One of the ways to keep happiness in your life depends on how you approach and react to life itself. As Marcus Antoninus once said, "The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts."
If your reactions are usually negative in that all you see is the 'bad' in every situation, you are setting yourself up for continual unhappiness.
If your thoughts are, 'Why did this happen to me?' you are engaging in what I call the poor me syndrome.
When you have a positive approach to life, that is you look for and are able to see the good in all situations, you will find that you will be much happier more often.
"There is little difference in people,
but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude.
The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."
W. Clement Stone
If your thoughts are, "Okay, this happened to me but I know there is an advantage and I will find it", you WILL find it because you are focused to look for it rather than being focused on "why me!"
Having a positive attitude does not prevent you from having to face challenges. Positive thoughts, though, will help you cope with the challenges you face so you can take advantage of opportunities within them.
Here is a simple example of what happened to me today that demonstrates positive vs. negative thinking. I took my truck in to the garage to check the brakes; they had been giving a thumping noise for the last couple of days so I thought it wise to check them out before summer and more driving coming my way.
I go to the garage and waited for the technician to tell me what was wrong. In about fifteen minutes, the supervisor came over with several sheets in his hand and asked me if I was ready for some bad news. I looked at the report about my brakes and took a deep breath. What I thought would be a simple fix was a major problem with each brake rotor, pads cylinders-the whole nine yards needing to be replaced to the tune of one thousand dollars. Wow! I was shocked.
On the one hand, I could cry fowl and wail and moan but instead, I knew that the technician had nothing to do with causing the brake problem nor did my brakes do it to me out of some cosmic spite. But, this was an event that I gave no control to, nor did I give it power, it was a simple event in life dealing with mechanical parts that are meant to be serviced when they wear out. So, keeping this thought in my mind, I simply told them to do whatever they had to in order to make my vehicle safe.
The next thing that happened was when I went to fill up two propane tanks that I had just exchanged with my trailer dealer because they were defective. Both these tanks needed to be purged before they could be filled so I went to my local Costco outlet only to be told that they could not purge tanks only refill them. This was another event where I could have easily lost my cool but, again, it wasnt the fault of anyone just a set of circumstances. So, I put the tanks in my truck and off I went again to a local hardware store that I knew could do it, and simply got it done. No negative emotion and where a little drive time to the local hardware store resolved the situation.
Each one of us always has a choice about how to react to any given situation. The real challenge is to release you from negative emotional energy, which is always wasted on whatever the issue is at hand. The only real way to avoid this negative emotion is to train yourself over and over again to understand that, first of all, you do have a choice of how you will react, and secondly, that a negative reaction does in no way move you forward in finding a positive solution.
Positive action defeats negative emotion any day of the week.
John Amatt summarizes this thought well - he said:
"Adventure isn't hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles of life - facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and in the process, discovering our own unique potential."