At that moment, I understood the reason behind the trials and tribulations I had endured in my past. I began to understand the divine reason for my life's journey: Its purpose was to make a difference in the world. Just knowing this valuable information closed those mental prison doors behind me forever. And I never asked my why question ever again. Cognitive distortions and negative thinking patterns, then, narrow and reduce your options and opportunities and convince you that you have little or no control over your circumstances. It's easy to assume that your negative thoughts are rational and true. But actually, they are limiting, unhelpful and even destructive. They can overwhelm you and trigger further unhelpful thoughts and reactions. Because the way you think is habitual, you usually don't even recognize the nature of your thoughts and reactions to events. In fact, your thoughts are so powerful because you rarely have conscious awareness or control over them. Your mind simply accepts everything it's told' and you respond accordingly. <a href=''>Many</a> of your patterns of thinking and behaving will have developed over the years as a result of such things as your upbringing, family, friends, environment, education, media influences, religion and culture. <a href=''>As</a> we go about our daily life, our minds are continually thinking; interpreting and assessing our experiences, events and situations. <a href=''>But</a> our brains have a limited ability to process everything that's going on. <a href=''>To</a> make sense of what's going on, we've each developed anexplanatory style'. This means that when something happens, has happened or is going to happen, your brain makes sense of it in a way that fits with your usual way of understanding events. You have a system in your brain called the reticular activating system (RAS)' that controls your consciousness. <a href=''>The</a> RAS filters out everything that doesn't support your most prevalent thoughts and behaviour. <a href=''>So,</a> your mind has a tendency to, first and foremost, notice and pay attention to experiences that match its preexisting thoughts and beliefs. <a href=''>If</a> you're more inclined to think negatively, your brain will automatically interpret events in these negative ways. <br /><br /><a href=''>On</a> the other hand, if you're more inclined to positive thinking, your brain will interpret and make sense of events in positive ways. <a href=''>And,</a> whichever way you're inclined to think, each time you do, you reinforce that particular way of thinking, interpreting and explaining things. <a href=''>If</a> there's anything that interferes with getting tasks accomplished, it has to be squandering of hours by aimlessly watching television. <a href=''>Many</a> habitual procrastinators find that their television set is an enormous barrier to productivity, and for good reason; yet they always seem to have good reasons for keeping their television on. <a href=''>Here</a> are just a few of them: Television covers up my loneliness. <a href=''>My</a> home is lonely if I don't have the television or radio playing. <a href=''>Watching</a> television keeps me distracted from all the things that I don't want to think about. <a href=''>Television</a> immobilizes me. <a href=''>It</a> hogs my attention more than radio ever could because television almost requires that you watch it. <a href=''>Sometimes,</a> after I've been out for an evening, there's a part of me that wonders if I missed anything on television. <a href=''>Television--seriously,</a> my life revolves around it. <a href=''>Television</a> acts as my security blanket. <a href=''>The</a> time I spend watching television could better be spent doing other things. <a href=''>Sometimes</a> during the week, I record more than I can realistically watch, and then new programs air over the weekend that I also want to watch. <a href=''>On</a> weekends, I escape by watching television. <a href=''>I</a> know I was supposed to get around to my chores, but there were so many television programs that I might have missed. <a href=''>Persistent</a> pain can really interfere with your wishes and dreams for your life. <a href=''>Setting</a> goals is an important part of the self-management journey and a useful way to track your progress on the path to living a full life with pain. <a href=''>Goals</a> are the things that you want to have, or do, and that you work towards over time. <a href=''>Setting</a> one or more goals can help guide your efforts and help you to plan and measure your success. <br /><br /><a href=''>Some</a> goals are clearer and easier to reach than others. <a href=''>Here</a> are some things to keep in mind when you are setting a goal: Be specificStart with a clear idea of what you want. <a href=''>For</a> example: it is not so easy to know whether you are happier. <a href=''>It</a> is easier to know if you have visited a family member or not. <a href=''>Break</a> it downIf you have a big, long-term goal in mind, it helps to break it down into smaller "stepping stones." For example: if you want to visit a family member, a first step might be to look at your calendar. <a href=''>Almost</a> ironically, the advent of the DVD hasn't helped us because, instead of using them to watch what we want, and when we want to, we often continue aimlessly channel-surfing. <a href=''>No</a> matter whether we watch DVDs or regular TV, once we turn our televisions on, there's often little chance that we'll turn them off until just before bedtime. <a href=''>By</a> engaging