This picture really says it all. If you are alive right now, you should be enjoying your life to the fullest. Sure, you might not have the perfect body, you might not have the perfect job and unless you are as lucky and blessed as I am you might not have the perfect mate. So what!
You are alive and the possibility to improve exists. You can become healthier, wealthier and whatever else you are chasing. While working towards whatever goal you have there is one thing you should had to the top of any goal, no matter what that goal is. What should be included in any list you have whether it is goals, to do, or even shopping lists, somewhere on that list you should have some version of these words – enjoy and have fun during the process.
Why? A better question is, “Why Not?” We only go once around the ride and if you are not finding ways to enjoy your life, you are wasting it. Want to get in shape? Maybe start walking with a friend? Sharing your progress online with a supportive group of people. Looking for that perfect person to share your life with? Maybe find entertainment in the ‘unique’ people you will no doubt have to go through. Stuck in a job you dislike? Be grateful for as many things as you can in that job even if it is just the motivation to look for something better for yourself.
I know people who actually do the very opposite of this. See if this sounds familiar. You are at a fabulous all-inclusive resort in the tropics. The sun is shining, the love of your life is across from you with a big smile on their face. Suddenly, from the table next to you a voice can be heard. It is a man complaining his burger is too well done. Not only is he complaining about it, but he seems to be almost obsessing about it. Then he adds how dry the bun is. Forget that the weather is perfect, you can smell the ocean and flowers and birds are everywhere, his hamburger is dry. Sound ridiculous? Some people really live this way. Don’t be one of them. If your burger is dry, take a nice slow slip of rum and say to yourself with a chuckle, “Next time I will get the jerk chicken.”
How can we enjoy the process? There are several ways. Ask yourself questions like these, “What can I be grateful for in this situation?” “What can I find that I love?” Also look for the humor is challenging situations. If all else fails, shake your head and say, “At least I am going to have a good story.” Remember every bad day only serves to make us more grateful for the good ones. Let us all remember to enjoy our life to the fullest.
This is me…on the roof of my work. Every few months I like to go up there and look for things that need fixing. This serves a dual purpose. First I check for things that need fixing on the roof. Today I found some broken metal brackets and loose covers. Last year it was a few bad goose eggs stuck in a vent.
It also allows me to do something else. As I walk around the border of the roof I can examine things on the ground below at a quick glance. I can see the entire landscaping and what needs attending to. I can see the parking lot and where there may be issues. In short, I can see a lot of things that may not be apparent when I am looking at them on the ground.
What does this have to do with living an amazing life? Life is not much different than what I do here. Sometimes in my life I need to take a step back and view things from an entirely different angle. I think it was Les Brown who said, “sometimes it is hard to see the picture when you are in the frame.” In other words, when we are emotionally involved in a situation it can be hard to see it objectively.
Have you ever been working on a problem for what seems like forever and a friend comes along and points out what is a simple, and should have been obvious solution? How frustrating is that? We were so focused and attached to the problem we were unable to see the solution. Albert Einstein said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
That is what I am going to suggest you do for the next 24 hours. Try looking at situations from a different viewpoint. Pretend you are someone else, maybe even someone who has the opposite views you do. If you are facing a challenge try this simple method, write down all the facts of the matter with as few opinions and beliefs attached to them as possible. When you are done, trying looking at the problem from as many different angles as you can. You never know what ideas may come to the surface.
Today’s P word as you may have figured out by the picture is perspective. This word, as we are going to use it, is close to attitude. It is, however, a little more. Perspective is how we view the world. What many fail to understand is how vital it is to have a healthy perspective on life.
So let’s ask ourselves what perspective is healthy? The first word that comes to mind is grateful. Having a grateful perspective can change the way life appears to you. In my own life i have constant reminders of this. When my hours at my job were cut from 45 a week to ten it seemed I had been left up a creek without a paddle. Then I went down to help at a homeless shelter. Not only did these people not have jobs, many did not have homes. Today as I write this i strained a muscle in my arm at work. The man who served me my coffee had only one arm.
I was explaining this to a man I work with at the post office and his response was “so what it doesn’t change anything”. After inquiring what he meant he explained my arm still hurt and my hours were still cut even if others had it worse. He was right of course, the reality of my situation did not change. What did change was how I felt about it
How important is that? As we discussed earlier in this blog feeling good about our life is one of the major indicators of a successful life.
