Reality Check: One Suggestion

Do you look forward to each day with optimism? Or do you anticipate it with dread? Maybe you’re thinking, “There’s no point in either worrying or anticipating; it will be what it will be.”
Here’s a bigger question: Does your mindset have any influence over events? I mean, if how we think has no effect on what actually happens, that puts a bit of a damper on the positive thinking hype, doesn’t it?
On the other hand, if how we think about people, events, possibilities, consequences, and opportunities does make a difference, then wouldn’t it be nice to have some control over it?
In keeping with the title of one of Dr. Glasser’s books, then we could “Take Charge of Your Life.”
Personally, I believe that our perspective greatly influences what happens. For example, let’s think about taking a walk. We might go to a social gathering, workplace, school, business, even a grocery store.
Unless we are highly skilled and intentional about disguising our feelings, our state of mind displays itself. It’s in our posture, facial expressions, eyes, tone of voice.
If I’m feeling down or anxious, it’s likely to show whether I want it to or not. On the other hand, if I’m feeling grateful, filled with hope and excitement, that shows too.
Which state is more likely to lead to satisfying interactions? Which will have us coming home saying, “I had a good day”? I think that it’s the state of mind that is already primed to be positive.
Maybe happy people attract more happiness. This may seem deeply unfair. It may offend your sense of justice that those who already have so much happiness should become even happier! Perhaps happiness should be distributed evenly across the board. Those who don’t have any should get more, and already happy people should give some of theirs up. If life was fair, that’s how it would be. We could have a committee to decide the details.
But life isn’t fair. However, the good news is that happiness isn’t a zero-sum game. That is, my happiness doesn’t take away from your happiness. (Unless you choose to make your happiness dependent on my becoming unhappy. And that just sounds mean, doesn’t it?)
So how might we grow in happiness?
Developing our sense of gratitude can help. Genuine gratitude takes us away from the mindset of “I deserve…; I’m entitled….” It also helps us stay away from comparisons with others, which seldom lead to positive states of mind.
However, you may be going through a time when it is difficult to feel grateful. Nothing is working, and it’s getting you down. You wonder how much more bad news, setbacks and hurt you can take.
Here’s a suggestion for a powerful way to turn things around. If you want to be happier, then this is the one thing to do.
Write down one good thing at the end of every day. Just one thing that you are grateful for. It could be small; it could be large. It could be a person, a place, a thing, a belief, an accomplishment. Maybe it was a bit of fun, a moment of freedom, a glimpse of something beautiful.
One suggestion: Write one good thing. Every day. See what happens.

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