“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.” –Albert Einstein
I absolutely love that quote by Albert Einstein, because the present is the only place where your life can happen—not the past, not the future.
The present is also the only place where happiness and peace can be experienced. Sadly though, the past and future are where many people choose to live their lives. And that failure to understand that now is the only moment in which life is actually taking place is a major cause for unhappiness.
Related: Stop Waiting to Be Happy
Equally important to understand is that whatever happens in the now, there is always a choice in how to respond. How you respond will be the ultimate deciding factor as to the quality of peace and happiness you will have in life.
Fortunately I’ve become aware of the culprit that keeps me from living in and enjoying the current moment. I call it “the big mouth inside my head.” And guess what? We all have one. You can call it whatever you like. Many people call it the ego. Some call it the enemy. Others even call it the devil, which might be appropriate, albeit a little melodramatic, because if you listen to it, there will be hell to pay. I call it the big mouth for one obvious reason: It never shuts up!
Symptoms of a big mouth in your head can include worrisome phrases like… If only, I should have, I shouldn’t have, I can’t. Things like… Nobody respects me, I never get a break, I swear I must be cursed.
Guess what? The big mouth is at it again—yapping away.
Other, more intense symptoms include a fear of present and future and a belief that you are not good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to have what you want in life. These beliefs cause you to feel cheated or victimized and force you to lash out and blame, accuse and complain. Catching these negative forces as soon after they are triggered is ideal, because the longer they linger, the more damage they cause.
The way to free yourself from the big mouth inside your head is to be aware of it. You heard me right. Just be aware. Or, as I sometimes like to say, “Awareness is the key that will set you free.” Can I hear a “HALLELUJAH!”? (Sorry. I get a little carried away.)
Breaking old beliefs and habits are dependent upon noticing them as the barriers to happiness that they are. By being aware that you, yourself, are creating these barriers, you will open your mind to other possibilities on how to respond.
In other words, the moment you say, I’m not feeling right, or There is definitely negative stuff going on inside of me that’s controlling my life right now, you instantly shift into a state of awareness and clarity that allows you to expose this great adversary for what it really is: a distorted compilation of old destructive beliefs, mindsets and thought patterns that promote self-doubt and broadcast false truths about yourself.
The real freedom comes when you understand you are not the big mouth (what a relief!) or the loser the big mouth is telling you that you are, but just a bystander who can step back, be aware of its presence and not take action based on erroneous truths.
Awareness provides the window of opportunity to challenge the big mouth and liberate yourself from its toxicity. Within this window of opportunity, you can now choose healthier, more productive ways of viewing situations that would otherwise impede your happiness and success.
Didn’t think you were that powerful, did you?
Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches and leave with the same attitude. He’s a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon on fewer than 250 speakers worldwide since 1977. You can find out more at www.steverizzo.com.