All around the world people have been making resolutions for the New Year. You may even have been one of them. If we reckon the global population is 7 billion, how many different resolutions do you guess have been made?
Think for a moment about the variety – resolutions to lose weight and to gain money; to start relationships and to end relationships; to move forward in a career or to move back to a simpler life; to take on a fresh challenge or to find a nourishing retreat, and so on.
But behind every goal and resolution, there is the same ultimate aim.
The reason behind all of them is to get more good feelings (which is equivalent to less bad feelings). Look at your own life – if you pick one of your goals and trace the reason why you chose it in the first place, isn’t it because ultimately you want to feel good?
This being so, where do feelings actually come from?
In fact, they can only come from one source – they are a direct result of what we are thinking at the time. You can prove this anytime you like – if you think sad thoughts you will feel sad; if you think happy thoughts you will feel happy.
Because feelings come from what we are thinking, then resolutions and goals are only helpful when the thoughts we have about them are positive. Only then will we get the good feelings we want.
For example, if a goal gives you a sense of purpose, energy and enthusiasm, it is because you are having purposeful, energizing and enthusiastic thoughts.
Obviously, being human, we have fluctuations in our feelings because there is a constant flow of thought in our minds. But if you frequently feel good about a particular goal, it’s a pretty clear indicator that the goal is worthwhile. The opposite is also true; a goal that frequently feels draining or like a chore may well have outlived its usefulness.
But the best bit of being aware that our feelings come from our thinking is that we do not need goals or resolutions to feel good. We will have good feelings whenever our thinking is positive. However, this is not an invitation to set a goal to ‘think positive’ because this is counter-productive. You see, we already have a natural bias towards good feelings whenever we have less thinking going on.
So over the next few weeks, join me in an experiment. Simply notice the times when you feel good for no obvious reason. The ‘no obvious reason’ will be because your mind is quieter and your natural gift for feeling good will be revealed.