“We mostly see what we have learned to expect to see.”
Shawn Achor in his book Before Happiness shares the quote below from the book Positivity, by Barbara Fredrickson. It offers much hope for those of us who are constantly striving to be positive by availing ourselves to many resources that reinforce our positive possibilities. It also offers hope for people who have come to realize their focus on the negative is holding them back from living the life of their dreams. Hopefully they are now ready to board the train that is headed towards finding new ways of seeing things by focusing on a positive outcome.
There are many examples in my life in which I have found new ways of seeing and doing things that have given me support when doubt occurs. A few weeks ago in my article on fourth quarter review I listed the topics that help me stay focused on positive outcomes.
One of my practices is that each morning I write a few things for which I am grateful and then spend time in appreciation. I always include “I am grateful for my wellness and I am grateful for my wife’s healing.” Eric Butterworth with Unity explained, “The practice of gratitude gets us into a full-of-greatness consciousness.”
My wife’s ability to handle pain is an example of deciding to focus on the positive in spite of dealing with 10 years of pain caused by nerve damage from shingles. The first six months the pain was out of control. She secluded herself and just stayed home. Thankfully we found the doctors who could help her partially control the pain with medication. However, the location of the nerve damage causes many complications and can be very disruptive to our plans and daily routines. There are times when it still gets overwhelming and all we can do is patiently wait for the pain to lessen.
Jeanne’s success in enjoying life is possible because she doesn’t focus on her pain. She limits making her pain a part of conversation with others, and pushes forward with a strong desire to fully enjoy our family and friends; making the best of the “good times.” To keep the positive energy flowing and our bodies functioning at its best physically, we both enjoy Pilates every Monday, and take advantage of the gym a few additional days each week.
Her passions in life are cooking and responding to the needs of our family, particularly our grandchildren. She certainly attests to the fact that positive activities offer a distraction from the pain. She has been a great sport in participating in my passion of experiencing life to the fullest. We are surrounded by friends who love a good time. The first six months of negativity and hopelessly regarding a cure of the nerve damage was indeed overwhelming. However her attitude to refuse to let it sentence her to a very limited life is a blessing to me, our family, our friends, and most of all to herself, as she continually opens herself to the many opportunities to live life to the fullest.
You may want to pay attention to your thinking and conversation when you first wake up in the morning. Those first thoughts can set the tone for the day. I suggest you surround yourself with posted positive affirmations, an open grateful journal to write one entry every day, and inspirational reading material to assist you to stay focused on your goal of positive possibilities.