How do you go about unburdening yourself from material and intangible excess? Begin by mapping your life's path instead of leaving your life to chance. Does it seem incongruous with simplicity to map you life's path? I will admit that the idea may seem odd (since planning conjures the illusion of complexity), yet on close inspection the logic is glaringly simple and true. Just as words do not leap from the dictionary to form books, successful, happy lives do not happen into existence. They have been thought out, planned for, and acted upon. You can do this by taking control of your actions. How do you take control of your actions? By taking control of your thoughts. Your thoughts control your actions, although many people are not consciously away of this. Every human action exists because it was first a thought.
The logical next question--how do you control your thoughts? Begin by reflection upon you current thinking. Answer these searching questions.
What kind of person are you?
- Are you constantly bitter and unhappy about the people and circumstances in your life? Or do you take responsibility for these things, happily using your resources, thoughts and energies to go forward on your life's path?
- Do you strive for excellence, or do you settle because of a lack of passion in your life?
- Are your thoughts and options formed for you by others, or do you take the time to clearly think out opinion, ideas, problems and solutions?
- Do you dwell on past misfortunes and mistakes, or do you understand that your past does not equal your future?
- Do you hold a grudge? Or do you release negative attitudes and keep your thoughts focused on what is very positive?
- Are you consciously guiding your life, or are you adrift on the ocean of your experiences, thought, and actions?
- Do you blame others for the unhappiness in your own life, or do you take responsibility for your own thoughts, actions and circumstances?
- Can you delve deep into your soul and take an honest look at how you have been living and make a decision to become master of your own happiness?
- Do you understand that each individual has the free will to forge his own thoughts, even under the most difficult circumstances?
By managing your thoughts with clear thinking, you will create your own happiness. Conversely, negative thoughts, combined with lack of faith, will inhibit the growth of inner and outer contentment.
Excerpt taken from Frugal Luxuries, Bantam Books, 1997