In doing some research for this edition and came across this Japanese folk tale:
Long ago, in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”
All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?
I often speak to this topic during my workshops. We all have 24 hours in the day, how we choose to spend our 24 hours is completely our own decision and choice. You cannot give me three hours; I cannot hold extra hours for you on the weekend. So if you spend your full 24 hours thinking and reflecting on all the things you do not want, you will have no time to think about the things you want. What is interesting is that it takes just as much energy to create the thought of what we do not want as it does to the thoughts of what we want. Also, we are unable to hold both thoughts in our mind at the same time.
We do not process the word “don’t.” Let me give you an example; I use a metaphor in my training sessions to illustrate this point. I ask the participants not to think about a blue tree. I specifically ask them not to think about a blue tree with a monkey sitting on one of the branches wearing a red hat. I repeat this instruction. I pause and then smiling ask them what they were thinking about. Most nod that they were indeed thinking of a blue tree with a monkey with a red hat. Then, I ask them to think about a lush green tree – a green tree with beautiful yellow flowers. Asked again what they are thinking they agree this time it was a lush green tree with beautiful flowers.
The exercise illustrates that if we spend our time thinking about what we don’t want (the blue tree), we haven’t put our energy into what we do want (the green tree).
So as we come to the end of the year, please take some think to think about what you want for the next year. You will be amazed as you start to think of what you want you will begin to see it happen around you. People often say, “Oh, you are just lucky” or “so positive” actually, it is where we put our energy, invest our time, think of ourselves that gives us back on our investments.
So purposefully start to see yourself in a positive way, if you start to see the angry faces looking back, close your eyes, turn around and start again seeing the smiling faces. It sounds easy because it is.
Set your goals, dreams and thoughts today for next year and see what a difference focusing on what you want makes for you. Please share when it happens.