Friday, February 8, 2008

Shifting Perspectives

I remember reading once that people who consider themselves lucky usually are. Those who think their lives are filled with great fortune often enjoy fortuitous lives.

Now, over the last few years, I have completely succumbed to the positive juju conspiracy that The Secret, Wayne Dyer and every other manifestation guru promotes. One might call me a junkie. So the idea that a person can render themselves more fortunate just by thinking it's so makes perfect sense to me.

However, the whole thing sort of begs the old chicken-and-egg question. Did each person experience some positive twist of fate and then appreciate it so much that they perpetuated their luck? Or did they invite the luck into their lives because they maintained a sunny outlook? I'm not sure, but I think both approaches can work because they're both about looking on the bright side; keeping a positive perspective.

It's extremely easy to look at our work situations, relationships and health through lenses of negativity. My job doesn't pay me enough. My husband doesn't have the forethought to do nice things for me. I'm sure that my occasional headaches are an indicator of a brain tumor. We find the flaws in our life—often wishing we were standing in someone else's shoes—and we devote all our focus to them all the time. But instead of thinking the grass is greener somewhere else, we should really take a minute to enjoy what nice lawns we have!

Most of us are not living in the streets, being tortured by our loved ones or suffering from leprosy. We have really great lives. Sure there are a few blemishes here and there, but overall I assure you, your situation is pretty damn good. I also assure you that if you recognize this, you'll probably feel a lot better about it—and attract more happiness into your life.

Rather than saying, "My job doesn't pay me enough," why not take the perspective that your job gives you what you need to pay your rent or mortgage, drive a car every day, buy gifts for your family for birthdays and Christmas, and handle your bills each month. Why not see the upside? I certainly won't hurt you. And that pesky, unthoughtful husband? Why not be thankful that you have someone to come home to every night, instead of being all alone? That you have someone to fix things around the house and take the kids off your hands when you need a break? Appreciating him more will probably make him appreciate you more. As far as health stuff goes, it's always good to be cautious and see a doctor when something's up. But don't immediately assume you're dying when you don't feel well. Maybe look at it as a blessing—that your body is telling you to slow down and rest so it can take better care of itself.

There are no adverse effects to thinking positive. The worst that can happen is that you might start to feel better and draw more happiness into your life. And then, shoot, what will you have to complain about?!

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