What else can go right? My trick for not wallowing in despair

Posted By on Jan 16, 2014 | 6 comments


Pollyanna Grows Up

Pollyanna Grows Up, image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Complaining can be an art form, doncha think? I really appreciate a well-worded kvetch. But it can also be dangerous if you act like it’s your second job.

Hippie Trish wants to tell you to KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF.

I was thinking that this morning, as I read yet another excellent post from Ralph Marston, The Daily Motivator. (Like him on Facebook to get a nice bit o’ wisdom and insight every morning — the man blows me away.)

Today’s post was titled “Whatever you think.” It was about how if you think the world is against you, you will find evidence to back that up all day long. The idea is that you have the power to CHOOSE what to think about anything.

This has been the key to everything good in my life. I’m one of the happiest people I know of. It’s true. And not even because I’m all glowy with new love at the moment … even when I was poor, even when I was wallowing in misery after a sad breakup, I still had an overall sense that my life was pretty good. I could never quite surrender to the idea that all was irretrievably lost.
Why is that? Maybe I’m just prone to happiness. Or maybe it’s because I’ve conditioned my brain to look for the good.

Now, Hippie Trish has all sort of metaphysical and cosmic reasons that you need to get a handle on your thoughts, because thoughts have energy and energy interacts with your surroundings and … you probably don’t want to hear all this, do you?

But even if you don’t subscribe to all the hippie hocus pocus, consider this: Your brain works for you. Finding a way to frame things in a positive way is going to put your noodle on notice that it’s time to look for novel solutions.

If you were stuck in a well and you assumed you were going to die, you ‘d probably just get down on your hands and knees and start feeling  for a dry spot where you could curl up comfortably while starvation and hypothermia did their slow work.

But if you changed your focus — if you pointed your head UP instead of down — you might notice just a bit of sky. Your pupils might adjust a little bit. You might see some things you didn’t notice before. You might see that there’s a way to climb up, or even an old rope, or even that there are people up top that you can yell to.

The point is, you’re not going to find your way out unless you look for it.

Point your head up. No one is going to bestow happiness upon you. It doesn’t get delivered to your front door. You have to get off your duff and go find it. Sure, there will always be frustrations in life. You can accept that those things are just part of the price of admission of being alive, or you can let the fact that someone cut you off in traffic be the trigger for having a totally craptastic day.

You have to make an effort. And the very, very first thing you have to do is stop being so darn eager to be doomed all the time. Think of it this way: Has all that wallowing in negativity been working out for you? Has it brought good things to your life so far? I know it hasn’t.
So I have one little idea to share. I do this one a lot.

The idea is that not only are thoughts energetic and powerful, but that they have momentum. We’ve all had the days where we ask ourselves “What ELSE can go wrong today?” And then, certainly, the universe flips us the bird all day long. So for just one day, try reversing that sentiment and ask yourself this: What else can go RIGHT today?

My coffee is warm and good. What else can go right? My kids have food for breakfast. We were all warm in our beds last night. What else can go right? I’m going to earn some money today. What else can go right? My car started … and there’s a good song on the radio. What else can go right?

I promise you, this will change your day. Do it often enough, and you might just find that your whole outlook changes. (Let me just add, though, that if you find this small step to be impossible, you may be suffering from something that requires professional intervention. Depression is a real thing and there’s no shame at all in getting some help. Don’t be afraid to reach out admit that you don’t know how to pull yourself out of a rut.)

If you don’t want to do this for yourself, do it for the people around you because I can promise you this: They are probably so tired of hearing you bitch all the time. Everyone has problems, sure, and everyone needs to vent sometimes, but you don’t need to make a second career out of complaining.

And now you all know the truth: The pottymouthed smartass is, in fact, an insufferable Pollyanna.

 

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6 Comments

  1. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. love it. and you know what? I’m going to try it.

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  3. Love it. Good words of wisdom for me today. And thanks for the tip on Ralph Marston. I’ll look him up!

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  4. Good inspiration! But sometimes it is so hard to stay positive! I will try your trick of looking for what is going right instead of what is going wrong. 🙂

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  5. I have been thinking about this ever since you posted it. I’ve even thought about printing out the phrase in giant letters and hanging it by my desk. It’s so hard sometimes, but so important, to feel thankful for the things we have. It’s incredibly easy for me to get caught up in my own anxious head and sometimes the only thing that keeps me from the crazy is remembering all of my blessings: I can see and hear. I have food and shelter. I have a loving marriage and a girl I adore. I have my health. I’m rambling now, but what I really want to say is thanks for this. Xo.

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    • Thank YOU. Made my day!

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