Another conversation I had with this gentleman explains it perfectly. He had informed me we are all like the lemmings who eventually jump off a cliff to their death. We are all just slowly marching towards that cliff. Shocking him, I agreed. While he saw this as a ‘why bother’ I saw it as the importance of making every moment count. We never know where the edge of our cliff is. He further informed me whether the “lemming” was focused on all he had to be grateful for in his life or just thinking about the fall, he is going to die. Again, I agreed, but added “which one do you think will have more fun on the way down?”
It was the famous speaker Les Brown who said “you can’t get out of life alive, so you might as well have fun while you’re here”. Isn’t that the whole reason we are here? If you are not enjoying your life, you are wasting the life that has been given to you. So do yourself a favor and develop a positive, healthy and grateful perspective. It may or may not change your reality, but it is certain to change how you feel.
Feel free to not only share this post, but share your ideas for keeping a healthy perspective in the comments below.
In former posts I have talked about the importance of the way we look at situations. As I have also stated living an amazing life is a lifelong journey and not a goal to be reached. We all have much to learn. I would like to offer an example from my own life. Recently I had been discussing issues that were quite meaningful between another person and myself. It left me feeling rather connected to this person and quite special. Well a few days later this person had told me they had presented those very details we were discussing specifically when I was not there. Suddenly I felt hurt, like maybe the issues were not as much of a connection as I had thought. Have you ever noticed when your feel hurt your mind just seems to take over and make all sorts of connections that may or may not even make sense? Well that is what happened here. I began to wonder if perhaps the connection I thought had developed with this person may not have been as close as I had hoped. Perhaps there was no real connection at all. Even typing that makes it sound crazy. Knowing what I know of this person and the things we have shared in the past this thought should not have even entered my mind. A good fact to note here is when rational thought and emotion run into each other it is like a semi running into a sports car, emotion will always win. I had decided that this person did this so it meant that. Why would I do that? They are always several reasons. Past experiences when others have done the same and I ended up hurt? Misjudging what I know of this person? Living in reaction instead of action? So what to do when you find yourself in this situation. Well nine times out of ten if you are waiting to ask this question until you are in that situation you are probably to late. Again this site is about being proactive. So what actions can we begin to take today to help us should such a situation come up in our future? Here is the bad news, because we all are unique individuals with unique rules and experiences somebody in your future will hurt or disappoint you. Not even because they are trying to, but because they look at life different from you do. So knowing that how can we minimize the chances of being stuck in a train of thought like I was yesterday? Begin to develop a positive perspective. When something happens that you feel another person has let you down try to come up with as many positive explanations as you can. It may be hard at first, especially if you have been hurt in the past. When you ask why this person did this answers may begin to fill your head like “because they’re a jerk” “because they don’t care” pull the brake. Begin by trying to get at least one positive option. Maybe they simply did not understand what their actions would have meant to you? Maybe some even occurred in their life that caused them to have to make a change without being able to tell you. Maybe their actions mean something entirely different to them? Keep practice doing this. Why? I will give you two great reasons. One, you will feel hurt a lot less or at less not feel hurt as often. Two, you will find a lot less conflict with those you really care about. Let’s face it the more you care about someone the more they can make you feel amazing, but the more they can hurt you.
So how did my situation end up? Luckily this person has an amazing grasp on personal relations and a large dose of patience with me. They could tell that I was feeling upset and asked what they may have done. After some expert cajoling I explained that the ideas they expressed I felt were special between us and I was a bit(which at this point was an understatement)hurt that they chose to present them when I wasn’t even around. To my surprised they agreed that indeed they felt they were as special, if not more, than I did. They also went on to explain the reason they chose to express them for the first time when I wasn’t around was because they wanted to be able to do so flawlessly by the time we were together. So initially I just felt like a total jerk for even being upset. Still being one for learning from my mistakes I tried to see what I could selvage out of this experience. Here is what I learned. I have a lot to learn. One I learned I have one amazing person in my life who really does care more than I realized. I also learned that I still let my past affect me and the relationships I have in the present. Which is not only terribly unfair to that person, but also to yourself. I also learned I could probably learn to express how things make me feel in the future. Most importantly I learned that I really need to work on developing a more positive perspective on people and why they do the things they do. So I will be following the very steps I gave you earlier. As well as being grateful for the amazing people I have in my life. Tomorrow we will look at how we can productively expressing what we like and how to actually make people want to do those very things.