Life is full of ups and downs. When things are good, it is easier to be grateful, positive, and to maintain healthy lifestyle choices. But what about when things get tough? What about when adversity strikes? What about when it feels like your world is falling apart or that your life is doomed?
One key (and I initially wrote “the key,” but there really never is one key to success in any area) is to have a very clear image and idea of what you ultimately want things to look like. Take this image and place it out in front of you, but keep it high up in the air. It is essential that you can look up, in your imagination, and at any time be able to see a vivid image of the outcome you want to see.
If you are trying to lose weight and get fit, create the image of what you want yourself to look like in great detail. See how your clothes fit, how you move, how much energy you have, and happy you are when you look in the mirror. Picture people complimenting you on how great you look, how much more productive you are, and see yourself helping others improve their lives as they come to you for help and guidance. Make this image very clear and detailed, and don’t just see it as a picture, but feel the emotions associated with such success.
It’s important to be able to pull up that image at any moment, seeing it, feeling it, and experiencing it. You must feel as if it has already happened.
Now, you might be rolling your eyes, feeling like you’re at a motivational or positive thinking workshop, thinking this is stupid or a waste of time. But there is a big reason you must have these images and hold them out in front of you, and an even bigger reason when you see them that they are up high.
Because life is like a roller coaster, we all go through ups and downs. The human mind has a tendency to get fixated on what is directly in front of it. So… when you hit those downs and get in those low spots, your focus is on what is wrong with everything. You see your life for what it is at that moment. You get stuck in that negative state, thinking life is terrible, and that this is how life is always going to be. It’s because your head is down, and your attention gets consumed by your surroundings in that low time.
With the image of where you want to end up out in front of you and high in the air, you can ALWAYS look up and see that. It is critical to be able to see that image no matter how low you go. If you can’t see that image, you’ll get sucked into the idea that “this is it,” that that low spot is your life now. You’ll believe that there is not hope and that things will always be that way. But if you can see the image of where you want to go, your mind will tolerate that low, knowing that it’s just a spot on the journey to get where you want to and need to be.
If you’re a student during finals, see yourself being handed that diploma and how that will feel. If you’re struggling at work, see that detailed image of where you are ultimately working up to in the company. Going through a job loss, see yourself in a better, higher paying job. Going through a bad divorce, keep looking up and see yourself free of that stress and in a more loving, fulfilling relationship.
Tough days and events are inevitable. Just don’t get stuck in those low spots. Lift your head, look up, and keep that image of your ideal destination available at all times to keep you going. We get focused on what’s right in front of us, but need to keep looking up, knowing that those low spots are temporary. Take a moment right now and see yourself, vividly, in that ideal spot.