Battling depression until a suicide attempt years before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) was a blessing in disguised. Purposefully facing death provoked my personal development journey to ignite a spark inside; this decision took me far beyond the initial purpose of overcoming pure desolation.
Psychologically broken and determined to fix myself, the only thing left at the time was to start reading prolifically while attending trainings, seminars, workshops, masterminds, classes, webinars, and joining eight toastmasters clubs.
That spark eventually grew into a blazing flame seven years later, luckily three years before MS was handed to me on a silver platter.
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” ~ John Wooden
I “woke up” as to how I thought myself out of depression during a training to receive my master practitioner certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) through Dr. Matt James and The Empowerment Partnership.
The cool thing is that this information has been known for thousands of years and is readily available in books and online — It’s time to start practicing what has worked for millions of people and what will work for you too as long as you put in real time and real effort.
1. Control Your Thinking
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” ~ Napoleon Hill
Depending on what research article you read, on average, we have 20,000–80,000 thoughts naturally flowing through our minds each day. How much of yours are coming from a place of negativity and fear?
There are many things in this world we can’t control, but the one thing we do have 100% control over are our thoughts. The thoughts we think eventually lead us toward certain actions; and actions are what creates real-world outcomes.
In a previous article, 10 Easy Ways to Think Positively, I shared with you some of the things I practiced in order to think myself out of depression. My two favorite are utilizing the word “cancel” and touching my gratuity stone.
2. Practice Constant Gratitude
“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining — it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” ~ Zig Ziglar
While attending Jack Canfield’s “One Day to Greatness” seminar in Chicago, he shared that every morning he spends the first few minutes giving thanks for everything he has, all the way down to how the carpet feels on his bare feet.
I personally trained myself to repeat “thank you” over and over while brushing my teeth. Years of doing this and carrying my gratuity stone, I now randomly give thanks for the littlest things without needing a reminder.
Being grateful for what you have will always bring greatness into your life. I’m grateful I tried killing myself! If it wasn’t for that moment, the diagnosis of MS would’ve devastated me towards complete debilitation. Instead, I reprogrammed my thinking years prior for me to perceive MS as an asset to build a life of servant leadership from.
3. Discover & Live Your Purpose
“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose.” ~ Dr. Patrick Hill
This is something that drives me crazy. Your life purpose is something to discover within yourself, it’s not something you just make up.
Once I learned about the concept of “Your Why,” it didn’t matter to me if I made it up or discovered it. From what I learned in Jeff Olson’s book, The Slight Edge, I did what I thought was most correct at that moment in time…and it worked!
Your purpose gives a sense of direction in life. It’s the answer as to why you’re doing something. When we discover the highest intention of our own personal existence, outside of the social construct, the direction we take becomes obvious; the path becomes clearer; you will become happier!
“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
What outcomes and results do you want in your life? That’s vision!
Vision can also be thought of as objective, target, destination, goals, end, finish line, etc. It’s something you’re working towards achieving.
In Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles; Principle #12 is “Act As If.” Within my mind, I’m constantly fantasizing about living my dream life. Digressing to childlike nature of daydreaming and allowing my imagination to run wild, the vision I have of my future keeps me moving forward even when I feel stuck or experience a public setback.
Whether it’s your purpose of why you’re doing something, or your vision of what you’re working towards, these two together will help enable your thoughts to a happier tone.
5. Chase Your Dreams
“You have the power to achieve greatness and create anything and everything you want in life, but you have to take action.” ~ Jack Canfield
There is more power in action than in knowledge. You can know what you want and how to get it, but if you don’t do anything, someone else will get to it first.
Over the years I’ve consumed so much information that I’ll probably never get around to implementing all of it. Just because I know theory doesn’t mean that I have those results. Same goes with this article, it’s not going to do you any good until you actually take action with the learnings you consume.
The education system grades you on your ability to regurgitate information from your short term memory and that’s what they call learning. In NLP, learning is rated by change in behavior, by the actions one takes.
Change your thoughts, change your actions, change your life! Pure joy and happiness awaits you!
Originally published at medium.com