Where you ultimately end up is dependent on your daily attitude and response.
This morning one of our course students, Monica — a recovering victim of a fairly 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 last year 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 months 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 is really a new way of thinking.
Truth be told, the mind is like a muscle, and just like every muscle in the human body, it needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be trained daily to grow and develop gradually over time. If you haven’t pushed your mind in a dozen little, positive ways over the course of time, of course it’ll crumble on the inevitable days that get overwhelmingly stressful.
The easiest way to begin strengthening the mind?
Empowering Morning Reminders
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.
Empowering 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 like the ones below to do just that. (Note: The quotes below are included in our newest publication with Penguin Random House, “The Good Morning Journal: Powerful Prompts & Reflections to Start Every Day”.)
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 — it means to be in the midst of all those things and still remain mentally and emotionally centered.
For the rest of the year, I challenge all of us (Angel and myself included) to follow Monica’s lead. Let’s choose one of these reminders every morning, and then sit quietly for a couple minutes while repeating it silently to ourselves. Let’s see how doing so, on the average day, gradually changes the way we think through life’s twists and turns…
Challenge Yourself to Embrace Life
Too often we yearn for a very small and selective range of life experiences — the fun times, the happy situations, the things that make us feel comfortable. And yet the full range of our reality is often quite different. Life gives us an extensive array of experiences that evoke feelings ranging from sadness to regret to pride to anger to love to loneliness… to happiness to excitement and more. These feelings are all part of being a living, breathing human being.
So we can revolt against the unfairness of life — the unfairness of having to deal with loss, having to live through troubling times, having to feel lonely and uncomfortable and upset. Or we can embrace every experience life gives us, including all our highs and lows — all the blissful moments and painful ones and everything in between. Life is not just happy and comfortable 24/7. It’s well-rounded, it’s full-featured, and it’s real.
Embracing the full range of life’s experiences for the remainder of this year means embracing every moment with our full presence, being open and vulnerable to reality, being gentle with ourselves when times are tough, and practicing sincere gratitude no matter what happens.
It means accepting life as it is, and accepting ourselves as we are.
It means not expecting the best to happen every time, but instead accepting whatever happens every time, and making the very best of it one step at a time.
This isn’t easy of course, but it’s worth working on.
YOU are worth working on, starting first thing every morning. I sincerely hope you leverage the reminders above to do just that. (And if you’d like some extra support as you move forward, we’d love to work directly with you via the Getting Back to Happy Course.)
Angel and I would love to hear from YOU before you go.
What did you think of this post?
Which reminder mentioned above resonated with you the most today?
Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think of this post. Your feedback is important to us. 🙂
Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign-up for our free newsletter to receive new articles like this in your inbox each week.
Jason Leve says
Such a great read all the way through to reinforce the positive possibilities for the year ahead! I sincerely love how your reminder #1 wraps back around perfectly to reminder #12. Those are my two favorite, but the reminders in betweeen certainly round them out.
Thank you for your emails, book, and your live conferences. What you two share continuously helps me grow! Also, I attended your Think Live Better conference in South Florida a few years ago, and I just bought a digital ticket/recording to your most recent Orlando event for my wife and me to get a little needed refresher. Cheers!
Thank you for the awesome post here!
M&A, reminder number 6 above is something I used to struggle with desperately to no end. I actually found your website about three years ago when I was stuck in a bout of continuous stress. Between stressful job responsibilities, and difficult family obligations, my tank was utterly dry. In a nutshell, I was stretching myself far too thin — I was giving all of myself to the projects and people I care about and leaving zero time to nurture my own wellness. After reading your blog posts and emails, I signed up for your back to happiness course and started coaching with you. The rituals we designed na implemented for dealing with my self-neglect and balancing my time and energy so that I’m now nurturing both myself AND others, has been a an absolute life-saver.
Although it’s been awhile since I checked in here and left a public comment, I do often read your new posts and emails when they arrive in my inbox. This one—especially number 6—was such a great reminder for me as I embark on the next step at the moment that I had to leave you another quick “Thank you!” And I’m looking forward to a better year this year.
#3 happiness does not always start with a relationship….. this is my favorite because I have been through a very difficult situation the last 15 months…I found out/accepted my husband was using substances and mixed with illness had become a totally different person. Now I am in the middle of going through a divorce, but still trying to help him. However, I am finally slowly learning I need to help myself first and dig deep down into my emotions and issues.
I resonate deeply with the positive morning reminders you’ve shared here and I will start using them tomorrow when I first wake up. But I also want you to know how much I deeply connected with the way you ended this article…the challenge to accept every life situation and experience. Gosh, I really need to hear this right now because the past couple years have left me in some tough situations. Too often I find myself avoiding situations, experiences, relationships, and realities in my life that aren’t ideal nowadays. I resist the truth far more often then I even realize, and quite honestly I think many folks I know do the same exact thing. We avoid reality rather than opening ourselves to the possibility of making the very best of it.
