It’s very easy to be negatively influenced by the news—if you don’t have a plan to remain positive. I used to look forward to watching the nightly news. I used to listen to the news while driving my car. I used to watch the news before going to sleep. But for quite a while now, I’ve made a conscious decision to listen and watch less TV and radio news. I simply will not watch the news before going to sleep. I know that whatever is on my mind before I drift of to sleep is what my subconscious mind focuses on.
I’ve also learned to develop strategies to interrupt myself when feeling stuck in my daily activities. For example, I’ll tell myself “Inch by inch it’s a cinch. Yard by yard is sometimes hard.” This message reminds me that sometimes it’s helpful to slow down and accept that progressing slowly and consistently is better than trying to force quick and instant results. When I say this to myself I generally smile, lighten up, let go, and feel better. When I feel better I’m more optimistic and more inclined to persist.
I grew up on a farm and driving tractors. When I was plowing a field in preparation of planting crops a lower gear was used to maintain a high rpm rate.
Planting the crop required far less power so the tractor was always in a higher gear with lower rpm. Just reminding myself of this helps me readjust my focus to a more optimistic state.
I find it helpful to have funny stories in my memory. For example I remember reading a story about a therapist who would often listen to people talk in length about their problems. He would offer a solution and often the response to his solution was “Well, that just wouldn’t be me.” After hearing this response numerous times over the years he decided he had to come up with a response that would interrupt the patient’s pattern and kind of shock them into action. Finally he came up with something he felt confident would do the job.
A person he’d been seeing for a few months told the same old familiar story. The therapist suggested a solution. The patient responded with “That just wouldn’t be me.” The therapist calmly replied with “Why be yourself when you could be somebody really worthwhile?”
Now I don’t recommend insulting patients, clients, or customers to improve your business, but the point is that interrupting your pattern is a way to break out of an old and destructive habit. When I read that story I could relate to the patient. The response from the therapist caused me to smile and realize that whining and making excuses cheated me of the opportunity to grow and mature. I like to use as much humor as possible to cause growth and improvement in my life. Life is too short to take it seriously.
Then there’s the story of the young man who traveled far into the mystical mountain in search of a guru to get advice. After many days of walking and climbing mountain trails he finds the guru.
He asks the guru “How can I find enlightenment?” The guru responds by telling the young man to follow him to the river. When they get to the river the guru tells the young man to bend over and then proceeds to push the young man’s head under water. Immediately the young man begins to run out of air and begins to thrash about. The more he thrashes about the more forcefully the guru holds his head under water. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the guru lets go of the young man’s head. The young man lifts his head out of the water gasping for air with a look of bewilderment on his face and asks the guru why he held his head underwater for so long. The guru responded by asking the young man what he desired most when his head was held under water. The young man replied “Air.”
The guru replied “When you desire enlightenment as much as you desire air, you’ll have it.”
We all have enough stress and adversity in life. Developing fun ways to lighten up and laugh at myself works for me. If anything I’ve shared works for you please use it.
One last thing….do you know how to spell guru? Gee You Are U!