The Sum Total of Your Life Should Not Reflect the Negative
Have you ever wondered why it seems so easy to lose motivation, get discouraged, become downtrodden and unhappy? At first glance it might appear that life is mostly negative, full of unpleasantness and grief; what with all the suffering and unhappiness in the world, the idea is easy to believe. But it’s not true. You might wonder though, why does the negative seem to get more attention? I would say it’s force of habit. Really! Think about your day-to-day life. Does your car break down every day? Does your cat run away all the time? Does your girlfriend break up with you repeatedly and often? Well, unless something is seriously wrong in your life, none of those things happen with enough frequency to truly be a daily event. The emotional impact, however, is significant, and that is why you dwell on it.
This morning, for no reason at all (actually there is a mechanical reason), my car decided to not start. What a pain in the ass, right? My daughter had to get to school, I had to get to work, and we both didn’t have time for this kind of inconvenience. Fortunately, we only live seven blocks from school, so I walked her there and we were only about five minutes late. I’m pretty mechanical minded and I figured my car battery was dying, so I got a jump start and the car was off to the races, sort of speak. Actually I was right off to the auto repair shop. While driving, I realized that even though this whole scenario was a royal pain, it wasn’t the norm in my life. That’s why it was so bothersome, because it was so outside the norm. Now, my car requires maintenance and repair on occasion, some planned, some obviously not so planned. So I just have to deal with it. For the majority of the time, I get in, turn the key and drive away. So why don’t I get a giant euphoric feeling of joy every day the care works properly? Well, it’s because I expect the car to function properly.
You see, events in our lives that are unexpected, emotionally jarring, either positively or negatively make an impression. They have meaning because they wake us up from our malaise, that fog we hypnotize ourselves with. In a way that dazed phase of distraction is a good thing. It allows us to follow a routine we need to cope. But, and it’s a big but, that distraction can also make it harder to deal with the negative when it comes along, give it false power and significance. Don’t let that happen.
Remind yourself that for every time your car breaks down, or your dog runs away, there are days, weeks, even months in a row where good, positive things happen, because you planned for them, make the right decisions and stuck with it. Life’s curving and winding roads are a test. Don’t let them distract you and become negative. Each bump in the road is a chance to regain focus. Remember, staying focused will help direct you on your life’s mission. So, keep your eyes on the road!
Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are welcome.