“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind”
~ James Allen
The Garden of the Mind.
I have discovered in life that our minds are fertile gardens and the flowers we grow are the ones we plant. Some of our gardens have roses and some have weeds—it all comes down to how much of our attention we focus on roses versus weeds.
Our thoughts are the seeds we plant in our minds and this is where we have control of what we create in our lives. If you look at your life right now you will get a snapshot of just how great a gardener you have or haven’t been.
A very close friend of mine, Brett, said something really profound to me the other day. He said, “There is no place on earth I would rather be right now than here.” So I thought he was talking about being with me, and yes he was.
More importantly, he was talking about his life.
He has learned to embrace each and every moment and loves his life. The seeds he plants are what he wants and his choices reflect this. He is happy, and at the risk of sounding cliché, his life is truly a garden of roses.
When I look at people who have amazing lives I get curious.
What is it that they do that has them create these amazing experiences? This is what stood out for me: these people have realized that where they focus their attention, they focus their lives.
If they want to create an amazing life, their focus and attention is on amazing experiences and not on the things that bring them down—they grow roses.
This does not discount the fact that they have challenges in life. I call these the circumstances of their life. They have learned to accept these challenges as lessons and have put the necessary steps in place to deal with them. They are very clear that they do not want to focus on these issues as this just creates more of them.
Imagine having weeds in your garden and then watering them. This is what we as people do when they focus all their attention on the circumstances of their lives.
People who have amazing lives have learned to appreciate each moment for what it is.
They do not waste their moments wishing they were somewhere else or wanting something else. They have cultivated an inner peace of acceptance for who they are and where they find themselves at any given moment.
Their focus is on what they want and not on what they do not want. They live their lives for themselves and find a balance between being selfish and selfless. They have carefully planted the right seeds and are reaping the rewards of it.
I remember coaching an amazing guy who had so much going for him in his life. He had his own business, a beautiful family, he was a great sportsman and yet had circumstances that had started weighing him down. He had created this life because he had learned to focus on what he wanted.
He now found himself in a rut. The circumstances of his life started becoming very prevalent in his day-to-day experiences and the more he focused on them, the more they showed up and the more the quality of his life diminished.
He eventually realized that he was focusing his attention on the wrong things. We identified what the issues were and put plans in place to deal with them. He could now comfortably focus his attention on the roses he loved and not the weeds he struggled to get under control.
The important life lesson here is that our minds are a garden and we create the future we want through the focus and attention we place with our thoughts on the various areas of our lives.
We are the only ones who get to choose what we think so we are constantly creating our futures, with every thought in every moment.
We are the gardeners of our lives and we need to learn to plant and grow roses and not blame the world and the circumstances for our weeds. We need to take responsibility for our lives.
Here are a few simple things you can do to ‘grow roses’ in your life:
1. Create a Vision board of the life you want using photos, pictures and words.
2. Use positive affirmations as the fertilizer for creating great experiences.
3. Notice how you feel by bringing awareness to the moment—if it’s Fear vs. Love then change your thoughts. Do this consistently and being aware of the moment becomes second nature to you.
4. Day dream and create with your heart; the mind has limitations and the heart is free.
5. Journal about greatness and what an amazing life you have; celebrate your life.
If you want a great life then start being a great gardener.
Take responsibility for your life and change the way you think, because every thought is creating something. I always say to people who don’t change what they don’t like in their lives,
“When the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change, then you will make the change. I will be waiting for your call.”
Stephen Light: I am a person who lives to serve. I genuinely love people and can see them for the potential they are and not the behaviors they display. I am a coach and leadership facilitator. I work in the space of self-reliance teaching people to understand who they are and why they behave the way they do. Once they have awareness of this and through growing their self love and self belief, they have the confidence to create the life they have always dreamed about. I help people become responsible and accountable for their lives and the lives of those they impact on. I post daily inspiration on my Facebook page.
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- Assistant Ed: Terri Tremblett
- Ed: Brianna Bemel