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Stress Vs. Success – Who’s team are you on?

September 2nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

All of us have rituals.  I am not necessarily talking about religious rituals.  Although, those are important.  I am talking about the habits that we do every day.  Some of us wake up and head for the bathroom and then the coffee pot.  Some of us lie in bed and extra 5 minutes and visualize what we want from our day and our life.  One thing that often goes undetected is that rituals can also be habitual thought patterns.

I once read that the only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with “what is”.  We often want our reality to be different from what we are experience right now.  This causes us pain.  Signs of this are thoughts that have “should” in them.  For instance, I live in a community that is on the edge of town.  When we looked at this house 27 years ago, our realtor referred to it as “country living with city access”.  We live on a dead end street without sidewalks.  Everyone on our block takes exceptional care of their lawns including the ditches.  We recently had a new neighbor move into the house on the corner.  They mow their yard, but they never mow the ditch.  It looks unsightly with 2 foot tall weeds of ever type.  Once, when my husband and I were rounding the corner, heading for home, I remarked,  “The new neighbor should mow their ditch.  It looks like stink.”

This thought was a way of wanting reality to be different than it is.  Here’s my point to all this.  All the stress we feel in our lives at this moment is caused by arguing with “what is”.  Does their lack of mowing etiquette have any bearing on my life?  Only the importance I give to it.  Any importance I give to it only creates stress on myself (and maybe my husband for having to listen to my complaints). 

My “should” statement probably seems immaterial to you.  It is.  But, what about your “should” statements?  Do you have any habitual “should” statements about your life that are causing you stress?  Here are a few I have heard from people;  “I should have worked harder on that project.”, “My wife should quit spending so much money.”, “My kids should study harder.”, “I should be farther along in my career by now.”  I am sure you are catching the drift.  These kinds of statements become habitual patterns of thought.

People are starting to wake up to the “now”.  Popular books like “Living in the Now” by Eckhart Tolle are waking people up to the power of living in the now.  Accepting “what is” doesn’t mean that you are agreeing with the way things are now.  What it means is giving up the resistance and inner struggle of wishing that things were different.  None of us wish for the maladies that effect our lives.  But, when you get down to it which statement moves you towards a more powerful outcome for success?  “I should have saved more money.” or “What can I do to generate more income?”

The only way to escape these painful thought patterns is to become aware of them.  Record them when you are thinking them.  Study it and determine a way to turn that thought around to accept “what is”.  It sounds like it would be a painfully slow process, which is untrue.  What is a painfully slow process is living your life with stress caused by your habitual thoughts.  When it is all said and done, the choice is yours to make.

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