Some people are just naturally optimistic. They always see the glass half full. I am not naturally one of those people. For most of my life, the glass wasnΓÇÖt just empty — the milk inside was sour and lumpy.
I realize I am not the only one who tends to be pessimistic. In fact, I think humans are naturally pessimistic. If you watch or read the news you are bombarded with things that would make anyone lose their joy.
Just look at todayΓÇÖs headlines: Car hits twelve motorcycles, five killed; Mom, kids and family friend missing in Ohio, blood found in home; British couple’s plight as captives of Somali pirates.
Add that the economy doesnΓÇÖt seem to be getting better, soldiers are dying in Afghanistan and gas prices are going up for the holidays, it’s easy to sit in a rut and think that life sucks.
So if you are not an optimist, you have to train your mind to become one! Whenever I have a negative thought, I try and cancel it out with at least two positive thoughts about the same subject. I call this the “One for Bad, Two for Good” rule.
For example: You are late to work and stuck in traffic. You find yourself sitting in your car frustrated and complaining about the traffic. You start thinking, “IΓÇÖm going to be late, IΓÇÖm going to get in trouble, IΓÇÖm going to get fired and wonΓÇÖt be able to pay my bills, then IΓÇÖll lose my home and be homeless and have to beg for food. That would be my thought process. If that isnΓÇÖt your natural progression of thought, you maybe more optimistic than you think!
The sooner you can catch yourself before you have too many pessimistic thoughts about “the problem,” the better. LetΓÇÖs say in the example above, you realize you are having negative thoughts when you start thinking about being fired. At that point, youΓÇÖve had three negative thoughts, so you need to think of six positive thoughts.
So stop thinking, “IΓÇÖm going to be late” and be happy that the car started this morning. Was there frost on the car? If not, isnΓÇÖt that great that you didnΓÇÖt have to defrost the car or dig it out of snow? You could have been much later! At least you have a car to drive to work with — you could be running for the bus. Consider why there is traffic or a delay. Could it be a car accident miles ahead? If you had left your house sooner you might have been in the accident, then being late might not be the worse of your problems!
Combat “IΓÇÖm going to get in trouble” by thinking of the good times you have had with your boss: she likes your work and thinks you are the best employee. Even if this isn’t the case, think it anyway. Think about how when you explain to her why you were late, she will smile and say thatΓÇÖs cool. Remember that everyone, even the boss, runs late sometimes.
Instead of getting defeated about the possibility of being fired, think, “It might be nice to start looking for a new job. IΓÇÖve always enjoyed doing XYZ; maybe I will consider looking into that field. Maybe my dream man will be at the next job.” Or think “If I do get fired, I’ll visit my girlfriend in Hawaii for some great R&R.” And just remember that you are a great employee and they couldnΓÇÖt live without your charisma, charm and optimistic thinking!
Now it may take some time and practice to train your mind to remember the “One for Bad, Two for Good” ruleΓÇösee what I mean, even I slip because that last sentence was a little pessimistic! Let me rephrase myselfΓÇª You will automatically start replacing one bad thought with two good thoughts, and your life will be 1000 times better for it.
Choose to be Happy,