When it comes to being happy, there’s a big idea we might be missing out on, something that almost needs to hit you like a revelation.
That’s how most of the happy people you know came upon it, at least.
The good news is, you don’t have to wait until you’re at the bottom of a desperate hole to find this truth … and avoid the mistake that many unhappy people make:
What you think, you become
David Ahearn, a prominent speaker and thought leader, explains it best in his appearance on Open Relationships, Transforming Together:
“Whatever is happening in your life right now is the end result of your repeated thinking.”
If we don’t like what’s going on, he suggests fundamentally changing how we think.
The patterns of thought we cultivate become the blueprint for our experiences. So if you find yourself dissatisfied with your current circumstances, it may be time to reconsider and transform the very essence of your thoughts.
That doesn’t mean you need to instantly change all your thought patterns. After all, changing the big things we think and believe can feel like a nearly impossible task. That’s why you have to start with the small stuff.
As Ahearn says, take a different route to work. Watch a different type of show. Do a different thing before going to bed than you usually do. And make these changes point in the direction you want to go. For instance, if the first thing you usually do in the morning is check your phone, make one tiny switch to step outside and take in a few moments of fresh air and early morning sunlight.
You can also try thinking differently about the person who bothers you or pushes your worst buttons.
Or, instead of watching a crime show before bed, watch something that inspires you like a documentary about a childhood hero of yours or of someone who changed the world.
Below, we share a few deeper insights.
How to fundamentally change your thought processes
1. Understand that it will not happen overnight.
The journey to transforming your thought processes is not a sprint but a marathon. Recognizing that change is a gradual process is the first step towards lasting transformation.
Ahearn states, “Our brains are constantly looking for confirmation of our thought processes,” emphasizing the need for patience. Realize that the outcomes you desire will manifest over time as you consistently redirect and reshape your thoughts.
“So for everybody who doesn’t like the way their life is, what I try to illustrate to them is: You have to change, fundamentally, the way you’re thinking because you are expecting an outcome and our bias is going to find confirmation of whatever that is,” Ahearn explains in the podcast.
2. You have to “Fake it til you make it”.
Transitioning from negative or unproductive thought patterns to positive ones requires a deliberate effort. “You’re going to have to go through a period of faking it til you make it,” Ahearn advises.
Embracing this concept involves consciously choosing positive thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors even when they may not align with your current reality. Over time, this intentional shift can rewire your brain, leading to a more positive and fulfilling life.
3. Try to embrace the power of positive affirmations.
To further fortify the transformation of thought, consider incorporating positive affirmations into your daily routine. Affirmations are concise, positive statements that reinforce desired thought patterns. B
y consistently repeating these affirmations, you instill constructive beliefs into your subconscious mind, aligning your thoughts with your goals.
You can even leave little Post-it Notes around the house where you know you’ll see them as a reminder.
Put one on your fridge, the front door, where you leave your keys. As long as you see them your brain will take notes and incorporate them into a pattern of positivity
4. Practice mindfulness and meditation.
Mindfulness and meditation serve as powerful tools for gaining control over your thoughts. Through these practices, you can observe and detach from negative or limiting thoughts, creating space for more positive and constructive thinking.
“And once you do that, and you do it over time, you will see the physical manifestation materialize in your life. But it does take time,” Ahearn advises underscoring the importance of consistency in these practices.
Our thoughts weave the intricate patterns that shape our experiences. The mistake happy people never make is underestimating the transformative power of their own thinking.
With time, patience, and intentional effort, you can sculpt a happier and more fulfilling reality through the mastery of your thoughts — Thinking happy thoughts and maybe a little pixie dust wouldn’t hurt either
Deauna Roane is a writer and the Editorial Project Manager for YourTango. She’s had bylines in Emerson College’s literary magazine, Generic, and MSN.