I think you will easily agree that one of the greatest sources of discontent occurs when you don’t get what you imagine to be true. Our eagerness to put faith in an expectation is naturally born when we have confidence in our individual rules – those personal commandments that we either know to be true, or – in many cases – those we have convinced ourselves must be true.
A favorite song of mine is from the Welsh singer Jem. It is entitled They and some of the lyrics are:
Who made up all the rules
We follow them like fools
Believe them to be true
Don’t care to think them through
. . .
And it’s ironic too
‘Cause what we tend to do
Is act on what they say
And then it is that way
Who are they
And where are they
And how can they possibly
know all this
One of the fundamental principles behind Thinking Magically is that you can determine your own significance and your own compelling rules and, in so doing, exercise control over your outcomes.
So, let’s spend today starting to understand, once and for all, who it is, in truth, you allow to make your own guidelines. And, even if that someone is not you, let’s come to grips with whether those rules you have embraced or inherited are consistently serving you well.
To put it another way, if your results are not all that they could be, it could be time for you to sit down and write out all the rules that, up until now, you have so tirelessly followed.
So here’s our exercise: On a piece of paper, list out the core expectations – spoken and unspoken – that you set up in your life. Take some time and write out the rules, requirements, and habits that you follow so that you can see them plainly before you in black and white.
Then ask yourself whether you feel that you are worthy of these standards? Do you believe these rules are valid and practical for you? Where did your rules even come from in the first place? Remember, we are discovering what is powerful for you – not the rest of the world.
Here are a few of the intimate rules (life maxims, if you will) that I have settled on, myself; some of my core truths that are at the heart of what I do everyday, and which never fail to move me forward. These are offered for no other reason than to get you started exploring your own constructs:
1. Anything is possible.
2. Love Fiercely. Live Passionately. Finish Strong. I can ask no more. I deserve no less.
2. Everyone I meet is my teacher, my student, or both.
3. Sometimes, I must look at nothing in order to see everything.
4. This, too, shall pass.
5. This or something better.
Notice that I have framed my rules so that they make great, positive affirmations to accompany my actions. Your own essential truths don’t have to sound anything like what I happen to use. There are no wrong answers here. Rather, you are using this exercise to realize those principles that have been guiding your decisions, feelings, and actions, and then using those discoveries to design new rules and expectations that deliver you the excitement and anticipation you you have earned.
Just some thoughts. Enjoy!
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