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''LETTING BRIAN SPEAK''
Dear Walt, You don't know me, but I've been a faithful reader of your Friday Inspirations for about three years now; and they've inspired me.
Here's a little info about me. I've suffered depression for most of the past 19 years; and a year and a half ago I made a serious suicide attempt, actually I was trying to decapitate myself. Came real damn close too.
But as you know, life is strange; and as a result of that attempt, I've found a true home at the oldest mental health therapeutic community in the nation. I've been here 10 months now, and it's been a blessing.
Through it all, the good and mostly bad, the Friday Inspirations and the two books I've bought from you, Lessons in Success and Turn your Passion into Profit, kept alive a thread of hope for the possibility of making my passion dream come true.
Now back to my depression. I've long known that my depression was mostly habitual and not medical; although I believe they affect each other. Yet I could not, or did not, change my habits. That is, not until recently.
Several months ago, the nurse here led a relaxation session, and at the end of it she suggested that each night we write down "3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today." At the time I didn't give it a real effort. Then several weeks later my sister-in-law said to my brother and I, "Your problem is you have a negative outlook on everything." While I had known that for a years, hearing it at that time from someone else really hit home with me. It reminded me of the parts in Chapter 2 in Turn your Passion into Profit concerning thinking differently and thoughts creating reality and the order of things being Be, Do, Have. In my gut, and in my heart, I knew my sister-in-law was right, and that I had to change how I thought.
I went back to what my nurse had suggested, and every night I wrote down "3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today." It snowballed. I started to see myself forming new, and positive, habits. I had heard from a previous counselor of mine, and also read somewhere, that it takes 21 days to form a habit, or break an old one. So I defined a new habit as one that occured 21 times in a row.
So far I've formed 9 new daily habits that I did not have before. They are:
1. Taking a Multi-Vitamin everyday,
2. Changing clothes everyday,
3. Shaving everyday,
4. Eating a fruit everyday,
5. Becoming a vegetarian!
6. Brushing my teeth every night before going to bed,
7. Flossing my teeth every night before going to bed,
8. Not taking my prescribed-as-needed sleep medication, and sleeping just fine,
and the most important of all,
9. Writing down 3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today!!!
I'm now on Day 88 of writing down "3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today" and I've continued to maintain all these habits. I am working on creating more new personal habits concerning eating healthier, exercising regularly, and turning my living environment, a small room, into a more orderly, warmer, and inviting place to live.
While all these habits concern just me, the truth is that each day the majority of the things on the "3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today" list are ways I've helped or interacted with others. That's because, as is your practice, when I say 3, I always make sure it's 4; and I actually write down everything POSITIVE I can think of that day, sometimes as many as 15 things.
I'm a long way from Turning my Passion into Profit, but I'm finally headed in the right direction. Turning my Passion into Profit would be great. Turning my Passion into Reality without making a profit would be great still. But just getting through the first two chapters of Turn your Passion into Profit and taking them to heart is priceless. This is so even if this means my current Passion doesn't become Reality. Being turned around 180 degrees in thought and headed in the right direction and trusting that path is the beginning of a new wonderful journey that is beyond having a price tag put upon it.
What you do for free with your Friday Inspirations and for a very small price with your books, given their invaluable guidance, is a noble and honorable gift. You improve many lives, and in ways you don't know.
Thank you Walt!
While this email is too lenghty to share in its entirety, I was hoping, especially for people experiencing depression and other mental illnesses, that you might mention the "3 things I can feel POSITIVE about Doing Today" list and the 21 days to form a new habit concept in a future Friday Inspiration.
I have also written a poem:
When the future looks bleak
And you're feeling weak
And it takes all your might
Just to put up a fight
And negativity abounds
And the view holds no promise
Just a jungle amidst a forest
And all you want to do is shout
"What's it all about?!"
Then it's time to change the direction you view
And look at what you do with a different hue
For each night a choice is yours
Look at tomorrow with dread
Or today and all the good you did
The decision is key
For you see
To having a positive outlook
Is having a positive look back
-Brian, December 2001
Thank you Walt!
P. S.: Friday Inspiration #220, "Here to Hide?" was a particularly inspiring Inspiration for me as I began turning my life around. Thank you!
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Walt's Life Rhyme #230
(LETTING BRIAN SPEAK)
© Walt F.J. Goodridge
Originally published: 02-22-2002
''I share what I know,
so that others may grow!''
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