Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Angel (and Marc) Chernoff of Marc & Angel Hack Life.
Recently one of our course students, Monica—a recovering victim of a very recent and debilitating car accident—was smiling from ear to ear the minute our FaceTime coaching session began.
“What has you in such good spirits today?” I asked her. “I’m thinking differently about things…about how lucky I am to be alive,” she replied. “I thought the injuries I sustained in that accident signified the end of life as I know it, but now I realize they signify the beginning.”
All details aside, Monica decided to begin again, in her mind first and then in her life. It’s taken her several weeks of healing and practice, but she has consciously let go of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” attachments in her head about her circumstances, and she has stepped forward with grace and determination. Her new beginning has everything to do with her new way of thinking.
Truth be told, no matter when we look at the calendar, today is really just the beginning, for all of us. And we can prevent the wrong thoughts and beliefs from getting the best of us as we move forward with our lives. We can train our minds to make the very best of the present moment, even when our circumstances are far less than ideal. All it takes is…
Practice. Daily practice, every morning.
The morning is vital. It’s the foundation from which the day is built. And that’s why we have to be mindful of how we speak to ourselves when we first wake up. What we tell ourselves first thing in the morning is a big part of what we hear for the rest of the day.
Positive morning reminders are honestly one of the simplest and most powerful tools for mental growth.
It’s all about keeping the right thoughts top of mind from the get-go every day, so they’re readily available on those hard days when you need them most.
For Monica, that has meant sitting down quietly with herself every morning after breakfast and reflecting on precisely what she needs to remember. She reads quotes (many of which are now excerpts from our new book) like the one below to do just that. Some people call them affirmations, or prayers, or convictions, but in any case these positive morning reminders keep Monica on track by keeping peaceful, productive thoughts and perspectives centered in her mind, even as she struggles to cope with her injuries.
She has ultimately learned that peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no chaos, trouble, or hard realities to deal with—peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still remain mentally and emotionally centered.
This is one of our favorite morning reminders. Our challenge to you is to spend 60 seconds every morning this Summer reciting it to yourself as soon as you wake up, before you begin your day. See how doing so affects your mood and disposition throughout the day…
And be thankful right now.
For your health,
And your home.
Nothing lasts forever.
Try it now.
Take a deep breath and read it out loud.
And as you say the words health, family, friends, and home, pause briefly and visualize each of them.
Think about what gifts they are, even if they’re imperfect.
Be grateful for them just as they are.
Instead of focusing on what you’d change about them, focus on what you love about them and how much value they add to your life.
As you repeat this reminder each morning, pause the same way you just did. Many of these everyday gratitudes are too easily forgotten. And they are critically important!
In our new book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs, we explore gratitude as a fundamental daily ritual for creating happiness.
This is an active practice of taking life day by day and being thankful for the little things. It’s about not getting caught up in what you can’t control, but instead accepting it and making the best of it. Because, when you stop worrying about what you can’t control, you have more time to change the things you can control. And that changes everything.
This book represents the culmination of hundreds of hours of work with course students like Monica, and lots of one-on-one work with each other, too. Made up of small lessons and tiny, life-changing daily rituals, we have seen these exact practices change lives time and again.
We’re excited to share Getting Back to Happy with you, so we’re also giving away some bonuses (including the One Day at a Time 60-day Workbook) to Becoming Minimalist readers that order the book today. You can get details here.
Above all, what you need to remember is that it’s ultimately your choice…
Yes, it’s your choice.
You are choosing right now.
And if you’re choosing…
to be stuck in the past…
to act like a victim…
to feel insecure…
to feel anger…
to feel hate…
to be naïve…
to ignore your intuition…
to ignore good advice…
to give up…
…then it’s time to choose differently.
But, let me also remind you that you are not alone. Generations of human beings in your family tree have chosen. Human beings around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time or another. And we stand behind you now whispering:
Choose to let go.
Choose to be present.
Choose to be positive.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to see the possibilities.
Choose to find meaning.
Choose to prove you’re not a victim.
Choose to practice thinking better (and living better), every morning.
And of course, if there’s anything else Marc and I can do to assist you, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.
Angel (and Marc) Chernoff are the creators of Marc & Angel Hack Life, which was recognized by Forbes as “one of the most popular personal development blogs” and the authors of the new book, Getting Back to Happy. Through their writing, coaching, course and annual live events (where Joshua Becker has spoken twice), they’ve spent the past decade sharing proven strategies for getting unstuck in order to find lasting happiness and success.