I’m a firm believer of the phrase “you get out of something, what you put into it.” I believe it applies to the small stuff. Like your grocery shopping. Your housework. I believe it applies to big things like your work, your relationships, and yourself. I also, and most strongly believe, it applies to what you offer this world as a human being. What do you bring to the table? How do you handle things on a daily basis? What do you do when life throws you a curveball?
One of the things I struggle most often with in this life is negativity. Not so much my own negativity (although I do have my moments) but other peoples’ negativity. Everyday I am so thankful to have my mind. My perspective. My attitude. I’m a naturally positive and upbeat person. Always have been and I always hope to be. I know this is hard for some not so positive people to understand. I’m sure I’ve been called annoying. Over the top. “Too much.” Etc. But that’s just me. I clash with those people in our lives that flock to a negative conclusion. About everything. I try to understand that mind frame, but I find it so difficult. “At least you didn’t”, “On the bright side”, and “In the long run” are often phrases that begin my sentences when talking with friends and family about problems. I automatically take a problem being communicated to me and turn it into a positive. It’s my default, I don’t even have to think about it. I think it’s a combination of my positive mindset and my want to make those I love happy that sets this as my default.
Social media is hard. Oh man is it ever HARD! Facebook is polluted with complaints and negativity every time that news feed refreshes. It can become really hard on the head. When I see complaints about trivial things, I just shake my head and keep on scrolling. I try not to get too involved with it because the negative takes up too much of my head space. I try to share links that are either positive or productive. To get a laugh out of somebody or make a positive change. I try not to get myself involved in conversations that have a negative tone. When I see somebody’s status update complaining about something they’re privileged to be doing in the first place, it always solidifies that I’m lucky to have my mindset. For example: “Holly MacDonald is so sick of waiting in line at the grocery store. WHY don’t they put more cashiers on at rush hour??? UGHHH.” I’m not trying to single any one person out, or make somebody feel bad or stupid for sharing their thoughts. Hey! It’s social media, that’s what it’s all about. Freedom of speech, online, updated constantly. Giver! I’m just sharing some of my perspective too.
Let’s take a look at that potential status update again. “Holly MacDonald is so sick of waiting in line at the grocery store. WHY don’t they put more cashiers on at rush hour??? UGHHH.” I chose this potential update for a few reasons. One because it will be a great facilitator to make my point (hahaha). Two, because the grocery store is not my favorite place and it does challenge my auto-positive default. Firstly one could assume by this status update that you are employed, or at least have an income of some sort as you are able to afford to buy food in the first place. Secondly, you are going to survive because you just purchased food that you are going to eat. Go you! Thirdly, you arrived at the grocery store somehow. Be it your car, public transport, or another person’s car. Another plus! Perhaps you walked, which is wonderful because you have a functioning body that can get you there. Right there alone you have money, transportation, an able body, and access to a whole plethora of food choices. I guess my point is that most of the complaints we make on a daily basis (without even thinking about them) are backed up with a whole SLEW of reasons we should be thanking our lucky stars we are who we are, where we are.
I’ve mentioned that I’m lucky to have an auto-positive default, and I am. But that doesn’t mean everyday is butterflies and rainbows. Absolutely not. The reason I wanted to do this blog post to begin with is because I have been working on my perspective. Trying to look at things the way I looked at that potential status update. You know payday? When you get your paycheck and get excited, and just as quickly become deflated because you have to pay for all your bills and you aren’t left with a whole lot? That’s one time I work at my perspective. I think of all the things I have and how far my life has come and I realize I get to survive, with a lot of luxuries others don’t have, for another two weeks. We are incredibly privileged people and it’s eye opening.
What if your first thoughts of each day consisted of “Where are we going to find something to eat today?” or “Do we have any water left?” These are real questions, for real people, every single day. We are lucky enough to live in the part of the world that these aren’t usual questions for most on a day to day basis. While we are so privileged in what we have, it has created a horrible side effect. It creates this want for MORE. This need for more things, more money, more material items that just doesn’t seem to have a cap. The computer is never fast enough, the TV never big enough, the home never expensive enough. We are so sheltered from the questions of basic daily survival that we forget what is and isn’t important. This desire for more materialistic things in our lives, creates the negativity that’s all around us. We compare ourselves to others who have things we don’t. We think things like “I wish I had that.” or “why can’t that be me.” I think about this often when I fall into a state of the “poor me’s” and realize what I’m worried about, has no significance whatsoever in the bigger picture.
Just this week I had a bit of an epiphany after talking to a friend. As you know I’ve been on a bit of an up and down roller coaster with diet and exercise. After hearing about her and her situation I realized that I just have to stop making excuses, feeling sorry for myself, and move my ass. There’s no if ands or buts about it. I need to take control, take responsibility, and own every decision I make everyday. At some point in my life, if I don’t, I won’t be ABLE to anymore and do I want that to happen? No. What can I do today to make all of my tomorrow’s better? What can I put into my body right now that will help me live a healthier happier life? What exercises can I do to feel better, sleep better, and affect my entire life in a positive way? These are real questions that a lot of us ask ourselves each day. And the most moving part about them is we all have the power, ability, and environment around us that allows us to answer these questions correctly. We’re ABLE to change what we don’t like. Able to take control of our lives in any way we want. Whether it’s diet, fitness, career, relationship, whatever – it doesn’t matter. We are smart enough and strong enough to change any of it. We have access to whatever support we need to change whatever we don’t like. And that change begins with an attitude. A positive attitude combined with motivation has no boundaries. Change your attitude, change your life.
Appreciate more. Take for granted less.
Love more. Hate less.
Understand more. Judge less.