Your greatest point of power as a human being is your ability to shift your attitude and intentions on the fly in the present moment.
With a simple and focused application of conscious intention, we harness the ability to transform even the worst of moods and attitudes into ones which enable and empower us to transcend our own limitations.
The secret to success with mood shifting is to remember the following two axioms:
- You’re always choosing to think, feel, and behave a particular way at any given moment – no matter how much you may be convinced that you aren’t/don’t/can’t.
- You can choose a new mood instantly, on the fly, and with no need to construct an elaborate reason to allow yourself to feel better in spite of less-than-favorable circumstances.
You Don’t Need Anyone’s Permission…Except Your Own!
You and you alone are the only one who ever decides how you’ll think, feel, and behave.
You might insist that your boss or spouse has a large impact on your mood, attitude, and general outlook on things, but realize that you’re ultimately the one who’s deciding – on some level of your being – to allow those things to influence you.
To allow is to choose.
You’re the one deciding to decide to let external circumstances dictate your internal state.
We’re socially conditioned to operate this way, so don’t feel bad if you’ve made an unconscious habit of this; most people do!
The secret to unlocking your true power and potential as an individual is to discover the true reasoning behind why you’re deciding to decide to allow external circumstances to dictate your inner state.
When you become conscious and honest with yourself, you enable yourself to truthfully answer that question.
When you answer that question truthfully, you immediately diminish the level of power and control said reasoning has over your behavior.
Now that you’ve become conscious of it, it’s no longer a habit and it becomes a choice.
The Subtle Difference Between Habits and Choices
A habit is something you do that you’re not aware that you’re doing.
A choice is something you do while, on some level, being aware that you’re doing it/there’s more than one way to go about doing it.
Consider the following oversimplified yet effective example:
Smoking cigarettes is not a habit; it’s a choice. The addiction caused from repeated use can push it to the level of habit, but only if the individual becomes so engrossed in the behavior, that said behavior becomes subconscious and runs on autopilot.
When the individual is no longer thinking while engaging in the action or behavior, it officially becomes a habit.
If the individual never takes the behavior to that point, then it’s a choice since they’re aware that they’re doing it – regardless of whether they feel good, bad, indifferent toward said behavior.
Initially, the person isn’t just born smoking cigarettes. At some point in their life, they choose to adopt the behavior for one reason or another. As time passes, that choice becomes progressively more difficult to break and replace. This is what’s commonly called “a habit”, but that’s a total misnomer and is the source of much frustration from anyone attempting to approach change from that level of thinking.
There’s a subtle, yet very powerful, difference between engraining a particular choice repeatedly and knowing you’re doing so (such as with smoking), and a genuine habit which is something you’re already doing (especially since birth, such as is the case with social conditioning), yet completely oblivious to.
The truth is you must accept that most of our personal frustrations with life are actually unconscious habits, which are ultimately blind choices on our part.
While different on the surface, habits are nothing more than unconscious choices. The longer we remain unconscious of them, the less we’re able to change them, and the more influenced our experiences are because of them.
Once we become conscious (aware) of what we’re doing, it then becomes a true choice, and we can choose to defy it by behaving differently in the same circumstances.
Transcending the Mundane, Uninspired, Unconscious Patterns of Society
In the second part of this article, we’ll dive even deeper, and explore the inner and outer relationships we take on as individuals in a highly-unconscious society. Much wisdom can be extracted if one chooses to remain as conscious as possible…and we’ll discuss just how to achieve such levels of consciousness as easily and effectively as possible.