“Escape negative thinking and take control of your life” promises this flimsey red book. High promises indeed. But I had been informed, by a friend who was well on her path to self-fulfillment and happiness, that this book had indeed changed her life and transformed her outlook on her situation a positive one.
To be honest with you, self-help books have never been my bag. I was sceptical that any book could change the way I thought and acted. But finally, when I was going through a personally challenging time, I thought, why not?
As soon as I had read 10 pages of Dr Dyer’s book I felt better. My murky grey reality actually seemed full of sunshine. Dyer’s frst revelation was theat your feelings are controlled by your thoughts. Hence you could wake up in the morning and decide to be happy.
Just decide not to be unhappy.
No kidding. It really is that simple.
Of course it means policing your thoughts. But, I have now been attempting this for a couple of weeks and it does work. You can slip yes, but it gets habitual after a while. Every time you catch yourself thinking negatively about a situation or the world you can banish such thoughts and replace them with positive ones. “I’m never going to get a better job…no wait I am, I can do anything I set my mind to and I’m gonna get a kick-arse mega job”.
In fact the measure of somone’s intelligence, Dyer argues, is not by their school grades or life achivements, but their ability to take control of their own thoughts and feelings.
A central theme of Dyer’s book is self-determination. You cannot place any blame, none at all, on others. This means accepting that noone can upset you. You merely upset yourself by thinking unhelpful thoughts about a situation. Noone breaks your heart but you. Noone makes you angry but you. It is all your own doing. This is a radical change. And certainly a hard one accept and realise in times when others are behaving in ways in which you wish they wouldn’t. But it’s also liberating. Why be scared of getting into a relationship when you can choose not to hurt yourself? Why not risk something when the only person who can make you feel like a failure is yourself?
Happiness is not something that will come when you have got a new job, found the perfect partner, become popular or famous. Happiness is found when you are in control of your emotions through being in control of your thoughts.
Summing up Dyer’s words here are some of the ways he suggests doing this: