I think it is about time for me to share with you this story and encourage you to do the mental exercise that completely changed my life. It is an exercise from the book “YOU’RE IN CHARGE: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist” by Janette Rainwater, 1979.
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Yes, it is published in 1979! It is definitely not one of the new self-help books. But, in my opinion, it is the first book everyone should read if it’s on a self-development journey.
First, I want to be completely honest with you and tell you how I underestimated this book several years ago. A dear professor recommended me this book in the last year of University, and I took it for granted.
But, to have a higher score, my professor required me to do some of these book mental exercises. Today, I just can’t find words to express how thankful I am for having such an excellent professor. Several years later, I understand why this book was his favorite, and it is one of my favorite self-development books too.
This book offers dozens of mental exercises, but I will share with you the one that completely changed my life.
I didn’t realize this until several months ago when I found my old journal where I wrote everything that was required to do in this mental exercise. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised.
The most exciting part is that the exercise is called The Next Three Years, and it’s been a little bit more than three years since I did it.
Long story short, since I become a mother, I am aware that personal growth and development are significant. It is not only about me anymore, but it is also about being a great role model for my child too. The first time I did this mental exercise I wanted to be a mother, and I am so grateful today that I succeeded. I didn’t even realize how strong my wish to be a mother was until I saw this old journal of mine.
I decided to do this exercise every now and then to consistently grow and be aware. Of course, you can’t change your life with only one step, but the journey of 1000 miles starts with that one step.
I continuously write about the importance of awareness and acceptance, but I know that awareness is not something you can achieve smooth, especially with so many things on your mind. But, these kinds of mental exercises are excellent because they guide you in awareness and help you to realize what is right and what can be improved.
You can easily map the great things in your life and concentrate on them, instead of the things you don’t like and want for you.
The Next Three Years
This is the last mental exercise in the book “YOU ARE IN CHARGE: A Guide to Becoming Your Own Therapist” by Janette Rainwater. I will share this mental exercise with you, but it is much better to find it in her book.
Bear in mind that this is the last exercise in her book and there is a good reason for it. I encourage you to start a personal growth journey, find a pen and a paper and write everything down.
Almost every mental activity requires mindfulness.
Breath and feel your body. Become aware of the present moment. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Imagine that you were told that you have only 3 years left to live.
You will be healthy in that period. Instead of being angry, use your imagination and decide how you are going to spend those last three years of your life.
Where do you want to live?
Who do you want to live with?
Would you like to work?
Would you like to learn?
Compare your life with the life you imagined to live. Find the similarities. What is different? Is there something you can implement in your daily life right now? What was most important for you?
I like to write month by month for the next three years. Every detail I can think of. 36 months.
Now, forget the thought that you have only three years left. Put that thought as far away as you can. Remember just those things that can serve you in the long term and make your life more beautiful.
Please, bear in mind that you MUST be in a healthy condition and consult with a professional before trying anything new.
If this mental exercise makes you feel anxious, please visit a therapist.
Write down everything you think is necessary from this mental exercise. I believe that this is the exercise that helped me to realize what I really want in my life and I hope you will too.
In her book, Jannete explains how this exercise helped her realize that she has always wanted to write a book. She realized that it is about time to write the book and share her knowledge with the world.
This exercise helped me to realize that I am surrounded by toxic and negative people. I understand now that I don’t spend enough time with the people I love and care about. But also that I love being a mom and it is about time for me to start living my dream life.
Everyone is obsessed with gratitude and meditation, and I am too. They are great for everyone. But also, I hope that people won’t forget to read more self-help books and try different mental exercises, such as these guided meditations.
I hope that sharing this with all of you will help you to live the life you deserve. Self-development is a long journey, and every mental exercise will lead you to a different place. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey.
If you are on a self-development journey, I recommend you to read The First Step Towards Change first.