For the most part, I enjoy Facebook's "On This Day" feature. That is until I began to see posts dating back to when I first joined many years ago. What I saw disturbed me. I was embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I couldn't believe my eyes. What in the world was I thinking?
My posts were mostly complaints. Complaining about how my son was sick. Complaining that my printer broke. Complaining about what a rough day I had at school. Complaining that it was too hot or too cold.
Complain. Complain. Complain.
I'm surprised I had any Facebook friends left. Who wants to listen to that? What was I complaining for? I had a wonderful husband who would bend over backwards for me. A son who was my miracle and my everything. A beautiful house that my happy family could call their own. A career that allowed me to make a positive impact on children's lives. I had all my needs met and most of my wants.
Why was I complaining all the time?
I was complaining because back then, that's how I related to people. Misery loved company, or so I thought. We could commiserate together and form some sort of connection. I didn't believe back then that positive people were being real. I felt I was being a "realist" and the genuinely positive people were "fake" and wearing rose-colored glasses.
Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now.
We are all magnets. Whether you think this is "new age" or not, it is true. We are energy. Positive attracts positive. Negative attracts negative. If you want to see more positive changes in your life, it has to start with you.
If you want to greatly impact your life for the better, start by being positive.
One of my favorite quotes is from Mr. Rogers. This is what we need to focus on. Stop dwelling on what is wrong in the world, our life, with us, etc. and start looking at what is GOOD. Start looking for the helpers. Ten years ago, I wouldn't be able to see that. Now, I can't imagine looking for anything else. Why?
When you start focusing on the good in life, you start to see more good things happening around you.
How was I able to change my mindset? I will share with you the steps I started with:
1. Start a gratitude journal. Every day, start by writing 10 things you are grateful for today. It does not have to be anything earth shattering. It could be something simple like, "I am grateful for the air I breathe." In fact, try to focus on the simple things. "I am grateful for the beauty of roses." "I am grateful for warm, sunny days". Make it 10 DIFFERENT things every day. This forces you to find gratitude in everything you do. It puts everything in perspective and literally changes your mindset over time.
2. Assume good intentions. No one wakes up in the morning planning to make bad decisions. They are doing the best they can with what they know. Here is the thing about other people and their behavior. YOU CAN'T CONTROL WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO OR SAY. You cannot control what they think of you. You cannot control what actions they take. You cannot control their thoughts as it is their experiences that have molded their actions. You cannot possibly judge another person because we are a result of our own experiences. You do not know if that the kid who is a "trouble maker" at school is lashing out because his parents beat him or if he has a medical disorder. You do not know if that mom who just snapped at you in the store is a single mom who is working tirelessly to put food on the table. You do not know if the drunk man you see in the bar just found out that his wife has cancer. Assume good intentions. Assume that people are acting in such a way not because they are bad people, but because they don't know any better. The only thing you CAN control, is your response to these people. Choose to respond with KINDNESS. Choose to UPLIFT them. Choose to give them GRACE. People are fundamentally good. Never forget that.
3. Meditate. I never knew how life changing meditation could be until I made it part of my daily ritual. It increases your self-awareness. In order to stop negative or unwanted thoughts, you have to become aware of them. Once you are aware of them, then you can learn how to "police them". Meditation allows you to search your soul to find joy. It helps you to realize who you are and accept yourself. It changes how you feel about life and others. It brings a sense of fulfillment that nothing else can. When your self worth is at the core of your beliefs, then it is hard not to be a positive person.
4. Show kindness. I want you to try to show 3 random acts of kindness every day. You have no clue how much a simple compliment could mean to someone. Smile at the mom whose kids are acting like wild animals in the store and tell her. "I've been there, my friend. You're a great mom!" Send a text to someone you haven't spoken to in a while and tell them how much they mean to you. Encourage a budding entrepreneur to take that business leap because you believe in them. Compliment a stranger's shirt or greet them with a wave and smile. Pay for someone's coffee. Offer an ear to someone who is hurting. If you want to see kindness, show kindness. BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE!
5. Stay Away From Drama- This includes people who thrive on drama. If the people you surround yourself with are negative, this does not serve your highest good. Choose to surround yourself with people who uplift you. People who support you. People who will stand by your side and encourage you. Refuse to engage in drama or negativity. Again, you can't control what others do, only your response to it. Respond by ignoring it. Do not bring attention to it. Do not give negativity any power. You are the only one who can control your emotions. Choose happiness. Choose kindness. Choose positivity. Choose love.