Thirty-three percent of American adults, approximately 71 million people, are currently on a diet. Add the pre-teens and teenagers who are also dieting and the numbers are even more staggering. Every year we spend over forty billion dollars on diet books, pills and potions with the hope of looking better or becoming healthier. Can you imagine the number of infectiously upbeat people you would encounter in a day if just as many people made similar efforts to go on a mental diet? How about it? Is your mental diet contributing to your success and happiness? If not, then it could be time for a change.
One of the most powerful things you can do to contribute to your success is to pay attention to the things you are feeding your mind on a daily basis. As Tommy Newberry said, “all of life is an exercise in strengthening your mind.” The same way your body becomes fat and out of shape from a steady diet of junk food, your mind has the tendency to become flabby and less supportive of your goals if it is being fed mental junk as well. If negative thoughts and influences are the new carbs, then it is time to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, your intake. Too many carbs, physical or mental, are simply not good for you. Armed with a mental garbage bag, take a look around your mental cupboards and start throwing out the things that are causing your mind to become fat and droopy. What do you have on the shelves? Throw out that box of trashy talk shows along with the pile of tabloid newspapers. How about that can of negative news stories? I know how much you enjoy your digitally re-mastered DVD of painful life experiences, but in the garbage it goes.
Feed Your Mind Continually
Restock your cupboards with goals and dreams – great visions of the exciting life you want to live. Make sure you have an abundant supply of wholesome mental foods and vitamins – inspirational reading materials and audio CD’s, a positive attitude and an optimistic outlook. The successful dieter doesn’t agonize about the overweight figure they see in the mirror; they see themselves weighing ten or twenty pounds less. Feed your mind with words, images, ideas and information consistent with your goals. Read books and watch biographies about other successful people – imagine yourself becoming like them. Continually feed your mind with images of the kind of people you most respect and admire and want to be like.
As the old saying goes “birds of a feather flock together.” Walk into the cafeteria at work or stroll by the water cooler and take note of the general tone of the conversations. People are complaining about one problem or another. Nobody is talking about enjoying a more successful life. Some of those on the more successful diets have regular meetings where people are able to share their success stories and support each other. Team up with people who are as committed as you are to changing their lives. These individuals will share their thoughts, ideas, opinions and information. They will challenge you to raise the bar and provide support as you do so.
I believe the best way to lose weight is to add an exercise program to your new eating habits. To enhance your new mental diet you to should add some daily exercises. Here are some ideas:
• Sit quietly or meditate for at least 15 minutes.
• Read something uplifting.
• Listen to an inspirational CD.
• Practice positive self-talk.
• Repeat positive affirmations.
• Seek out the benefits from every adverse situation.
It is always difficult to get started on a diet and to break the patterns that are so deeply embedded from years of programming. It is equally difficult to sidestep the overwhelming negative thinking in society at large. As you get started on your mental diet, don’t be discouraged and don’t beat yourself up if you slip back into your old habits. Just keep at it and before you know it you will see concrete signs of the new you.
Keep on Pushing!