One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul:
“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about.”
I like this quote because it makes you the master of your destiny, the author of your own story.
It often feels like we’re at the mercy of a million external forces. The boss has unreasonable expectations. Children and spouses have needs. Mom and dad think we should do this. The neighbor is upset about that.
Have you ever wondered, “How did I get here?” or “This isn’t the way it was supposed to be.”
Life took over and suddenly we’re living up to everyone’s expectations but our own.
But you can change your destiny. It takes some effort, but it’s possible if you take the right steps.
We made our today.
If we’re the masters of our tomorrow, then we were the masters of the yesterday that produced our today.
Today is the future yesterday. Today didn’t happen by accident. Whether you realize it or not, you consciously or unconsciously led yourself to this moment.
Our decisions, thoughts, and actions yesterday resulted in what we see, live, and feel today.
Do you like the results around you?
At this point, most people deflect to their perceived circumstances. Rather than take responsibility, it’s often easier to blame someone or something else for today’s results.
“He did this to me” or “She made me do that.” Blame your family’s social or financial status. Blame your place of birth, the economy, or politicians.
Blame any and everything you can except yourself. In the litany of blame, you’re innocent.
While it can make you feel better to approach things this way, it won’t help you change your destiny.
Gary Vaynerchuk points out that if anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then there’s no reason we can’t achieve success.
If anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” (Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean).
It’s a harsh truth: if we’re not happy with our reality, we’re responsible for it.
It’s also a refreshing truth because as much as we made our today, we can change our tomorrow. Instead of placing blame, we should change what we believe. Earl Nightingale said, “What we think about we become.”
What are you thinking? The answer is all around you, and it can change your destiny.
For the Bible says so.
If we don’t like what we see around us, we must change what’s inside us. We must change our beliefs about who we are, what we’re worth, and what we can be. We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.
We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.
Mark 11:23 says, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”
Changing beliefs is easier said than done, but it is doable.
Many of our beliefs are etched into our subconscious. Because they’re buried so deep inside us, we often don’t know why we believe them. We dismiss them as “it’s just who I am” or “it’s just what I believe,” as if they’re inherent truths. If our inherent truths aren’t serving us, we would do well to change them.
We can change our subconscious programming, otherwise known as our neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). This is the script we tell ourselves. It’s the voice we hear inside our head.
Did you ever wonder why you say the things to yourself that you do? That’s your NLP.
Changing your NLP is the key that will help you change your destiny.
Changing your texts.
There are two exercises that can help change your NLP. I notice as soon I stop doing them. The first action is repeating affirmations. The second action is keeping a gratitude journal.
It sounds a little hokey, but these two actions really can help you change your destiny.
Draft a script you can memorize. It should describe the best version of you and what you want to achieve.
Be specific and include deadlines. For five minutes each day, in the morning or before bed, close your eyes and recite your affirmations out loud.
Picture in your mind’s eye what you say. Feel the emotions of achieving your goals and being who you know you can be. Imagine what it will feel like, smell like, and sound like. Involved all your senses.
This will feel like a strange at first, but it’s a repetitive exercise that, over time, will change your NLP. When you change your NLP, you change your beliefs, change your behavior, and change your results. You change your destiny.
Next, while you practice affirmations, keep a gratitude journal, even on days when it feels like you have nothing for which to be grateful. Focus on the positive. As you focus more on expanding the positive, you’ll see more positive results.
It’s easy for our thoughts to drift into negative territory because we’re surrounded by negative stimuli. Plus, misery does love company.
If your coworkers aren’t getting you down about work, your boss is on you about your job. If you’re not depressed about the weather, the news does it’s best to make you blue.
A daily exercise that fights negativity will change your outlook and, therefore, your beliefs, your behavior, and your results.
The truth is that we’re all responsible for our results. The sooner you acknowledge that and manage your beliefs, the sooner you can change your destiny.