in aimless channel surfing, we are involving ourselves in a behavior that we've explored before: floating. <a href=''>Planning</a> free time is very difficult for procrastinators; in fact, it's one of our toughest challenges. <a href=''>This</a> brings us back to one of our older questions, Why am I ado'-er at work, but not at home? The answer is because we have not planned out our free time at home. In short, watching television aimlessly for hours at a time is like consuming candy bars in place of a proper meal--you'll find yourself temporarily feeling filled and satisfied, but you'll feel sick and empty a few hours later. Television temporarily satisfies you by making you feel as if you've been productive; after all, you really have done something--you watched television for several hours. However, there's no real payoff because nothing in your living environment winds up getting taken care of. Many of our tasks require concentration if we are to accomplish them. Television not only diverts our attention from our more complicated tasks, but it also soothes us by temporarily allaying our fears over our unproductive ways by diverting our attention away from our real needs. In a sense, our television sets are like adult pacifiers. Just as prescription sedatives can calm our nerves but carry the potential drawback of addiction, television can also soothe our nervous systems, but it too can lead us down its own path of addiction. When our televisions are on, it's difficult to shut them off because that might leave us facing our undone tasks. list with one or two tasks to take care of) and then plan out your television viewing.

Do what matters You are more likely to make progress with goals that move you closer to the things that mean the most to you. Be realistic When your body and your life have changed, it can be hard to know how much you can reasonably do; it is easy to take on too much. Try setting your sights lower at first. It feels better to exceed a smaller goal than to not quite reach a bigger one. It was one of the most remarkable aha moment I had ever experienced. It was a defining moment. Having this knowledge helped me transmute negative thoughts to power and strength with the determination of creating life-changing solutions. It has fueled my creative thoughts and taken me to the higher calling of my divine purpose and mission. Your own aha moment doesn't need to be about changing the world, though. It could be about how to tackle one small problem that has been hounding you, or it could be just recognizing what is holding you back from success, big or small. The thing is to recognize the moment as a turning point, perhaps the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. I remember reading an article in Psychology Today in which psychology experts shared their personal aha moments. This one by Susan Newman stood out for me: "For no apparent reason, a close friend called to end our decades-old friendship. I was distraught and asked why. She refused any discussion and stopped taking my calls. After months of feeling terrible and wondering what I had done, it hit me: This wasn't about me; it was her issue. That realization taught me to not assume blame too quickly. In many emotional struggles, the problem revolves around someone else's needs more than mine (or yours)."4 The key to an effective aha moment is learning from it--recognizing it as a moment of insight and power, owning it, and acting on it. As I mentioned, my own desire to understand aha moments has spurred my informal survey of the thousands of people I talk with every year. I have been particularly interested in defining moments--those moments that profoundly affect the course of your journey.

Repeated negative ways of thinking can lead to a concept known as learned helplessness'. <a href=''>This</a> means that, in effect, youlearn' or teach' yourself that you have little or no control over what happens to you, other people, situations and events. <a href=''>Furthermore,</a> havinglearned' to believe in your limitations and lack of control, you resign yourself to believing that more often than not, you are helpless and situations are often hopeless. Even if you become aware of your negative thinking, it can be a real struggle to think otherwise. A constant stream of negative thoughts in your mind has prevented you from doing any creative problem-solving. The good news, though, is that your way of interpreting events does not have to be permanent and your outlook is not fixed. You can learn to think in a more positive, helpful way. You can overcome negative thinking by learning new, positive `explanatory styles'. I was losing my keys about three times a week. I'm not good at looking for things. Actually, I'm pretty good at looking for things; I can do it for a long time. I'm just not good at finding things. If something is not where I expect it to be, or isn't looking like I expect it to look, I can't find it. In the refrigerator, unless the ketchup bottle is the color and shape I expect, and in approximately the place I expect be it to be, I can look right at it and just not see it. I can easily spend fifteen minutes or more looking for my keys. When I can't find them, I usually have to ask my wife to help me. I'll often be in a rush and a panic, and always frustrated. My wife does not have ADD, but neither does she have unlimited patience, and she gets tired of this. She figured out the solution: The strategy is to put my keys on the table by the front door. I always put my keys on the front table.