The days will be rolling along smoothly with the promise of new experiences and exciting possibilities. Then, it just happens; comes out of no-where. Sometimes it starts with a phone call; sometimes an e-mail or stale-mail. A situation that I thought was resolved – or a new calamity – will rear it’s ugly head and threaten to interrupt the progress I’ve so diligently been building. I don’t think I’m the only one that – at times – feels like the world is conspiring against me.
My first reaction is to completely forget all of the good I’m doing; the people I’m helping; the successes I’ve recently experienced. My next step toward the cliff of despair is to see all other negative occurrences as a gathering of the army of destruction – building it’s forces against me. Suddenly, I have an amazing talent and ability to read the tea-leaves of my future – and it never looks good.
As a genetic pessimist it is easy for me to see the negative side of just about anything. As an entrepreneur taking on a brand new endeavor it’s easy to be taken by this army of negativity.
For instance; let’s say my phone was stolen; yikes! My pessimism would tell me that it’s the universes way of taking away my ability to communicate. If I looked at the other side; perhaps it would be the universes way of getting rid of a device that was causing frustration and allowing me to get the one I really needed (and would never just get for myself).
Killing The Army
When the army of negativity is gathering around me it’s not so easy to see the other side. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m not perfect at practicing all of them yet; but it’s not about perfectionism – a topic for another time. It’s about taking what steps I can to improve my outlook and in-turn my situation.
- 108 Beads – About a month ago an amazing person I’ve known for some time took me to a meditation garden. She had me buy a string of gratitude beads. We then sat silently for about an hour thinking of those things that we can be thankful for – bead by bead. You don’t have to get through all of them. However, after an hour I was almost done and truly taken aback by all the things I have to be thankful for.
- 5 People – Take a few minutes and think about 5 people on whom you’ve had a positive impact. People who have changed even the smallest thing because of your advice. Maybe it’s someone that got a promotion with your help; or someone that you just cared for and helped get through a tough time. Want to think about something really cool? Think about all the people that were affected by that person. The promotion that led to a better life for an entire family; the friend that needed a kind word and gave kind words to others along the way. I know, right? Five people turn into many more pretty quickly.
- 3 Successes – Think about 3 successes you’ve experienced in the past 30 days. If you’ve read my post on “The Secret of the Little Win” you know these don’t have to be earth shattering. For me it might be finishing a blog post that I put my heart into (winning); or being invited to an event I really wanted to attend; even getting to the gym for thirty minutes on a hectic day.
The Whole Picture
Doing these things aren’t making me an optimist. They’re simply helping me realize that the few things going wrong aren’t the whole picture. In fact, the army of negative circumstances is not much of an army after all; rather, just a few life events I can learn and grow from.
After an hour of doing some or all of these I guarantee you a different sense of things and a new outlook on your circumstances.
Photo by puuikibeach