Thursday, December 13

Day 348: To Work Hard Always

 "The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable that binds us irrevocably through thought and act." - Orrison Swett Marden

Over the course of this past year I have thought long and hard on the subject of making and breaking habits. In particularly, breaking the habit of thinking negatively and instead finding things to be happy about each day and focusing on positive thoughts instead of negative ones. I can say now, almost a year later and nearly at the completion of my goal, that training one's mind to think in a different way than how one has thought for more years than can be counted on both hands, takes time, devotion and discipline. It is not something that happens or changes over night. Even nearly an entire year later, I still find myself sometimes responding automatically in my mind in my old negative, think-the-worst ways. I have to catch myself in the moment and try to replace the thought or response with something positive.

Why do some of us think in that manner? My husband does not automatically think the worst or think negatively in situations. He gives the situations as well as the people the benefit of the doubt and always strives to see the positive and good in them. While for me, it sometimes requires work to Find Happy. Nowadays I can say with honesty that thinking and reacting more positively isn't the struggle it was a year ago but it still sometimes happens when I am not paying attention or on the darker days, and I don't necessarily mean days when there isn't sunlight. I suppose the why is not as important as the solution and I think the quote above, by Orrison Swett Marden, provides a pretty clear picture of the process of forming a new habit. It takes time to build up the [mental] strength, just like training our muscles to run a marathon.

I had no idea who Mr. Marden was when I first came across the quote so I looked him up. Apparently he experienced hardships in his life at a very young age, among which included the loss of both of his parents. And despite the hardship of being raised without them, the notion struck him to find and seek ways to be positive and happy and to construct a system to help himself, as we'll as others, reach their goals. I haven't read any of his books but I intend to explore them. Several are available for free download online. I'm always happy to become acquainted with a kindred spirit.

Finding ways to make life happier and more pleasant will continue to be my goals long after my blog project ends in a couple of weeks. We have so much potential to do good in the world and in our lives that it seems like a waste if we are not constantly striving for betterment. Reading Little Women has also impressed upon me the importance of not allowing ourselves to become idle but to work hard always. I hope at the end of my life that I can look back and reflect on the good things I have done and hopefully I will have made a difference in at least one other person's life.

The beauty of man and nature...


  1. Aww nice post and great quote! You have already made a difference in my life and many others here in Stockholm. Goal acheived ;o)

    1. Stacy, thank you so much for your sweet comment! It makes me truly happy to know that my project has had positive effects on others as well. :-) Have a Happy Day! Kram!

  2. I also thought Little Women was an inspiring read! Ditto to Stacy :)

    1. Thank you for your comment Maddie! I agree with you that you have to drag out the last few chapters... I just don't want it to end! Hope you have a great trip to the US! Happy travels!