In our quest to make more money, create meaningful relationships with those around us on a daily basis, or just simply being able to stand being alone with ourselves and our pesky thoughts, the journey does coincidentally begin with a single thought, or more accurately, "visualization." We have all had these visions, but they are often not clearly seen, like when an oncoming car refuses to turn off their highbeams on a dark country road. Looking away from the light can be so hard! Our eyes are almost hypnotically drawn to it, even as we attempt to keep our own car from swerving right or left until the car finally passes us.
Living life with focus and purpose requires that we not have the natural and expected reaction. Don't look directly at the oncoming headlights.
How do you even begin to change things in your life? Realizing that things need to change is usually the first step. It's a feeling of not being satisfied or thinking that things could somehow be better or improved. This is where it starts. The what of our situation. Whatever it is, it needs our focus. There may be many things that need to be attended to (after all, you are human, and you may have woken up to this reality towards the middle or later part of your life!). You need to take on just one thing a time, at least in the beginning. Just doing the one thing will seem like a monumental task, but it will get easier. I promise!
Let's start will something easy. The one thing will control in this life in our reactions. How we react to life is everything! I grew up in a home where my mother would scream my father's name from somewhere in the house like this "Charliieeee!!!," and my father would automatically scream back "Whaaaattt????" To me, this seemed a perfectly reasonable response. Kind of like neuro-linguistic programming - just mimic the attitude and tone of your audience to control them. Hah!
So of course, I carried this into my marriage, and when my wife would scream my name, I automatically screamed "Whaaaattt????" This went on for several years until my wife called me out on it (she is one smart girl). I realized I was reacting to an environmental stimuli just as my father had (and he still does to this day). This was quite a revelation (one of many revelations to be learned from conversations with my significant other over the years), maybe not as earth-shattering as finding life of Mars, but still emotionally groundbreaking stuff. You mean I don't have to scream "Whaaaattt????" when my own name is screamed across the house? (And yes, I have tried to address the elephant in the room with my wife - "Honey, why don't you come to the room where I am and ask me whatever it is that you want to ask me?" but you can't have everything you want in this life, especially when it comes to the free will of other peole - you can only control how you react to things). Now, when my name is screamed, I simply stop what I a doing, and head in the direction of the screaming voice, and when I find said voice, I calmly and politely say "Yes?" No angry feelings on either side, and my wife feels respected.