One of the main reasons why, for instance, weight loss efforts fail to such a high degree is that dieters routinely start out with unrealistic expectations. They look at what's being presented to them by commercial weight loss programs or popular television shows and anticipate similarly spectacular outcomes in their own lives.
I declared that I would live only in the now for 30 days. This meant I could not think about the past or the future -- I would only focus on what was happening in the moment. Sounds easy, but what an awakening experience. If I started to think about how something went wrong in the past or worry about something in the future, I would stop myself and release the thought and get back to the present.
We can't be Sally Field on Oscar night all the time. We will all be served with harsh criticisms, strange accusations, and cruel comments every once in a while, and it's how we deal with it that really demonstrates the true nature of our character. If you know who you are and strive to be the best person that you can be, you have nothing to worry about.
Unlike animals, human beings have successfully developed the capacity to think about what is not immediately going on around them and to contemplate events that happened in the past or might possibly happen in the future. While this capacity called imagination can be a blessing, it can be a curse at the same time.
Focus on what you are looking forward to every day (not what you are dreading, not that your car might not start at the end of the day, not that you are dreading the slow ride home, etc.). Throughout the day (during breaks is a great time), ask yourself 'What went well so far today?' Then, pause and enjoy the experience.
For anyone who's reached a goal or manifested a dream, you know that it starts with figuring out what that dream or goal is. The rest is about applying your energy in the direction of your desire to make it happen. Running a 10k starts with a sweaty, breathless jog around the block; starting a business with a brainstorming session with your smartest friends and advisors; writing a book with opening the file and naming it.
I have experienced firsthand the internal withering that comes from slinking away from a creative existence. I have also felt the expansiveness, the joy and delight that comes from choosing imagination and possibility. I don't think it's too dramatic or petulant to say that life without imagination sucks.
How many times has that happened over the past few days? Who can count? Even strangers in the park wish me a Happy New Year. We say it without thinking, a greeting by rote, bred somewhere in our response genes. But truly, 365 days of happiness? Think about it. Is that what we truly would wish for ourselves or for others?