Let’s play a little game of word association. I’m going to say a word and I want you to think of the first thing that comes into your mind. You folks in the northeast are really going to enjoy this. Are you ready? Just after you read the word, close your eyes and feel the feeling… okay, ready? Here’s the word… summer. Are you smiling yet?
I’m writing this on an airplane, flying to the Caribbean. I couldn’t help but notice the screen on the in-flight monitor of my Jet Blue flight, advertising Orlando (visitOrlando.com). The slogan of their ad campaign is, “Endless Summer- It’s not a season, it’s a state of mind.”
I smiled when I read this and thought how much that applies to life itself! As a kid just hearing the word “summer” generated such a feeling of joy, lightness and fun, without even doing anything. No matter what month it was and whether I was taking an exam in October or studying for a test in February, already in my mind I was experiencing the carefree days of summer, if only for that instant.
Their ad is brilliant, for in the moment that I read it, I too was back to those days in my mind. Everyone would want to visit a place that had that feeling all year long!
But I’m still here, flying though the cold of February. The only thing that changed to generate my happy, carefree feeling, was a thought… a tiny, simple thought that changed my state of mind.
It’s just as easy to change our state of mind when cold, dreary February thoughts blow through our minds. We have the power to change our state of mind consciously, through our thoughts, and it’s pretty easy.
If you don’t like the state of mind you’re in, just change your thought. Sounds too easy, right? But here’s the really cool part- It really is that easy. Kids do it all the time. We’ve all seen a child having a temper tantrum complete with clenched fists, red face, loud hold-your-breath-crying, only to stop in an instant because “Oh look, here comes a puppy!”.
When we shift our thoughts, we shift everything. We do control our state of mind. Just like Orlando wants to be associated with the feelings of endless summer, we can have that same feeling in our life every day.
It doesn’t mean that we’re neglecting or ignoring the things that we have to do in life, just that we’re consciously focusing on the things that bring us joy. As Jack Canfield says, “If it ain’t fun, don’t do it”. I’d recommend we take that one step further to, “If it ain’t fun, don’t think it!”
Let’s bring back the carefree endless summer thoughts today, especially on a cold winter February day. You have the power to bring summer into your life right now. It may not change the weather but I guarantee it will change your state of mind.
p.s. I’m on vacation for the next 10 days, so please forgive me for not writing as often as normal. (There’s no wifi on some of these islands!)