Anyhow, I’ve been a long-time reader of your work, and my husband and I sit down together every week and use your articles, emails and excerpts from your 1,000 Things book to reflect on our lives. This article has helped us do just that today as we press forward through the rest of 2023. Thank you, yet again. 🙂
Hareem Gillani says
Reminder no. 8 really opened my eyes. I’m studying for my GCEs and honestly, I’ve been stressed this past month because I couldn’t get over my Physics and Chemistry concepts. I want to be at Cambridge University after my A-Levels but I seriously believed that maybe I wouldn’t be able to. But these reminders did their work – of reminding me – that I need to be able to do what I don’t like right now and embrace it so I can be at the place I dream of.
Thank you so much! You can’t imagine how much you have helped today.
I could not love you guys more. I look at the obstacles other people are facing and feel mine seem so minimal but they are huge for me. I have never wrote a comment anywhere for life coaches but have felt inner feelings getting so bad. I am 49 and repeat negative insecure feelings and responses in mostly relationships and am my own worst enemy. I feel I will never change. I feel ridiculous talking about it because I feel it makes me look week minded. Your articles have helped me in so many ways I have actually told others to sign up for your emails. They have helped with me and I have my boyfriend read them so we can both improve, however I always fall back into old patterns and have so much remorse. Finally I have looked into depression and I fit the mold. I have told only 1 person but do not want to tell others. I feel I can figure it out. Your articles I look forward to and I write myself little notes as reminders for myself but it just seems so hard sometimes to change. Just wanted to say you two, in my eyes help in more ways than you know. You have helped me try to focus on the here and now and focus on me. Sorry this is so long but I will just sum this up with you two have made a difference in my life in such a way that I can never explain. they have turned my thinking around when it was needed most, even if just for a moment. You have helped me and I want to say thank you!!! I will fight theses battles everyday but your articles, even just for the moment get me thinking better and feeling stronger. Thank you for all your caring, and time, and selflessness living a life of helping others. You are truly angels and I will continue to do what I need to do. Thank god for you and your spot on advice. I have turned off social media to focus more and me and what is in front of me and between nature, getting outdoors, and your articles I have a more positive mindset.
Harold Tinker says
I woke up this morning in great need of what I read. I’m 81 and realize I need to accept the fact I’m getting old. It doesn’t last forever.
After over 30 years pouring concrete and being active every day, doing very little now isn’t easy for me. I guess letting myself accept the fact that life goes on regardless if I accept it all or not.Time waits for no man. Not even me. I know the rest of my life will be what I make it. If I mess it up, I can’t blame it on anyone but myself.
God said it’s not good for man to dwell alone, but I lost a amazing wife 6 years ago so I dwell alone. Easy to feel sorry for myself. But I’m focusing forward. The start to this year was a hard one, but I can see how grew a little stronger inside – I’m still learning. I sincerely believe this.
Thanks for all you effort helping folks, like me, to make adjustments.
First, I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful wife. I am alone as well and not by choice. I am disabled but I keep myself busy. I read, garden, spend time with my kids and grandkids and I also have a couple of very good friends. Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to those who love you. Do things for yourself that make you feel good. For myself, I enjoy doing my nails. Lol It doesn’t really matter what is is. God bless you.
Paul Murphy says
Number 2 all day long. You can in no way shape or form perfect control over how you feel when something unexpected happens to you. But you absolutely can learn how to react more effectively—that reaction is totally a choice. It’s not an easy skill to learn of course but once the realisation sets in that you can indeed choose a response then at that very moment you acquire a hugely powerful ability and your quality of life will begin to improve considerably. Great article!
Moitheri Peter says
Thank you so much for your inspiring email and post today. 1 and 4 talked to me the most.
I must focus, as dwelling too much in my misfortune is taking me nowhere, and I end up neglecting people who love n care for me.
I will be reading this daily to strengthen my mind .
Marc n Angel you are the best
SUNNY MILLS says
I had to scroll so much I almost stop scrolling, but I’m glad I didn’t so I can post this comment to say thank you. I very much needed to hear your words of wisdom this morning!
You two are precious – your words encouraging – and discovered from your own journey of life. You give us all a valuable gift. Thank you.
I wish everyone the absolute best for the coming year and the current one. Starting with your mindset improvements will nonetheless improve one’s wellbeing. Thank you Marc and Angel for allowing this platform to spread ideas and allow feedback all in one.
Marc and Angela !!
Thank you for sharing and letting people know that all tools to change our lives is in us.
This is absolutely briliant.
Have a fabulous day
THIS (part) RIGHT HERE!!!
“Embracing the full range of life’s experiences for the remainder of this year means embracing every moment with our full presence, being open and vulnerable to reality, being gentle with ourselves when times are tough, and practicing sincere gratitude no matter what happens.
It means accepting life as it is, and accepting ourselves as we are.
It means not expecting the best to happen every time, but instead accepting whatever happens every time, and making the very best of it one step at a time.”
It really couldn’t have been better written, better thought out or said. This just *perfectly* encapsulates the (HOW) for anyone wondering how do this thing called life. You said exactly what I’ve been feeling and trying to do for a while now. Acceptance is key… Self-acceptance, acceptance of ALL the circumstances that show up, acceptance of all the moods/attitudes of the people who are present in your life… idk. I don’t think much else needs to be said cause you said it so well! Thanks!
Capara Henry says
That was amazing 🙂 Good reminders!
Hi MarcandAngel thank you for all you share,
For me 4, 6 & 8 resonate most today,
I am so happy to have come across this article this morning.