Yes, I know it’s a well-known saying, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”. It is also a very true saying. Wayne W Dyer wrote a book with that very title, well worth a read.
I’m quite a fan of the British house-hunting series, “Location, Location, Location” starring Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer. With Foxtel, I’m never certain which series I’m watching, as Foxtel likes to scramble up the series and/or show them in no particular order. So, one day I could be watching Series 17, the next they’re back to Series 10. Three ways I’ve learnt to guestimate the period of the series, are:
1) Phil Spencer’s receding hairline. He had decidedly more hair on top of his head in the earlier series.
2) the type of mobile phones Kirstie and Phil used, to call estate agents to place offers on properties on behalf of the househunters. Older episodes featured flip-open, clamshell or bulky mobile phones, newer episodes feature a Blackberry (Kirstie) and an iPhone (Phil).
3) the credits at the end of each episode, and also written clues in the property search description. These indicate the year the series was made.
Anyway, I digress. Location, Location, Location (hereafter referred to as L3) is my dose of the soaps. It’s much more exciting than watching some drama series. Some of the househunters featured are so picky I just want to wring their scrawny necks and scream,”Just buy that house, you idiots! It’s perfect!!” Then there’s the body language…some couples end up in tears when they simply can’t agree on what type of property they want, or where they want it to be. And then there are the timewasters, who ummm and ahhh over the properties Phil and Kirstie show them…and then pull out of their purchase at the very last moment. Aaaarrghhh, people!! Make up your minds!
Speaking of minds…2 episodes of L3 in particular stood out for me, as great examples of how changing your thoughts can change your life.
In one episode, a young couple were viewing a house for the 2nd time, with Kirstie. The girl loved the house, but the boy was undecided. Kirstie suggested that he walk around the neighbourhood to get a feel for the area. And so he did. The cameramen followed our hapless young man as he wandered the streets of that suburb, looking totally confused and lost. Meanwhile, back at the house, our heroine was nearly in tears, having fallen in love with the house and already decorating it in her mind.
It was getting late, and the boy still hadn’t returned to the property where his girlfriend and Kirstie were waiting. So Kirstie sent her out to look for him. At this point I was convinced the boy had decided to chicken out of buying anything. But, imagine my surprise when his girlfriend found him in the street, and asked him what his thoughts were…and he did the bravest and most amazing thing I’ve ever seen a man do. HE CHANGED HIS MIND. He said he’d been in two minds about buying any property when he left the house they were viewing, but since She had fallen in love with it, and the neighbourhood wasn’t bad at all, and this was their best chance of getting onto the property ladder, then Yes, they should bite the bullet and buy that house. The lovely, lovely young man CHANGED HIS THOUGHTS AND CHANGED HIS LIFE. I fell in love with him right there and then.
In another episode, an older couple were looking for more space for their growing family. The woman in particular was terribly exacting and impossible to please. The house was too small, the layout was not right, the garden was facing the wrong direction, the property was next to a road, there weren’t enough bedrooms, there were too many bedrooms, etc etc etc. She’d been living for nearly 10 years in a house they’d bought, that she had hated the very day they moved into it. I pitied her poor husband, who simply wanted a room of his own to use as an office, or a shed that could be turned into an office. He was after location, she was after style.
Phil and Kirstie were waiting outside one property, when Phil’s mobile phone rang. The househunting couple had driven past that house the previous evening, and now the wife was in tears and refusing to even step into the house to view it. The front was ugly and lacked character, apparently.
Phil managed to persuade the couple to give the house a chance. He even got an artist’s impression of what the house would look like with casement windows replacing the current flat front windows. Kirstie explained to the couple the renovation potential of the house and its massive garden. Phil suggested the house may not be picture perfect, or a forever home, but it could be the stepping stone the family needed, to perhaps move on in a few years’ time, to the Perfect Home.
And that was when the penny dropped for the wife. One minute she was nearly crying again, the next, when the idea of using the house as a stepping stone to their forever home sunk in, her face changed totally. She sat up, her eyes started to shine, and she began asking questions about the prospects of the hitherto undesirable house they were viewing.
Suddenly, the house became utterly desirable and the couple were determined to get it.
It was amazing to see.
SHE CHANGED HER THOUGHTS, AND CHANGED HER LIFE.
Phil and Kirstie said afterwards that that was the fastest, most successful and spectacular about turn they had seen in all their years of helping househunters.
When we get hung up about an idea, when we convince ourselves that our way is the only way, or that we are right and others are wrong, our Egos work overtime to ensure that we back ourselves up and don’t back down. To back down, withdraw or retract our belief would be to admit that we’re wrong. And who likes being wrong?
That’s why in most cases the Ego wins and the Person loses friends. The Ego hates losing, and will do its best to alienate others if it cannot sway them to its way of thinking. It cannot contemplate even for one second, the idea that it could be wrong, for that would be suicide. So it attacks others until they back off, or otherwise the Ego decides it’s too good for everyone around it, and removes itself from the circle.
If we suppress our Ego, by refusing to let it take over our thoughts and actions, and instead paid attention with an open mind to others’ thoughts and actions, we may learn that changing our minds about something, or doing a 360 degree about turn, isn’t so terrible a burden to bear after all.
When you know in your heart that you were wrong, and you’re big enough to admit it and change, that’s when your Life really begins. If you stick to your guns, knowing full well they’re faulty, just to satisfy your Ego, then really you’ll just be stuck on repeat forever.
What was that other saying? Oh yes. It’s better to admit our mistakes and look stupid for a moment, than to defend ourselves and be stupid for eternity.