How to Get Your Focus on the Good Things In Your Life
I acknowledge my elders who have gone before me to clear the path I walk today, some days are clearer than others but I'm getting there.
What path are you on? Is it the path to happiness and joy or sadness and despair? When was the last time you stopped and checked where you headed and if that is where you want to be going?
With all the pressures and stresses that we face each day, it can take every ounce of energy you have just to keep your head above water. Read any newspaper (not NIT because it's brilliant) or watch the news and it's all bad, doom and gloom. It's easy to get that up in all that and become negative and bitter.
But it does not have to be that way. Everyday we make choices on what we will do, what we will wear and what we will eat. So with those choices, you can extend it to deciding on what you will listen to, buy into and take on board.
You can choose to be negative or positive. You can choose to be a winner or loser. Personally I think it takes more energy to be negative so even for purely effort reasons, I'd choose to be positive.
There are lots of things to be positive about if you make the choice to see it. Do you complain about having to get up early to go to work? Be thankful you have a job and an income. Do you complain about the house being messy and the kids not cleaning up after themselves? Be thankful your kids have a roof over their heads and rooms that can get messy. Do you complain about having to cook dinner? Be thankful you have food in the cupboard so that you cook something to eat.
These might seem like little things and nothing to be thankful for. But I have known what it's like to have no job or income. I've known what it's like to not have anywhere to live, and I've certainly known what it's like to have a choice of vegemite on toast or nothing for dinner.
I never used to appreciate a full cupboard of food until I had an empty one. Then I started to be thankful for what I did have. Then funny things happen. Once you get thankful for things, you find more things to be thankful for. It kind of snowballs and you find you really have no reason to complain.
You can then take it one step further and look at the success you have each day. Now you may be thinking I do not have any successes in my day. Well I'm sure you do, you just never stopped to see them. Sometimes you can not see the forest for the trees and thankfully I'm here to explain for you.
A study was done at a major university and they asked the participants to record statistics of a basketball game. They were each given a specific statistic they had to record so total concentration was required. During half time, the mascot of one of the teams came onto the court and danced around looking directly into the camera. At the completion of the game, participants of the study were asked to describe the mascot. The majority did not even see the mascot and those few that could not describe it, even though it was dancing directly into the camera.
The point is if your not focussed on it, you may not even see it and it might be so darn obvious. So lets start looking at your successes for a minute. Again you may say you did not have any. Well if you got out of bed today, I'd say that could be a success. If you stay in bed all day, you may want to see last weeks article on depression.
People seem to think that when it comes to success you have to have major wins like signing a million dollar contract or securing a new job but you can start smaller than that. Starting small is always the best way to go, crawl before you walk.
Start with something simple and small like arriving at work on time or 10 minutes early, hey give yourself a high five! Or if you parked the car a little further away and walked an extra block to the office, do a little happy dance.
Or if you have the boss from hell and you were able to hold your tongue and answer his stupid question without jumping the desk and slapping him, you deserve an extra large latte this morning.
If you have kids and you got them off to school without the god awful morning row you usually have, you're on the road to being parent of the year.
Some of these examples may seem silly and over stated, but my point is that if you can name 5 successes you have everyday for a whole week, imagine how good your going to feel about yourself. And if you're extremely hard on yourself, try to find at least 1 everyday for a whole week.
We easily can remember and name in detail everything that we do wrong. Hell we even call in an audience and phone our friends and family and tell them of what we did wrong or how we messed up. Imagine if you called your family and said I'm such an awesome person, I walked an extra block to work today and I got in early.
Now to start with them may think you're a little bit strange, but let them know that your trying a new thing out that this woman told you (that's me by the way) about and your doing it for a whole week so ask them to humor you and congratulate you back. If nothing else, you'll have a good laugh, and that's not a bad thing either.
Try it with your children. Kids have no problems telling you how good they are and once they get an audience, it's hard to shut them up. How good would the atmosphere be in your house if you asked your children what they did today that was successful and you congratulated them for it. Gee they might even clean their rooms without being asked …. Ok maybe that is going a little too far but you can always dream.
You have to start somewhere and you have to start with the little wins first. I would say one success would be that you have read this article this far. You could have kicked flicking past it, never bothered to buy the paper, or you could have even been reading a comic or looking at something on the internet. But you chose to read this far so that's a success and hey congratulations for that. I'm giving you a high five right now.
So for this week we will remember, record and share at least 5 successes we have everyday. If you really want to lift your self esteem, write them down everyday so that you can read back over them. That is especially good for when your not feeling as though you are fabulous and you can flick open the page and go yes I remember I did this last week and it felt so good because I'm a success.
You really have nothing to lose from doing this exercise except the negativity that you have about yourself, and if you lost that, well that would not be a bad thing. So here's to your success this week.
I'd love to hear how you went with it, so please feel free to email me and let me know how fabulous and successful you are.