When Mary Morrissey mentioned how a one-degree shift in thinking causes massive change in our lives, that really got me thinking.
One degree seems quite small. We may not even notice such a tiny shift. It seems so small that we are likely to dismiss it as insignificant. It's kind of like getting excited over a one pound weight loss when we want to lose 5o pounds.
Yet it's a big mistake to hang your star on the wish and belief that only big shifts are valuable.
Credit: photo by Fastily http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.enCredit: photo by Fastily http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Consider this visual.
Imagine a traditional wall clock. Follow the two hands up from the center as they head out of the clock one minute apart. At first, and for a time, the lines will be very close together. As you extend them further and further up the wall and into space they diverge further and further until they are nowhere near each other. Notice that they are clearly heading in different directions. This is the possibility of one degree.
Now imagine how much your thinking would shift with just five degrees. This is true whether you make the shift all at once, or in one degree increments.
So often we go for all or nothing. We discount our little efforts, shifts, and successes. Often we shift back into old comfortable thought patterns and routines. This is a shame. In truth, we really have no idea how much one little shift can change our lives. Really, we may never know.
For example, how would you ever know that deciding to walk daily held off a heart attack for ten years? You may believe it didn't help, while in reality the benefit was massive. Or, you may never know that relieving the emotions around one bad memory changed your biochemistry so much that you healed yourself of an unrevealed cancer - which may have been physical, mental or spiritual.
I'll never forget the story of a girl who did not follow through with her suicide plan because a passerby smiled at her. What if that person decided to stop smiling at strangers because she thought it didn't matter? Her smile brought about a massive shift for someone else, yet she'll never know it.
Big shift moments are awesome and life-altering, but they are usually not the rule. Sometimes they are so huge that we have to dial them back. We can't integrate them so we shift back to the more comfortable original state. The well-worn example of lottery winners quickly spending all their money and being just as broke as ever illustrates this perfectly.
Practitioners of the Emotional Freedom technique sometimes see something called the apex effect. This happens sometimes when a client makes a big emotional shift quickly, only to truthfully say, "Oh, that really didn't bother me anyway" or " I just feel better because you distracted me, made me laugh..." Perhaps it's too big a shift to believe that a few rounds of tapping eliminated an emotional or physical pain they've been carrying for years. Maybe they go into denial because it's scary having a tool that facilitates shifts they aren't ready for. Maybe they were scared of the shift itself.
Really think about this. Let this be a one degree shifting moment. Let yourself accept, even just a little bit, the ability you have to powerfully affect your life and the life of others. It starts with your thoughts. Shift your thoughts and you shift your beliefs and your emotions. Your actions will naturally adjust to align with these changes. Even a one degree thought shift can yield incredible life changing effects.
So never underestimate the power of a shift. Nurture and sustain it. Build on it. Celebrate every step and success you make in the direction of your dreams and well-being. This will surely open the door for more to follow.
Have you made a one-degree thought shift? How has it impacted your life?