Although brooding over an annoyance is easier, spending time acknowledging the things we appreciate makes life way more joyful. I’m not sure when or why I developed this positive attitude and I’m not going to claim I practice it faithfully, but I do recommend trying the “glass is half-full” approach.
The best time to focus on the positive is when something or someone negative pops up in your day. Simply, observe the nasty intrusion and discount its importance in your life. Yes, things happen and we must deal with them, but don’t spend time being resentful or angry. Take whatever action you must to eliminate the issue and move on.
Sounds really easy, doesn’t it?
For me it helps to step back and view the big picture—the scope of the universe, so to speak. When (if) I reach this wider perspective, the irritation is much smaller and, consequently, less important.
I also look for the benefits of the situation, no matter how bad the “downer” is nor how small the benefit seems.
When all else fails, I rejoice in all the people and things in my life that bring me happiness, prosperity, and success. Here’s a list of my favorite things to dwell on (in no particular order):
- Penicillin, flu-vaccine, ibuprofen, aspirin, and other pharmaceuticals—Pricing may be driven by greed, but the desire to create these life-altering, if not life-saving, drugs is to be commended. Even those that simply provide a way to alleviate muscle pain are blessings.
- Airplane, automobile, train, space shuttle and other marvelous modes of transportation—Why anyone would think it’s possible to fly in a machine is amazing, but to set out to invent that machine is extraordinary, and to succeed and lay the foundation for the evolution of air and space travel is phenomenal.
- Eggs—We can only speculate what motivated that first person to conceive not only the notion but also the method to fry, poach, boil, or scramble these objects for food. To that creative individual I tip my hat almost every morning.
- Wine, liquor, beer and other alcoholic beverages—Do you suppose fermentation was an accident that turned perfectly good fruit juice into a pleasant aperitif, digestif, or happy hour brew? In any case, thanks to those who accomplished and perfected the transformation!!
- Ballet, Texas two-step, tap, ballroom and other forms of dance—The insightful choreographer of the dance is second only to the musical genius who composed the first piece of music or tweaked existing tunes to form another genre. What a pleasure to perform and observe!!
- Freedom—How many centuries of tyranny did it take individuals to figure out humans have certain inalienable rights to pursue happy, secure, and prosperous lives & how many more did those individuals fight to achieve and maintain those freedoms? We may complain about logjams in Washington, D. C., but we should be thankful every day for the sacrifices made by our founding fathers and all who have and continue to serve this Great United States of America.