You've been encouraged to begin the process of amending yourself through concentrating on your choices and behaviors, thus building new positive daily habits. However, there is much more that needs to be done. Your new habits are just the beginning.
These new thought processes will be difficult to sustain unless you force yourself to think and act outside of your emotional, physical and spiritual comfort zones. That is why we will be spending the next four chapters teaching you how to think differently, and how to build a new set of positive, very specific life goals. These goals will pertain to all areas of your life.
Thinking differently, as the positive column of the Thought Process Chart describes, will support all the new goals you will be setting in the subsequent chapters. To set new goals without developing a new and much more positive attitude would be a waste of time. That is why it is crucial for you to begin the process of building positive thoughts and actions now.
It's not enough to change your present daily thoughts and actions; you must also build a plan for the long term. A positive long term plan is essential for supporting your new amended self-images when you return home. Below are three sets of objectives for sustained happiness and mature prosperous living:
Objective #1: Continue living daily according to the positive side of the Thought Process Chart. This should become a habit for the remainder of your life as it will support all the other goals you create.
Objective #2: Build a series of other very specific daily goals and long term goals. These should deal with career, family, spiritual, physical, sexual and emotional areas of your life.
Objective #3: Build positive, mature relationships. Combining Objectives #1 and #2 will create the trust that may be currently missing in your relationships. The idea is to become mature, stable and happy. These positive changes will be noticed by the people around you, and true amends will occur quite naturally. People will see that you really are a different person and over time the people will become less concerned about you continuing your hurtful behavior. The risks of a reconciliation discussion will be perceived to be minimal, giving them a desire to patch things up between them and you. Fixing your past poor behaviors can only occur if objectives 1 and 2 are completed with commitment, integrity, empathy, and positively driven motives...
...Influencing a child's mind with guilt and a belief that happiness can only be achieved through pain is likely to produce an adult who will attach anything positive to something equally emotionally painful e.g. marriages filled with bright moments, but equally shot through with painful arguments; or careers with promising beginnings stifled by self-sabotaging poor performance. How many people in the world believe they should live in emotional pain because that's what they were taught? Why do people accept pain as normal? It is because they believe in it. They believe that is what they deserve. If you struggle with this belief, it is time to put these self-images to rest and demand more from life. Do not be one who believes unhappiness is the norm. Become someone who believes in your power to create happiness in your life and in the lives of others...
...That is the difference between failures and successes: one group quit trying before they found the things in life that do satisfy and bring them joy while the others who do not quit eventually discover it. Do not be discouraged as you make your way through this process. Allow yourself to dream. Simply write down the first ideas that come to your mind, even if they seem ridiculous. Get excited and have fun. This is the beginning of building a happy future...
...Your primary objective is to write courageously about what it is you love, and what you might change to make yourself happier. In the next chapter you will learn how to reorganize these random lists into two classifications: daily goals and long term goals. Your plan for a new life is beginning!