One of my friends said recently in an e-mail, “If this is the hardest thing I face in my lifetime, I’ll consider myself lucky.”
Wow! And this was from someone who is near my age and has immuno-suppression issues, so she, like me, is in the higher-risk group for the coronavirus.
I love her perspective! I want her perspective!
Among her other wonderful qualities, I remember my friend as a hard worker. I can see her now: nose down, moving methodically from one day to the next, primarily focusing on doing what is required to stay safe, looking up periodically to see the light at the end of the tunnel, while never losing sight that this too shall pass. And, in spite of it all, she will experience joy during the hard times.
A sure thing
It kind of gives me goosebumps to realize her attitude and perspective on this horrible pandemic isn’t about having to dive into the rabbit hole of all things negative with the ultimate wish of survival at the end. It feels like the positive outcome for her personally is a sure thing if she hangs in there and does everything to be safe and to keep her perspective on the best outcome.
I felt like the pessimist hearing from the optimist. And yet our circumstances are pretty similar. Why shouldn’t I also share and project the opinion that there’s an excellent chance, if I do what is required, it’ll just be a matter of time before my life returns to a more pleasant scenario?
I do negativity really well
There should have been a place on my resume for being negative: “Is excellent at looking for the worst in any given situation.” I’ve always been pretty good at being somewhat pessimistic. It was all the rage in my family — the “in thing.”
Being more negative than positive is a habit, and it seems my mind leans toward the negative as a way of not being disappointed when something doesn’t turn out the way I wanted. Without getting all woo-woo, seeing outcomes in a more positive slant can be learned over time. That’s wonderful news! Sign me up!
There is a ton of information online about how to cultivate positivity, and they’re not new ideas. They include starting your day with a positive affirmation and finding positive role models to include in your life.
Here are two ideas that have been working for me to increase the positive over the negative:
~Focus on the present – Most negativity comes from remembering some past event that went poorly or had a less-than-wonderful outcome. When I say focus on the present, I mean not today or this week, I mean this very moment in time. Are things okay right now? Am I doing the best I can? Am I in harms way? Is anyone criticizing me at this very moment? Forget about something negative that happened in the past when you were doing what you’re doing right now. This is a new moment in time, a better moment!
~Look for ways to be inspired – It’s almost impossible to look for inspiring things from a negative point of view. So many of us come from a negative place rather than an uplifting point of view. Looking to nature or music or a task or accomplishment as yet unrealized projects a forward-leaning requirement.
Let’s face it; it’s easier to be negative rather than positive. It’s socially more acceptable to gripe and complain. You don’t often see someone trying to top another person who is being positive?
Make it about you
Choosing a positive perspective is a personal choice. It’s a habit you can create for yourself. You’ll be happier and others will be drawn to you.
And finally, thank you to my e-mailer who reminded me of an easy way to increase happiness – by cultivating a better perspective.