You’re late for work and you rush out of the house, only to realize after the door locks behind you that you’ve forgotten your keys. It starts to rain, unexpectedly. You step in a puddle on the way to the train. Now you will have one wet foot for the entire day. You imagine having to have that important meeting with one soggy sock. Still determined to make it a good day, you discover that today was the day that the train schedule changed, and now you’ve missed your train.
How’s that working for you? Do you feel capable of taking anything on or do you feel like “If one more thing goes wrong I quit!”? Each of those events has drained you a little more, taken away a little more of your good will and energy. It has all conspired to create a very unresourceful state. You don’t have the energy to feel good about anything. You don’t have the strength to be optimistic. If you had to sing “Happy Birthday” now it would sound like a funeral dirge. How do you think the rest of the day will go? Would you feel confident in taking on something important? Of course not.
Life has ways of putting you in a state of mind that is anything but resourceful. You wouldn’t expect to do your best work from this state of mind and you’d be right. Contrast this with a day that you’ve woken up from a great dream, feeling like a million bucks. It’s a sunny day. Everyone you meet is all smiles and actually happy to see you. You feel like you can take on anything! You’re invincible. Now, this is a resourceful state.
The thing is, we are constantly creating one or the other, and we don’t realize it. We have no control of our circumstances but complete control over our state of mind. Is that confusing? Let me clarify: Shit happens, but our experience is determined by how we react to the situation, not by the situation. Depending on our outlook and mental discipline, we can have misery in a mansion or happiness in a one-room shack.
Take a moment to reflect on the last time you were happy, really happy. Close your eyes and picture it until you connect with those emotions. Fill up on it and add pictures of other times when you had real joy, real satisfaction. Think of your last big win and let yourself revel in it. Now when you open your eyes, you are in a resourceful state. You have consciously and deliberately created a different state of mind.
What is the benefit? Well, right now you are smarter, healthier, more optimistic and more capable of taking on the hard parts of your life. You are more creative, more resilient and yes, you’re even funnier! It isn’t positive thinking to create and dwell in these resourceful states, it’s conscious living. You are using your mind to produce the effect that you actually want, and you are deliberately making your life better. Start each day of the following week creating a resourceful state, and if your life doesn’t get better, I give you permission to go back to being miserable. Remember, whatever state you are in, that is the state that you are creating, so create mindfully.