by Jo Davidson
… you know what I mean right? You can’t stop thinking about whatever it is that’s getting you down. Whether it’s an argument with a friend or loved one, a financial struggle, you hate your job or your boss, even the loss of someone near to you. And, perhaps you think I’m a little flippant to say, “stop thinking about it”, but that’s exactly what I am saying!
As long as you put your focus into that which is not right in your world, you are excluding the possibility of happiness in your life. The point is, those things bug you for a reason, most likely because they are things that you need to address, but (and, it’s a big but!) what’s the likelihood that you will deal with that thing that is making you so unhappy, while you’re lost at sea, battling the waves of misery, feeling unresourceful, even hopeless?
Are you waiting for a solution to drop into your lap? Are you acting the victim, so that your loved ones will be extra nice to you and you can seek comfort from them? Are you getting angry and alienating those that care about you? Are you spending ever more money on the lottery, hoping that those 6 numbers will change your life and solve all of your problems? Is any of this ringing a bell?
The fact of the matter is, no matter how hard your circumstances are right now, it’s highly unlikely that you have nothing positive in your life. We live in a western civilisation that affords the majority a standard of life enviable to much of the world (if you need proof, just look at the numbers of immigrants flocking to our shores), let alone that which you have created in your own life to be grateful for.
If you choose – and pay special attention to that word, for it is a choice – if you choose to focus on the negative, then expect to continue feeling lousy about your life! However, if you truly want to be happy, focus on the positive aspects of your life, of which there will be many if you really put your mind to seeking them. Some examples that will apply to most people are loved ones (where would you be without them?), friends and community; if you are working you can be grateful to have paying work regardless of whether it is work that you love, if you are not working you can be grateful for the time you have to do other things including seeking out a path that will lead to your ultimate fulfilment. You can be grateful for the roof over your head, for the food on the table (even if it is sometimes a struggle to afford it), for the income you have be it small or large. For the people you have met that have inspired you. For the internet access that’s allowing you to read this right now. That the sun is shining, or the rain is pouring. That you do not live under the fear of persecution. That this is not a war torn country. That we live in a democracy… and so on and so forth. I’m sure if you apply yourself you can come up with many more things which are pertinent to you. Sometimes, I’m just grateful for my struggle. For the many difficult and trying situations and relationships that have helped me to discover my true nature and find my life’s calling.
The fact of the matter is, by really focusing and feeling these positive aspects of your life, to the exclusion of all others (at least for a short period each day), you can switch your focus, from hopelessness, to happiness and optimism. It really is that simple!
Ok, you’re saying, so now I feel happy and optimistic but I still have all of these problems that I had before. Well yes, of course you do, but now you’re in a resourceful state of mind instead of a hopeless one. You’re in the zone to start looking at your very real issues, and figuring out how you might go about turning things around. Creative ways. Ways that your grumpy, former self couldn’t possibly even consider.
And this is only the first step; the possibilities are limitless…