The transition from one year to the next often motivates us to make a change, preferably for the better. Maybe you want to set out on a new adventure or improve a relationship.
Holidays often include opportunities to get together. We talk about what we’ve done and discuss hopes and plans for the year ahead.
If you are struggling, it can be really difficult to hear those conversations, even with people you love. You might be inclined to isolate yourself and think, “No one wants to hear about my miserable life.”
Whether you’ve heard it here or elsewhere, you likely know that the only person you can control is yourself. And while we can provide information to others, ultimately, they too are in charge of themselves.
This is both a freeing and a frightening concept.
You’re not the cause of my bad mood! (even though I am certain that if you had treated me better, I’d be in a good mood.) Even if I’ve been wronged—whether by a thoughtless comment or a terrible injustice—I’m still in charge of me.
If we accept that we are the controllers of ourselves, then what does that mean for those times when we feel dull, depressed, lonely, anxious…?
One consistent principle I have found in many writings about satisfaction and happiness is that it’s helpful to create the habit of recognizing opportunities to be grateful.
But for too many people, gratitude doesn’t come easily and there may be valid reasons for that. Some are missing out on love & belonging—they have lost loved ones or feel abandoned. Others can’t satisfy their need for self-worth—they fear they don’t belong in this modern world with all of its issues.
Some fear for their very survival. They look to the future with dread, seeing only disaster and catastrophe. They may also perceive that some sectors of the human race are indifferent to their concerns. They become angry. That anger breeds misery for themselves and others.
Some feel they carry the burden of generations of wrongdoing, and that they must not seek peace and joy in their lives until every perceived wrongdoing has been rectified. That may take a while…
If you feel that you are in a perpetually dissatisfied state, can you do anything to change that?
Based on the title of this article, you already know my suggestion—make something good happen. Do it yourself. It often doesn’t take much action to change a feeling; a changed feeling can change an attitude; and a changed attitude can change everything.
One positive use of our innate need for recognition and esteem is to actively create, rather than passively consume. Take charge. Experience the joy of making something good. It needn’t be earth-shattering. Make a good meal. Make a good tire. Make a good photo. You could even make a good conversation!
What if your good deed doesn’t produce the response it should? What if it’s not even noticed? Doesn’t matter. Do it for your own sake. For this article, it’s all about you.
Then, write down the good thing. If you do that each day, you’ll build a habit. It will change your perspective to become more aware of the good. Sometimes, those pickings can seem pretty slim. When it does, take charge and make something good happen yourself.
What are your examples of making something good happen?
Welcome to Reality Check:
articles and observations inspired by the work of Dr. William Glasser
- Choosing Behaviour
- Choosing Perspective
- Control and Choice
- Develop Understanding
- Doing, Thinking, Feeling, Physiology
- How it is sometimes
- Love & Belonging
- Perception & Reality
- Personal Freedom