Let’s face it, just about all of us have no shortage of things to complain about. If it’s not something personal, it’s political; if it’s not our problem, it’s someone else’s. It’s even become a competition: “Yeah, your day was pretty bad, but wait ’til you hear what happened to me…” Sound familiar? As if having a worse lot ought to earn us a shred of pity or, maybe it people feel bad enough for us, they’ll cut us a little slack. “I’m the martyr and here’s why I should get more.”
Well, I’m a pretty competitive guy, but I’ve decided that “Misery Poker” is one game I’m ok with losing. So, here’s what I’m thinking: What’s good? What am I truly happy about? What is going positively right? And that’s where I’m going to put my energy and my thoughts. Easier said than done? Youbetcha!
The importance of a good attitude and the power of positive thought have been ingrained in me since childhood. I can remember the well-known Charles Swindoll quote, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life…” being taped to my mom’s fridge. Countless times my dad has told me that he believes that everything, quite literally, is, in it’s most simple form, energy. I believe it, too, and I also think there are really only two types of energy: positive and negative, each of which attracts more of itself but more importantly repels it’s opposite.
Now, to be clear, I am not an unhappy person, but I am a person who thinks that living a happy life–just like living a healthy life–takes work and requires conscious thought and making sometimes-difficult decisions.
I could go on at length on the subject, but then I might run out of things to talk about in the future, so here’s where I’ll leave it for today: Every journey begins with a first step. Today I’m taking two steps. The first step has been to write this blog post, and it serves two purposes. Firstly, writing down my thoughts is intensely therapeutic and clarifying for me, I think of it as active meditation. Finding the right words and putting them down in order helps me focus my thoughts in a much more meaningful way than simply thinking. Secondly, going public by publishing what I’m writing makes me accountable to anyone who reads this. My goal isn’t to reach a widespread audience, or even a small one really. But by making my words available, I’m making a deeper commitment to myself.
The second step I’m taking is starting a gratitude journal. There are a number of studies (check this out) that have demonstrated the power of saying thank you. Rather than writing mine down with pen and paper, I’m going to use social media outlets: this blog, facebook, and twitter. Feel free to follow me and even to start one of your own, If you do, let me know so I can follow yours too. Today I’m thankful that I have the ability to create my own happiness.