Do you remember this ridiculously inspiring speech by Ashton Kutcher, some years back? Listen to this. It has everything to do with today’s blogpost:

“Everything around us that we call life, was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can build your own life. So build a life, don’t live one. Build one.”

Ashton Kutcher, Teen Choice Award speech

Do you believe it? I believe it! And I find myself looking for people who believe that and live that as well.

We watched the new movie about Mr Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Mr Rogers. He is a man who believes that. He saw what the world was offering him and those around him and, particularly, the children in the world around him. And he didn’t want to live that life. He wanted another option. So he took television, which was abhorrent to him, tearing humanity down and discouraging children, and he turned it into what he believed would be an inspiration and even a blessing – a safe place to feel feelings and to talk about hard things. He built a life – for him and for others.

Since quarantine, we have been using movies to teach the children. We will pause the movie, and we will ask the children what thoughts a character is having, and how those thoughts are affecting their feelings, their actions, and their results. It has been a lot of fun. And there were so many teaching and discussion moments in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

After the movie was done, and the children were in bed, I spent some time on the couch, in the dark, thinking about what I got out of the movie, myself. I had a lot of thoughts. I had a lot of feelings. And I made some new resolves, myself.

I want to build a life.

Brooke says, in this episode, that we do this by using the future to build the future, rather than the past. And most of us try to use the past.

“Imagine all of us in a cave together. Today we have houses, and we have roads, and we have cars. But at the time, when we were all in a cave together sitting around a fire, those things were impossible. Those things didn’t exist yet.

So how did those things come into existence? We couldn’t have referenced our past to create those things, we couldn’t have looked to what have we done before, (otherwise we’d still be living in caves).

When you think about it, those ideas, those inventions, the way that we evolved – that all came from our minds. Human ingenuity. It came from our imagination. We imagined something better and different than we had, and then we went about creating it with no reference to our past to be able to do it.

Here is a personal example. I have always wanted toned arms. And when I start to think about what I can do to tone these babies, my first thought is, “I don’t know. I have never done it before.” My second thought is, “In fact, I have failed every time I’ve tried.” And, finally, my third thought is, “I’d better not try. I don’t want to feel discouraged when I don’t reach my goal again.”

If I use my past to help me build my future arms, in this case, my arms will certainly only ever be weak, and maybe even flabby.

How can I use my future? How do you do that?

“I  want you to imagine the result you want to create, that you don’t know how to create yet – that you’ve never created yet. Don’t let those things be a reason not to create it. If you can imagine it in your mind, if you can believe in it, if you can stick with it, then you can create it.”

Okay, back to affirmations, right?

  1. WHAT DO I BELIEVE? My arms will never be toned. I just don’t think I can figure out how to do that.
  2. WHAT DO I WANT TO BELIEVE? I have the ability and the tools to tone my arms. In fact, it would be a gift to my future self to do that for myself.
  3. PRACTICE BELIEVING. How do you believe something that you don’t yet believe? “You commit to believing it. When you find the thought that you need to have to get the result that you need to create, you may not believe that thought yet. But you can commit to believing it, you can strive to believe it, you can start taking action from it, you can start visualizing it, you can live as if it is something you believe.”
  4. And, Brooke adds today, STICK WITH IT. That is the action line in the model, right? Our thoughts, our beliefs, lead to our feelings, which lead to our actions. And finally, those actions always lead to our results. Always. And even if I don’t create the same arms that I am now picturing in my mind – maybe that’s not my body type – my arms will be better and stronger and more toned for believing in my future and using my future, rather than using my thoughts and my beliefs formed from my past.

“If you do nothing because no one’s telling you exactly how to do it, if you do nothing because you’ve never done it before so you choose not to believe in it, you will simply create more of what you already have. You will keep referencing your past for the raw materials to create your life and you will therefore simply just recreate what you already have.”

Weak arms.

I don’t want to look at my life in ten years time, just to see that nothing has changed – that I have exactly what I had ten years ago. I am talking about my arms. I am talking about my relationships with others. I am talking about my ability to keep promises to myself. I am talking about publishing. I am talking about out-of-this-world experiences with my children and husband.

The impossible is impossible only because it’s never been done before.

“The iPhone was impossible until it was created…

You figure out. ‘I’m going to try this.’ And where do you look for what to do? Your brain. Your brain will say, ‘Try this.’ And maybe it won’t work. But you try it, and then you figure out why it didn’t work. That’s how you learn. And then you try something different. Why didn’t that work? Oh. That’s how you learn. Why didn’t this? Try something new. Why didn’t that work? Why didn’t this work? And eventually, as you’re learning by doing, you end up creating.”

That is how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (Saints). That is how Edison invented the lightbulb. That is how anything was invented, right? That is how any new business succeeds. That is how even any marriage succeeds. I’d never been married before I got married. I’d never had a daughter or a son before I had my daughter and my son. I tried. Then I figured out why it didn’t work. Then I tried something different.

This is a lot today. But it isn’t new. But it is something that we continue to practice, in new ways with new thoughts and new actions and new results.

After the movie about Mr Rogers was done, and the children were in bed, I spent some time on the couch, in the dark, thinking new thoughts and feeling new feelings and making new resolves. And I added a few additional “I am”s, that I want to integrate into my daily positive affirmations. And I will practice believing those and living from a place where I already believe those.

I am going to go at it right now, in fact. The kids are outside playing. It’s a beautiful day. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, in fact. Ha ha!

Previous DAY #154 HOW TO BELIEVE NEW THINGS (again)

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