In many of my development workshops, I challenge people to be better and try and understand what is holding them back from achieving.
Many people think their problems are caused by external conditions. They try in vain to change the world around them in the hope that things will improve.
This seldom works because the reality is your environment, the world in which you live, work, and play is a mirror reflecting your image. Your mindset is the magnet that attracts your reality. How you perceive the world is largely a cogitation of your own attitudes and beliefs.
Why do I say this? Let me explain with this little story.
As she flew out of the tent, happily singing, a howling wolf noticed her and wondered what had made her so happy. This made the wolf very curious. She decided to enter the tent to see for herself what could possibly be inside that had made the eagle so happy?
Upon entering the tent of mirrors, the wolf was immediately startled by something. She began to howl, then growl feeling extremely uncomfortable.
Everywhere she looked, all she saw were angry, growling faces glaring back at her.
“What an awful place this is.” she muttered to herself as she ran from the carnival tent, “My world is filled with so much unpleasantness, I don’t know how that eagle saw anything different.”
The little leprechaun asked her grandad what was the meaning of the story? He looked at her inquisitive face and said “The howling wolf failed to realise that the mirrors were simply reflecting her own attitude to life. All she saw was that which she was giving.”
You see inside each person there is a soaring eagle and a howling wolf. The question is which one are you?
The mirrors in the tent represent the world around you, what you give is what you get in return. The soaring eagle smiled at the world and the world smiled right back. The howling wolf growled at the world and the world growled back.
Like the eagle and the wolf, you will find what you seek. Your life starts from within you, it begins with your heart and mind and what is in it.
The good you find in others is also in you. The faults you find in others are your faults as well.
After all, to recognize something you must first know it.
The possibilities you see in others, are the same possibilities that lie within you. The beauty you see around you is your own beauty. The world around you is a reflection of the person you are, your values, thoughts, ideas.
We come into this world only to leave it at some point, what happens in between is up to us. Our life and the world we live in starts from within and emerges into the wider cosmos.
To change your world, you must first change yourself. Expecting external modifications without first modifying yourself is unrealistic. Blaming and complaining simply exacerbate the situation and bring no improvements, instead you will find yourself stuck in a loop. If you continue to do the same thing you will achieve the same result.
So, what you see in others, is merely a reflection of what you see in yourself. Look for the best in others, it is true that what you seek you will find. Similarly, seek the best in yourself. Feed the best in you; let it grow.
I find that one of the most empowering gestures in life is to give. Giving to others is like giving to yourself. If you give anger that is what you will feel, however, if you give love think how much better you will feel filled by that very same love.
By appreciating the beauty around you, you will experience that same beauty within you. We may live in a world where beauty is largely believed to be aesthetic, but the reality is that it is subjective and not as superficial as we are led to believe.
Take a closer look. Admire creativity and you create. Take the time to seek out all the extraordinary creations humanity has had a hand in, let that grow.
So many people fall into the trap of focusing on the destructive side of people, the negative side but this only leads to more of the same.
Love, and you will be loved in return. Love breeds Love. The fundamental need for love is inherent in all of us from birth to our last day. From family, partners, and friends. It has healing power but also it connects humans in a way that nothing else can.
Seek to understand, and you will in turn be understood. We are all very different beings with a great deal in common, however, to understand that each person is unique is very important.
Listen to those around you, and your voice will be heard. No one wants to be silent. Our voice forms part of our community, by listening you show interest which leads to interest in you.
Teach what you know, pass it on but be prepared to learn from. No one person knows it all, there is always more to learn. Show your best face in the mirror and that is what the mirror will reflect back at you. Think of the story of Snow White. “Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is fairest of them all”? Think about what the Queen saw. Her soul. Aligning yourself with negativity will only attract the same into your reality. Your actions, feelings behaviours even your abilities are always consistent with this self-image.
In short, you act like the sort of person you conceive yourself to be.
What I find alarming is that the very person who conceives themself to be a failure is the same person who will subconsciously find a pathway to failure despite all good intentions.
The girl who believes herself to be a failure in maths will always prove herself right, just as the boy who believes he cannot dance will inevitably live that perception and portray it to the world. That which the mind believes it will manifest.
Everyone and everything that appears in our life reflect something that is happening inside of us.
If you are internally experiencing chaos and confusion, your external world will reflect the same. If you perceive yourself to be tumultuous, your vision and experience of the world around you will likely echo the same. If you do not examine your fundamental thoughts, they will become habitual thoughts.
We are creatures of habit and as such our reality can be positively or negatively impacted by the habits we form. If you do not challenge your fundamental thoughts sooner or later, they will become habitual. So, it is important to understand the difference between what is worth thinking about and what is not.
Your future is created with each new thought, you think it, believe and it comes to pass.
This is a powerful faculty of the mind, to be able to override circumstances you do not wish to carry forward.
Choose your thoughts wisely, for that which you think you become and that which you become will shape your life.
There are 21 things I teach to help people reprogram their world for success, I will just mention 3 here. The rest I will post on Twitter or my blog site or you can drop me an email at email@example.com
- Change your negative thoughts by using positive affirmations.
- Mentally and emotionally purge the inner debris, the unwanted junk.
- Be yourself as everyone else is taken.
Remember you are the creator of your future and with each new thought, your pathway opens.
Think in terms of possibilities, what can you offer to make your life as you wish it would be.
Your self-image is key to your success. Build success patterns into your daily routine.
I can take you to success. I coach ordinary people every day to do extra-ordinary things. I coach extra-ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. The difference is those who have a dream, and are prepared to follow said dream, are extraordinary, and just need a structure and support system to kick off that journey, which will finish with them sliding in fast sideways to the grave, totally worn out from the relentless living of their dreams, screaming out loudly “Wow holy sh*t, what a ride!”
If that is you – start today! If you are looking for coaching on change for yourself or your organisation, or would like more information on the work we do on Personal, Professional, or Organisational Change, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
About Dr Maurice Duffy
Irish. Author, Professor, Coach and Business strategist. The person Australian Captain Steve Smith credited with helping him back from his cricket ban. Coach to two Ashes wins. Coach to CEOs, Politicians and some of the best know international sports starts including Olympians. BBC ‘Thought for the Week’. Coached business leaders and organizations in 80 countries. Works with charities to do with Mental Health. Lives in North East England with his wife and 11-year-old son.