograph things that make you happy
  • Draw something beautiful
  • Listen to upbeat music
  • Watch a motivational program
  • Open a bottle of wine you’ve been saving
  • Go outside and breathe in the fresh air
  • Listen to birds singing
  • Indulge in your favorite dessert
  • Dance your heart out
  • Entertain yourself with videos
  • Volunteer
  • Give a homeless person a meal
  • Treat yourself to those shoes you’ve been drooling over
  • Tell a joke
  • Stroke a cat
  • Hug your puppy
  • Go to the beach
  • Listen to the waves
  • Book a trip
  • Watch a sunrise
  • And, remember, the sun will come out tomorrow, no matter where you are.

Remember contrast is necessary

The ancients know this as ying and yang.  It’s what gives balance to the Universe. It is how we understand ourselves and the world around us. A coin has two sides. Neither face adds or detracts from its value.  Like a coin, if you want life to go your way recall the value in each experience no matter which side you land on.

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Photo courtesy of Frank McKenna

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