Here's another pertinent question from a friend:
If the main thing is to think happy thoughts, why do we all have so many problems doing it on a regular basis? Is it like exercising? We know that it's good for us, but most of us have problems doing it regularly! Even people who have done what it takes to lose excess weight, they go back to the weight after a while. Why is thinking good thoughts consistently so difficult? If it wasn't, I wouldn't be typing this at this very moment.
First, I've observed over the years that thinking positive thoughts is not difficult for everyone. Some people seem to be natural optimists. They easily see that proverbial glass half-full, they don't focus long on problems or obstacles, and they seem to live with fulfillment and self-actualization easily and naturally.
Dang their rotten hides! (Ha -- just kidding.) (I think.)
Others of us see the great value in thinking happy thoughts but find challenges in practicing it. We've simply adopted some habits that don't serve us well: (1) being "realists" and analyzing the pro's and con's of life; (2) assuming (erroneously) that the more attention we give to life's problems, the more likely we are to solve them; (3) assuming (erroneously) that the more attention we give to potential trouble, the less vulnerable we will be; (4) assuming (erroneously once again) that the more we struggle, the more likely we will be rewarded; (5) assuming (wrongly again) that the more we look for the good in people, the more likely we will be bamboozles and hoodwinked by those who will take advantage of our gullibility.
These ideas, part of our culture, were conveyed to us by well-intentioned people who didn't know better. So if these kinds of notions have taken up residence in our craniums, it's understandable. And now, thanks to the insights of teachers such as Abraham, we can practice a different approach to life and then watch for the improved results that will show up for us.
Changing one's orientation to life is no simple task, and it can indeed seem overwhelming and confusing at times. Part of the sheer brilliance of Abraham is clarifying that this is more about FEELING our way through this than THINKING our way through this. By that, they advocate that we learn to substitute new thoughts based on how they feel, not based on whether they're somehow better for us and different from our old approach.
Abraham also clarifies that this is not about wrestling old, self-sabotaging thoughts to the ground but rather "drowning them out" with the new thoughts that feel better when we think them.
I notice that the people who seem to do best with making these changes are those who are proactive. They deliberately set aside time in the morning or evening or both to list things that they appreciate. They keep books of positive aspects of people and situations. Perhaps they set aside time to meditate -- simply allowing their thoughts, including resistant, unhappy ones, to stop. They live by an unwritten (or written) rule: nothing is more important than that I feel emotionally good, and they practice focusing their attention accordingly.
I'm being proactive this moment with a new clicker device that I'm trying out. It's a metal counter device such as people use when they're taking inventory, and it was suggested to me by friend Lauri in Hawaii. I use it to interject random happy thoughts into my day and "drown out" any vibration of overwhelment and frustration. By keeping a running tally, the clicker is helping me to form new habits. I wear it around my neck so that it's always available and reminding me of the most important thing I could ever do: think happy thoughts.
I hope to make this gadget available at a reasonable price, and I'll keep you posted.
Don't just flick your Bic -- click your clicker! :)