At thirty and forty years of age, I didn’t think about the end. Now, at sixty-eight, I’m clearly aware I don’t have forever. I’m focusing more on making ALL my remaining days count, whether spent in raucous play or in simple, sweet solitude.

Keeping negativity at bay thrills me. Joy does not overflow when I am exposed to harsh news, people, or situations. As a result, I’ve devised ways of zeroing in on happiness and letting the crap and angst I can’t control fall away.

Consider this challenge:

One Day 

Give yourself one day, a mere twenty-four hours, to bask in all things positive. I’m not asking you to bury your head in the sand, acting as though everything is always good and fun. I’m not suggesting you ignore some of the more difficult aspects of life.

I am challenging you to try to spend one complete day focused on the goodness of life. Every time you drift off into the negative, as a reaction to the news or to a perceived criticism, bring your thoughts back to the positive … similar to meditating when your mind wanders and you gently bring your awareness back to your breath.

How might you change if you viewed, during that day, every single situation, thought, conversation, and action with a positive slant? What might happen if, as Juan Miguel Ruiz teaches us, you don’t take anything personally — be it a smarky jibe in jest or a reprimand delivered by a parental friend? What if, for a single day, the goodness and abundance of life filled you to overflowing? How might this change your life?

Focusing on the upbeat versus letting things bother you is a choice we make a thousand times a day.

How to Begin 

Let’s say you’ve decided to take the positive-approach challenge. Where to start? Simply, start where you are; goodness will meet you there. Coming from a place of gratitude changes your perspective and uplifts every outcome. A celebration of the abundance in your life sends multiples of goodness your way. Having rather than wanting is an excellent perspective.

Stop complaining about your life and make the most of all that you have. Stop comparing yourself to others who you think are happier because they seemingly have more, do more, or are more. Your happiness won’t appear magically unless you open the door and let it in.

One day — what if you make a choice for just one day and meet your joy in the process?