“To find the happiness we all desire we have to figure out: (1) what to do, (2) how to do it, (3) where to get the strength to get it done.  …Even when we seem to be hung up on what to do or how to do it this hang-up is rarely the real problem.  The problem is we don’t have the strength to do what will make us happy.  It is hard for us to admit to ourselves that we don’t have what it takes so we tend to rationalize, to weep and wail about not knowing what to do or how to do it.  As much as we may complain, we usually know that what we lack is not the know-how, but the strength.  -William Glasser from Positive Action

Love this quote!  It’s so true.  We try to figure out the what and how without taking care of the strength to do the work.

I’ve head-butted that one many times in my life.

Ever had an issue that you knew you weren’t cool with?  Even with pissing and moaning about it, you never actually took any action on it?

Then you’ve been there too.  And like this quote says, somehow you knew what was missing was the strength to change.

I’m ain’t no strength saint but here’s what I did.

I decided to get the fuck out of my own way and take responsibility for myself and my experiences.  Not in a “I’m responsible for every single thing that has ever happened to me” kind of way.  But in a “I can learn to manage what comes into my life” kind of way.  A place where I was in control of my thoughts and how I let my experiences define them.

But how was I going to get the strength to be there and stay there as much as possible?  We’re talking life changing shit here.

I wasn’t sure about that last one so while I wandered around a million self-help books and blogs, I decided I had nothing to loose by just starting something.  So I practiced managing my thoughts.

Every day I would set my intention for what kind of day I wanted to have.  Then I stuck to it.  In the beginning it was generally about seeing negative things differently.

Like when someone cut me off in traffic.  I would be grateful that my wheels and my body were ok, acknowledge that the other guy wasn’t just an asshole but probably had a reason for doing what he did, and sent him positive energy for safe driving.

Guess what?  It freaking worked!

No I didn’t witness the other guy getting his just rewards.  But I did notice that I had no cloud over my head or distraction as I drove.  I felt no tension in my body.  I had no desire to flip anyone the bird.  I felt good.

So I practiced my ass off.  And every day I got better at it.  My intentions became more specific to other conflicts in my life that were leaving me feeling crappy.

“Today I will love her/him anyway”.

“Today I will respect his/her ability to make their own decisions”.

“Today I will let go of my expectations of others”.

I kept working and it kept working and I kept feeling better.

It was like making the best snowball ever.  Every new roll stuck to the last to make that sucker grow like stink.

Then suddenly it hit me.  That growth I was feeling was the elusive strength.  The strength this quote talks about.  The strength that’s missing when you just can’t figure your shit out.  There it was and with every day of practice, it grew even stronger.

It was there all the time.  I just had to change things up enough for me to see and feel it.

If you’re not happy with something and think you need to come up with a big master plan to fix it…you don’t.  Just start something for yourself.  Something that you decide will help you see or manage a challenge differently.

If intentions aren’t your thing, ask yourself what will leave you feeling better.  Affirmations, self-care, setting boundaries for yourself?  Trust your intuition, you know what you need.

Do I mess up sometimes?  Absolutely.  I still curse at other drivers on occasion.  And I can still get caught in someone else’s totally destructive gossip if I’m not on my game.

But I just start again.  Why?  Because I feel better.

And that’s enough of a motivator for me.

It is enough for you?


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Dianna Leeder is