An article in a business magazine (just prior the Wall St Fiasco) asked the question “If the economy is doing so well, why does everyone feel so bad?”
There are a lot of very sophisticated answers to this question like “jobs are moving out of the county, there is a war in Iraq, the cost of living is rising, etc, etc.” I feel that there is one simple reason that is more responsible for people’s bad feelings than everything else. There is one simple reason why people are feeling down even though the economy is booming. There is one simple reason why, despite all the positive economic indicators, many people are still living in fear and are experiencing depression in record numbers.
You’ve probably guessed it by now, it’s our attitude which is controlled largely by what we focus upon and what we tell ourselves. We think a thought, which produces a feeling, which leads to an action, which produces a result. It all starts with the thought we choose to think.
If you watch the TV news or read newspapers with their never-ending barge of negative stories, you can’t help but feel bad. I’m not suggesting that you give up news all together although it’s not an entirely bad idea, but that you limit your news intake and especially avoid it prior to going to sleep. It is a well accepted fact that, what you read, watch or listen to within a half hour of going to sleep will carry over into your dream state and will effect how well you rest and ultimately how you feel.
News items aside, what else are you focused upon? Do you regularly engage in conversations about how bad things are, or are you looking for what is right and what’s working in every situation? The former will increase your bad feelings and take you further in that direction, while the latter will open your awareness to the good that already surrounds you.
My wife Georgia and I have been engaging in a “what’s working” exercise every week for several years now and I am amazed of the benefits that have resulted from it.
While so many people are caught up in talking about everything that is wrong in their world, thereby causing themselves to feel bad, you can choose the opposite, like Anthony Cox Rochester NY, you can choose to increase the good in your life by focusing your attention and conversation on the good that’s already there, To paraphrase the Bible , “To he who has, more is given.”
On a recent Monday morning I was feeling “less than great.” That’s about as close as I get to feeling bad. Georgia, having learned the value of shifting to a more positive focus asked, “So what’s working?” I struggled to list one or two things that were going well and “working” in my business on that particular day. I wrote them down in my journal. I don’t think I had written more than three things in total, as I said I was not having a great day.
Then, a very interesting thing happened. By mid-day I was able to add a couple of more things that were working and by the close of business that day, and my list had grown to three times its original length. By shifting my focus, I was once again in a state of mind to attract more good into my life.
Lynn Grabhorn, author of “Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting” refers to it as your “valve” being either open or closed. Are you open to attract what you want by focusing your attention and thereby your perception on what you want, or is your valve tightly shut by a steady internal dialogue of gloom and doom? It’s your choice how you experience your world. You get to decide what you want to create in your life. If you want to learn more about using a what’s working approach, I suggest reading Curt Wright’s book “Breaking the Rules.”
– List everything in your life that is working, that is right and that is good. Dig deep down and list everything that you can think of.
– What would the ideal vision look like if everything were working perfectly?
– What’s not quit perfect yet? What needs tweaking?
– What resources do you need? Who can help? And how can you add to what’s already working?
If you do this exercise each week, with your spouse, co-workers or coach, before long you will begin to see significant shifts in your life.