The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at you. Smile and it smiles, too. Herbert Samuels
There is an old adage which states that you can see a glass with water and respond that it is half full or half empty. Either way you are right, but it is the attitude that triggers the response that is central to the learning. Similarly, life is often full of surprises and shocks, if we see it as challenges and blessings we can deal with both rationally. However if we seek to view surprises as mere lucky breaks and shocks as unmitigated disasters, we would go through life, seeing problems, difficulties and hopelessness in all the significant events of your life.
If we analyze the newspaper headlines everyday, 80% of the news would be negative, sad, disheartening, disturbing and repulsive; yet don’t we read the newspapers the next day with renewed hope that the world has changed for the better? It is this positive thinking, the hope and the urge to see things in better light that motivates us everyday and keeps our adrenaline flowing. It is also this optimistic view of life that spurs us on to buy a lottery ticket despite winning just a pittance sometime. However when the motivation turns to greed then we can ruin ourselves by turning into compulsive gamblers who derive a kick from the excitement of optimistic thinking which is in realty a form of hallucination.
Observe the way you react when you comb your hair in front of a mirror. You do check yourself out from various angles, smile and revel in your own smile, sometimes frown and dislike the image peeping back and occasionally stare and distrust the stare that you see. Finally you focus on your hair that you combed, perhaps make finer adjustments and then with a smug feeling of looking nice move on with the business of the day, happy and optimistic. It is this belief that things are fine, today will be a good day and if things go wrong I can still manage that gives you a pep in your step and brings a song on to your lips everyday.
Remember: “Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith
- Pull out your old photo albums and pick out 15-20 pictures over the years that you love very much. Now shortlist 5 pictures and visualize the background and memories associated with the picture. Do those pictures bring smile to your face and lightness in your heart? What made that happen? Is it the pleasant memories, the poignancy of the moments, the feelings of ecstasy and /or a mix of myriad emotions?
- For the next few days, have a smile for everyone you meet, a kind word for those you talk to and go out of your way to extend a helping hand to all those you can. Pay particular attention to family members an surprise them at least twice in the coming fortnight. E.g. You can plan a surprise movie program for the family, take them to a new restaurant, buy a gift for each member of the family etc. Now notice their initial reactions and their attitudes over the next 2 weeks after you have finished your surprise fortnight. Do you think you can repeat the surprises occasionally?
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