There is a saying that I remember hearing many years ago which goes something like this,” Smile and the world smiles back at you.”Believe it or not, I have found this statement to be true. I will explain. Earlier today, I decided to pay a traffic ticket that I had forgotten about earlier. The ticket cost almost $300 dollars. Initially , I was not happy with this situation. It was for running a red light which I didn’t even remember doing. I decided to “bite the bullet ” and get it done. I decided that I would face this situation with the most optimistic attitude possible. Normally, I would have complained about long lines and having to pay the ticket off in the first place. Nevertheless, before entering the courthouse, I spent several minutes reflecting on what I was grateful for at that moment. I focused on the fact that I had the money to pay the ticket in the first place. I was also grateful that I had the time to go to the courthouse on that day because I didn’t have to pick my son up from school. He was on spring break. I reminded myself that I had enough money in my account to live off of until pay day. I also reflected on the fact that I would be preventing my drivers license from being suspended .I took the initiative to recondition my thinking by purposely focusing on the positive. I had to dig a little bit, but that’s okay. It’s part of the process.
It gets easier to do with consistent practice. What you focus on determines your emotional state. Initially, I was stressed out about the entire situation. I didn’t even remember running the red light nor getting the ticket. I damned sure didn’t feel like paying $300 for it. I was determined to have the best day possible. To make an even longer story short, I ended up being assisted by the nicest representative in the building. He advised me not to pay the fine, but ,rather, to schedule a court date. He said that the judge would most likely throw the case out. I ended up paying no more than $16 dollars. You want to hear something “freaky” . I envisioned myself leaving the courthouse with better results than I had originally expected. It happened exactly the way that I had imagined it to happen. Even if my results had not turned out as fortunate , I still would have found the good in the situation. I still would have smiled at the representative and told him to have a great day. I would have meant every word of it. I am determined to train myself to find the good in every situation. Why ? Because attitude has a direct effect on outcome. It also plays a significant role in determining how people treat you. Try it for yourself. The people and situations that appear in your life , ultimately, are a result of how you truly feel about yourself and others.
Be Your Greatest Cheerleader
Anyone can benefit from encouragement every now and then. Although this can be the case, there might be times when , for various reasons, it may seem scarce. There might even be times that you feel alone or ,worse, that everyone is against you. Perhaps it seems that the people that are closest too you don’t understand you. I’ve been there many times. It is at these times that it is necessary for you to focus on what great about you. Yes,I said great . I’m not just saying that to make you feel good. I mean it. You have greatness in you. You have unique ,untapped abilities and ways of looking at things that , if you were to share them, could bring “light” to many people’s lives. You can do this by simply being you . Believe it or not, there are others in this world that only you can reach. They might be right under your nose. Relish in this fact. When situations seem to be going exceptionally wrong in your life and , at that moment,there seems to be no coming back from it, meditate on it. No one is keeping score. Learn from your mistakes even when others are hurt by them. Sincerely apologize to whomever can benefit from hearing it and move on. There might be others around who might keep bringing up the incident . Wish them well even if you have to do it silently, but try not to hold grudges against anyone. Take pride in the fact that you recognized your error and that you had the courage to take responsibility for it. Celebrate the fact that you made the “grown up ” decision to learn and grow from the situation. Most people wouldn’t have been as resolved about the situation. Regardless of the circumstances , make the conscious decision to grow stronger cheering the whole way!!
Learn to Find the Good in EVERY Situation
Let’s face it. As humans, we can face some potentially devastating situations. Please don’t think that I take your challenges lightly. I will be the first to admit that when faced with a particularly difficult challenge, I have been struck with “amnesia” when it comes to finding the “bright side” of a situation. I believe that each of us has “buttons”. A button refers to a specific situation that , at least for that moment, seems to tear you apart emotionally. No one is safe. We each have our moments. Sorry, it’s just part of being human.
I have also learned that with consistent practice and mental “wrestling”, it is possible to alter my emotional state. Don’t get me wrong.When faced with a major challenge , I go through the same emotional upheaval as anyone else. Eventually, I get to the point of realization that staying in a negative state will not help me to solve my problem. Finding a solution as soon as possible will solve my problem. I have come to the conclusion that each problem comes with a solution.They are opposite sides of the same coin. At times, it might be necessary to let the situation work itself out. Either way , there is ALWAYS something to learn if I choose to learn it. I have come to the conclusion that in order to live a full life , ultimately, I find it helpful to be a student of life. I am training myself to look at each circumstance as a lesson . As the old saying goes , “What doesn’t kill you , makes you stronger.” I have chosen to become stronger. You can too. Strength is always good,right?
Train Yourself to Look For the Good in Others
We are all connected. Regardless, of your gender, race ,age ,economic status, social group or “all of the above”, you are connected to every being with a life force on this planet. This group includes the driver who cut you off this morning( remember? the one who flipped you the “bird”), the bully in elementary school, an abusive parent, your best friend, worst enemy and anyone else that you can think of. The connection that I am referring to is on an energetic frequency level. You live in your own personal “universe”. UNIVERSE?!!! Yup….
Each person that you interact with ,on a daily basis, is there because you “attracted” them . Your emotions and perspective of yourself and others determine who and what situation shows up in your life. I believe that each circumstance and individual, regardless of appearance, is there to teach me something. This group includes the people who get on my last nerve. I especially mean them. If someone pisses me off, it’s not indicative of their “flaws”. My reaction shows how much more I need to grow and , in most cases, am growing in order to overcome my anger. No one can “make” me mad. You and I choose to be mad. Absolutely nothing nor no one should have that much control over you to “make” you angry.
I find it much more pleasing to conclude that the situations and people in my life are my greatest teachers. I have come to the realization that in order to live the best live i.e. an authentic life, I must become and remain a “student of life”. Yes, I realize that I wrote about this point earlier.It’s worth mentioning again.
The purpose of a student is to learn, therefore, I look forward to being taught each day. This is how both you and I can grow if we choose to do so.If we face each situation and interaction as an opportunity to learn , what is there to be negative about? I believe that most people do and respond the best way that they have been conditioned to respond. Most people are not even aware of how “conditioned” they are , at the moment. Nevertheless, I am convinced that I can learn from anyone even if that simply means not responding to a situation in the same way that I witnessed them do. I still learned something new.
With every lesson there is an opportunity to evolve. We teach each other. I am learning to appreciate each situation, therefore, reconditioning my response to it. Changing my perspective towards a person or situation directly changes my emotional response. Ideally, it is a daily practice. I am not saying that I am never upset nor negative. I’m simply saying that through consistent practice at focusing on the good attracts more evidence of it. You start to see less and less of the negative because your perspective starts to change about it. You start to respond differently not only in your words and actions, but on an energetic level. You start feeling happier simply about every day circumstances. Your frequency changes like turning the dial on a radio. You’re on the “happy” station. This may sound cheesy and corny, but I believe it too be true. Focusing on the good in every situation and others alters your emotional state to a more ,genuinely, positive one. This altered emotional state results in you attracting more people and circumstances in your life to be happy about. Consistency is the key. How you and I see others is a direct reflection of how we truly see ourselves. The most notorious bully is one of the most insecure people on the planet. To love others is to love yourself. It is impossible to truly live an authentic and hate.
Ultimately, your world and everyone in it acts as a mirror. This world is neither good nor bad, rather it’s what you have determined it to be. Happiness is and always has been an “inside” job. Choose to be positive and to see it in others. I doing so, you might help someone see it for themselves. This is how we change the world. Let’s start our own movement. Until next time….