Reflection & Action: I caught a ride on a beautiful fall day with a cab driver who could easily have taken the grand prize for the world’s darkest outlook on life. In response to my comments on the freshness of the morning, the beauty of the autumn leaves, and the glassy calm of Wascana Lake, he responded in turn, “Frost last night – gonna make the harvest tough! Just reminds me winter’s coming! It’s never like that when I go fishing!”
I’m sure if he won a hundred thousand dollars in the lottery, he wouldn’t waste a minute celebrating. He would launch right into a litany of complaints about the uselessness of a prize that small!
Our mindset has a lot to do with our experience of the day. It is possible to shift from pure pessimism to a more optimistic response to life. It’s a matter of attention. What do you notice? What do you hang on to? How do you start your conversations with yourself and others?
As day’s end nears, and you shut down your computer, pull on your coat, or jump in the car to head home, ask yourself this simple question: “What went well today?”
Ask the same question of colleagues as you close up shop, and of family members as you gather for the evening. Yes, you’ll eventually get to the complaints, but at least the good news of the day will hold center stage and pride of place. That’s all it takes to start the shift of focus.
Quote Of The Week: “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer
Pause Readers Write: Pause Reader, Myrna B writes: About 6 months ago our family was struggling to accept a very serious health challenge for one of my siblings. At the same time a marriage was falling apart for another sibling. My parents were so focused on the problems that they seemed to be spiraling down a vortex of negativity. Some of us were feeling they had lost site of what was wonderful in the world.
My 74 year old Dad had just purchased a computer. In a conversation with Dad, I asked him to take a step back and think about what he was grateful for and what was wonderful in the world and then to email it to me.
You know, he emailed me the next morning. He emailed the morning after that …and the next…and the next. My Dad emails me every day to share what is great and wonderful in their world. I now have a journal with this collection that I can share with everyone. It contains many memories and important events that my family may have forgotten; and it’s all about all of us as a family. I treasure this because it’s given so freely, honestly and sincerely. My parents believe this commitment to share the positive has changed their lives.