Have you ever noticed that some people seem to never be down, never get discouraged, and always seem to be in charge of their life? I wonder why these people have such a positive, uplifting vibe and others don’t. I recognize that we all positive and negative thoughts and moods. I am learning that there is a way to make a more steady flow of positive energy and positive experiences.
The first thing I needed to do was to recognize that I was giving away my power to be happy. Thoughts such as: “I’ll be happy when…” or I can’t be in a good mood because someone around me is not in a good mood.” or I can’t be happy because life isn’t going the way I planned.” These thoughts were holding me back.
“When you take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and behaviors you get your power back.” – Unknown
Once I saw that I was giving my happiness away I then realized that I am responsible for my own happiness. I do not need to depend on others to provide the right words or actions to cheer me up or to help me feel loved and fulfilled. I began to ask myself, “Does this decision come from my core beliefs as a daughter of God, or does this come from what others think of me?”
Don’t let others define you. Define yourself.
As a child of God we are all born with endless potential. The labels that people around you – society, family – and even your own ego – is often what holds you back. To be free is to embrace truth. “I have divine potential.”
Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire. It is self-assertion, a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction and meaning within one’s life. It means breaking free from anything that holds you back and makes you feel mentally and emotionally powerless.
Personal power is living a life of intention, with a sense of purpose and optimism.
Personal power is about managing my boundaries, my critical voice and unhelpful thoughts that all to often sabotage progress. Personal power is overcoming limiting habits that hold me back.
Personal power means having a deep sense of empowerment. It is inner strength and confidence that carries you forward through the toughest times. Personal power is faith… faith in Jesus Christ and in the Plan of Happiness. It is a spiritual power!
I can strengthen my personal power through strengthening my power to focus, mypower to learn, my power to work, my power to obey God’s laws, my power to love, and my power to remember.
The power to focus. The ability to focus my attention away from negative as I navigate through conflicting desires strengthens my personal power. For me, focus goes hand-in-hand with desire.
Desiring to see “the bright side of life is a key factor to increasing personal power. You can tap reserves of personal power by increasing authentic desire. I want to eat healthier, but I find it too tempting to to pass up a dessert or a treat. The desire for pleasure associated with “yummy” snacks completes with the intent to eat healthy. These conflicting desires hold me back. And the critical voice in my head that starts yapping when I cave to that slightly unhealthy food choice with condemnations needs to be silences. Now that is harnessing personal power.
The power to learn. The power to learn is essential for all progress – from moving forward in a career path or spiritual growth. I do believe that I need to be careful with the power to learn.
“O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” 2 Nephi 9:28-29
God expects me to learn. God expects me to apply what I learn wisely. God expects this of all of His children. Without learning and without wise application of learning there would be chaos. President Russell M. Nelson taught in a conference address in October of 1984, “Otherwise, we have politics without principle, industry without morality, knowledge without wisdom, science without humanity!”
The power to work. Working increases our capacities to do. President Heber J. Grant said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of thee thing itself changes, but that our power to do is increased.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1901). Working through opposition increases person power. Lehi taught, “It must needs be that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Nephi 2:11). Opposition, struggle, forces us to improve! Maybe those hard things in life need our gratitude not our cursing. Without them wee could not increase our personal power.
The power to obey God’s law. I am learning more and more (admittedly, it’s a slow process) that obedience to the commandment of God increases personal power. The freedom to act and to master control over my own actions begin at God’s commandments. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches, “When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21). I want health… I must learn the law governing health and obey it.
The power of love. As a mom, I get this power on a certain level. I love my kids to the moon and back. I believe in them. I work for them and with them. However, engaging the power of love for my self is an on going adventure. I struggle to understand the power of love sometimes. I see the abuse of this power all around me in this world. Sometimes it is overwhelming. The abuse of the power of love cuts off spiritual power, cuts off the personal power. Instead of feasting on the fruits of love with those we love, the abuse of this power leads to the refuse from what might have been. I wrote a blog about love. You can read it here. And here.
The power to forgive and to let go. Forgiveness transforms anger into peace; hurt unto healing. Forgiveness helps in overcoming depression, anxiety, and rage, as well as personal and relational conflicts. It is not about letting someone off the hook for some wrong doing or forgetting about the past. It doesn’t mean you stick around for more. It does mean letting go and letting a high power handle the situation. It means giving up the suffering. Forgiveness is good for the soul. Forgiveness helps to lower blood pressure, reduce fatigue and improve sleep. I wrote a blog about forgiveness. You can read it here.
The source of personal power is the Lord. Unlike the lighting instruments I work within the theater that consume power to give light, spiritual power replenishes personal power as it gives light.
Personal power, spiritual power, is increased through prayer. This ability to access more power through prayer is available anytime we ask for it! “If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things – that bringeth joy, that bringeth life eternal.” (D&C 42:61). Personal power increases with personal worthiness and scripture study and prayer. If we turn to God, He will direct us for good. (See Alma 37:37).
I have the power. (cue song.) I have no control over what others believe. I am not responsible for their happiness. They are not responsible for my happiness. Take responsibility! Each day I wake up and set my intention that no matter what other people are feeling I will have a good day. I set my intention that no matter what others say, do, or feel, I have the opportunity and the ability to be work with them, love them, agree or disagree with them, and maintain my own happiness.
I can change my mind set. Dude. Nothing in life is perfect. This is a growing ground after all. Happiness really does come and go. But I can experience joy in challenging moments when I set my mind to it. Yup, even in the middle of turmoil and despair. Look to the rainbow (cue next song). Look to the beautiful sunset. Look to the beautiful face of a smiling infant. Every breath I take is a gift… and writing it down in gratitude has helped me count those gifts and change my mind set.