Smile, Life isn’t that bad

How to love your anything (your life/job etc) even when you don’t.

Recently in my travels this year, across one of the most uncertain and turbulent years I have seen the faces of many unhappy people. It appears to be more than usual. Whether it is in the middle of the CBD, on public transport or at the shops, the general look and feel is that of disdain and misery in their life. I see people with miserable looks on their faces, unable to find the good in anything.

People are on buses and trains, grumpy and scrolling through social media like it will have an answer to their problems. People on the roads have a short temper and refuse to be kind and let someone into their lane. Waitresses at some restaurants don’t even bother to smile anymore. Now this article or my thoughts here might not come as a surprise to you and what is my point?

Regardless of how cranky/happy/unhappy/joyful you are in life, you still have to go to work, you still have to tend to your life, kids, family etc. You still have to play your specific role in life.

But my point to highlight here is how you choose to see these activities will determine how you think about them, and ultimately how you feel about them, and therefore how you act about them.

Allow me to give you an example to illustrate this.

Joe is 45 years old, married with 3 kids and travels to the CBD everyday for work.

On the bus travelling to work he is miserable and that reflects obviously on his face, body language and overall attitude. He has woken up, gotten dressed, had breakfast, and walked out to the bus stop thinking that it is so terrible that he has to go to work again. He dreads the bus and finds nothing to look forward to in his day.

Now, as mentioned above it is all about how Joe chooses to see this situation (going to work) that will determine how he thinks, feels and therefore his actions.

So, if he thinks this is a terrible Wednesday, he has to go to work again, he has to go do all of his duties at work, come back home again and repeat the cycle he will forever be stuck in a state of unhappiness, therefore feeling and thinking that he hates his work/ life etc (let’s face it, for the average person work takes up 40 hours of their life).

Joe is focusing on the negative in his life, and only searching for the negative to help feed more of it into his life. Rather than seeing the benefits of his job (i.e. the fact that his job pays for the ballet lessons his daughter loves, or the lovely neighbourhood they live in) he is only finding the negative and it is showing in his face, his attitude and his thoughts.

On the contrary, imagine if Joe decided each day that to see the positive in what he is doing, his entire outlook on everything would change. Imagine if he woke up on that same Wednesday and chose to think about the positive things in his life about his job and about going to work. He could actually see what his income does, by providing ballet lessons for his daughter, or enables them to live in the suburb they live in.

He can choose thoughts that are more positively aligned, by focusing on the positive things in life and what his job enables him to do. A more positive train of thought would be:

“Gosh I know its Wednesday and I’d be more excited to stay at home today, but I am excited that I can continue to provide for this amazing life we live”

Let’s face, in life in a few wrong moves we can lose it all. I know, because I have failed (really just a different word for succeeding) multiple times over. The one that has remained true to me regardless of any situation life has handed me has always been how I see things.

I have failed on live TV in front of all of Australia. How did I see that?

I saw it as a chance to improve my skills and a chance to understand what happened internally that made me stuff up and forget my words.

I saw it as a chance for me to sharpen my sword, learn and improve for next time.

Remember, hating something ties you to it more strongly. The next time you feel like there is something you don’t like or don’t want to do, find a something positive about it and get on that wavelength.

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