I have always had this unique ability to be incredibly forgetful – ask my family. It didn’t matter how many times i was reminded to take the garbage out it sometimes didn’t make it to the curb. To this day, I could be going to the store to return something and happen to forget that very something at home. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but for me it seems to happen more than most. Fortunately for me, I hardly let these inconveniences I create for myself get me down – in fact I often find myself literally laughing out loud at the things I let slip my mind. Now some people might forget little things more often than others, but it’s not the part of being forgetful I’m really talking about.
I’m talking about letting it go, laughing it off and finding the silver lining in whatever situation you find yourself. Perspective is one means we can control towards managing stress and creating the greatest step towards happiness. I’m not talking about trying to convince yourself not to be upset if you get laid off or if you break up with a significant other. No, we are human and have the right to be sad when the time calls for it. I’m talking about laying the foundation for long term happiness, building a mindset on positive thoughts so that when those other things happen we can bounce back – better and stronger than before. It can be a very small or drastic mindset.
I’ll give you an example, but we can apply this to anything.
When I finished college in 2009 i graduated into nearly the worst economy since the great depression. My 90k education was worth about $14 an hour and that was with the recommendations and management experience I already had. Needless to say I was in quite a bind when the bank starts sending bills to collect on their loans that had earned me – nothing. Now there was a thought in my mind to take the $14 a work my way up, another to hold out and keep looking, and a third to fake my own death and move to Aruba shucking coconuts for tourists. I had to change my perspective on the whole situation, but I was nearing the point of financial desperation. I realized I was allowing these companies to tell me what I was worth, what do they know about me from a one page resume? I continued looking and put a number in my mind, what an entry level gentleman like myself was worth – as of now, and not in the future with promises of a corporation. With that change in perspective I pressed on and soon after, I landed a career making exactly what I felt I was worth.
So how do we change our perspective?
Perspective is as much conscious as unconscious, but its like a muscle – keep working it out and it will become stronger. Like most great things it takes a realization that a different approach might be better for you than what you have been trying so far. Start small and keep your mind open, like I’ve said before – getting started is the hardest part.
Do you have a long commute for work or lots of traffic? Instead of viewing it as a waste of time, let’s make better use of it. Maybe you also find yourself not being able to read as much as you’d like because of work and travel. For that scenario, audio-books might be a good thought and solve two problems at once. Now your drive seems to fly by and you are all caught up on your favorite series.
Don’t like visiting your in-laws? It could be just as simple as having not yet found a common interest. I am sometimes amazed at how people that have known each other for decades don’t really know each other at all. It could be during that one particular Thanksgiving dinner conversation that you find out you both have a passion for guitar or dirt bikes and then you are jamming together and setting up a time to go riding. Talk to that quiet cousin, she might be thinking exactly what you are about how your uncles a weirdo – instant friends!
The list could go on and on, but it starts with taking something you feel is a chore and giving it a fair chance. Jumping in with an open mind and positive attitude. You may really have to push yourself the first time, but I promise you won’t regret it. Try it next time you find yourself somewhere you didn’t really want to be. If nothing else – it’ll pass the time =)