To the more cynical of you, this notion of expecting something wonderful to happen may sound ridiculous. I can hear your voices as I type this, “Even if I do, life will still be the same.” or “Life won’t change just because I am expecting it to.” I would have to agree with both of those statements. Life happens. Flat tires happen. Turning off your alarm while you are still half asleep happens. Going to Starbucks and finding they are out of coffee happens. (this actually happened to me and I share the story in my first book) If life will not change when we alter our expectations, then why do it? That is a very fair and legitimate question. Life will not change – but our experience of life will.
When we choose to expect, and therefore focus on, the positive, that is what we see. When you are expecting something wonderful to happen, you will be better able to notice when it does. Here is the truth – almost everything that happens in our lives can be something good. We get a flat tire? We might be late, but it will give us a forced opportunity to slow down. It will give us a chance to practice our tire changing skills. Maybe it will provide us a chance to use that roadside assistance we pay for. A cavity, as painful and inconvenient as it can be, is a great reminder to take care of our teeth.
Life is not all about finding the good in the struggles. In fact, life if full of miracles! Most of them we never notice. The fact that we can use a device that fits in our pocket to serve as an alarm clock to wake us up, a source of news to keep us informed, a music player to lift our spirits, a GPS system to get us where we are going, a camera to take pictures of where we are going and a platform to tell people around the world where we have been is a miracle. How about the wind? We can use it to power our cities. It can tell us when our neighbors are grilling out. It can further our appreciation of a beautiful flower. How about our ability to communicate and encourage others, even if they are half a world away? I always enjoy my communication with my friend in Italy. He provides valuable feedback on these very posts.
The fact that our bodies can turn food, water and air into energy, thoughts and motion. It is not only a chemical process, it is nothing short of a miracle. The happy dog we see in the car next to us. The smile from a stranger, or even better yet, from someone we love. The ability to taste the food we love. The joy that comes from hearing our favorite song. The feeling of love we get when someone hugs us. You may say I am choosing to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. You may be right, but does that make any of those statements less true? How would looking at all of those things as the miracles they truly are make you feel? What if you spent an afternoon, or even an entire day, trying to spot and appreciate everything good in your life? How would you feel at the end of the day?
The cynical are right that none of this would change the world. Here is the powerful secret to an amazing life – it would change the world for you! By taking control of our focus, we have the ability to create our world. Every day something wonderful does happen to us. What happens on the days we miss it? Will there be days when we feel nothing wonderful happened? Yes, we will still have bad days. We are human. When we chose to focus on, and expect, the wonderful, those bad days will be the exception and not the rule. In my third book, I ended it with a quote from Einstein. I think it sums up what we have been discussing here today. I invite you to read and ponder it. I also invite you to take me up on that challenge of trying to find everything positive you can for an afternoon, or even an entire day.