The degree to which thoughts determine our wellbeing and happiness cannot be underestimated. For most of us it is our thoughts that are the source of our greatest joys and greatest problems. Regardless of what we actually achieve or lose in life it is how we think about these achievements and losses that will determine how happy we are.
If I believe my life is unsatisfying it doesn’t matter if, given the same situation, other people would think differently. Similarly if I take great joy in my day to day it means nothing if other people cannot understand why. My thoughts are my reality. So if my career doesn’t meet my aspirations, if I feel my house isn’t good enough, if I am convinced I’m attractive then that is how I experience the world… and I will be dissatisfied.
This is the case in all aspects of our lives. What one person thinks is a blessing, another person considers a setback. It isn’t the thing itself that dictates how we respond, it is the thoughts we attach to it.
Just consider how differently people react to the same situation. Give people the same set of circumstances and they will deal with them in very different ways, primarily due to how they think about that experience.
Of course, why we think the way we do can be related to a huge array of factors – our upbringing, our health, our experiences, the setbacks we’ve experienced. Regardless of why we have a specific mindset however, we can alter it. If we have the desire to change the way we think about things then we absolutely can.
The first step though is recognising the thoughts you are having and the patterns you fall into.
Next time you are thinking about your life consider how much your thoughts are dictating your satisfaction. Do they lift you up or pull you down? Are they encouraging growth or causing you to shrink inwards? Will they keep you stuck or propel you forwards?