Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wayne Dyer's Insight - Change Yourself, Not the World around You

It's amazing to me how many major life issues I've resolved simply by changing my attitudes - the way I look at the things that have been troubling me.

For example, for the longest time I was bugged by Christmas. The gift thing was a biggie. Buying gifts because people expected you to, gifts that people didn't really need or want. Quantity matters. Gift overload. Gift fatigue. I've disliked this ritual, which is fueled mostly by business and the media, a tradition gone terribly wrong.

Wouldn't it be OK if we just skipped all the presents and just spent time with each other? What if we focused on celebrating the birth of Christ, maybe performed acts of charity and giving in the spirit of Christianity? The materialistic aspect of Christmas has really bothered me. The trees, the decorations, the music - after so many years the sameness of it all became tiresome, and the expectations an unwanted burden.

What about some simple Peace on Earth? No way.

Of course this irritation conflicted with the expectations and desires of family. I became the Party Pooper, the jerk with the bad attitude. I wanted to be with family and I wanted them to be happy, but I began to wonder if there were ways to make other plans, so I wouldn't have to endure all the nonsense.

Ultimately, I solved my problem. I realized that the problem wasn't with Christmas or my family's traditions. It was with me - how I thought about it. I realized all this was important to them. For whatever reason, they needed this ritual to be happy. Why they insisted on doing it this way was beside the point.

So i decided to change my attitude. I couldn't make myself enjoy the gift ritual, but I could be happy that they enjoy it. I decided to focus on these thoughts - all of them true...

1. I am happy when my family is happy.

2. They will not be happy without their Christmas rituals.

3. I can spend time with them and express my happiness that they are happy.

4. As I learned in Army Ranger School, "No matter how bad your situation gets, it could always suck worse." The big-deal gift ritual only lasts a few hours - a trivial annoyance in the context of the good times with family.

So I don't struggle with it anymore. Which is a huge relief.

Wayne Dyer is one of the people who helped me focus on changing myself, rather than expecting the world around me to change. And it was surprisingly easy.

There's a lot of wisdom in this brief video clip...

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .

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