Whether we mean to or not, we are all always creating. The question becomes, what is it that we are creating at any given point in time? Alex was frustrated that no one respected him. He kept reacting to the lack of respect he saw in others. He wondered why no one valued his opinion in meetings, why his ideas were seldom picked up. He was very focused on disrespect. So much so that his boss finally spoke to him about it: “Alex, do you realize you’re not showing any respect for your colleagues?” Alex was stunned! “It’s them! They’re not showing any respect for me!” he almost shouted he was so shocked at the accusation. He stormed from his boss’s office feeling even less appreciated. Have you ever met anyone like this? Perhaps you’ve been this person at some point in you life? The truth is we get what we give. Alex was so focused on disrespect, that he could not show respect for others. He was getting what he was creating.

So what are you creating that’s new in your life, right now? If you haven’t intentionally set your aim on creating something positive, then you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself, honestly, “What am I creating by default?” Odds are, it’s exactly whatever you complain about the most that you’re creating more of in your life. You may also be teaching your kids and others in your life to “create by complaint”. Want to live life on purpose? Here are three tips:

1. Think about the thing you most complain about in life and decide on the state that would be its polar opposite. For example, if you don’t like rude drivers, then think about what state of politeness you’d like to see among drivers on the road.
2. Envision specifically what behaviours you’d like to see others show towards you, and start intentionally showing those behaviours to others at every opportunity.
3. Expect the same in return and be grateful whenever you get it. Remember to find some way to say thank-you. (Albertans have a tell-tale “thank-you wave” we give to other drivers).

Remember, however you are creating, you’re teaching your kids to create in the same way. Get intentional about creating the positive things you want to see in your life and then do this exercise with your kids. Shift happens!