Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blog-a-Day May: Day 22: A Matter of Attitude

Call me Pollyanna. 

Fine, I have a rather pragmatic and chirpy outlook on life. You have to roll with the punches, get on with things, try and look at things in a positive light and this sees me through quite well.

See, I used to be a Negative Nancy – woe is me, the world hates me, life is crap type deal. A few sessions with a psychologist working on my next to existent self-esteem and things started to improve. A bit later, a year of regular hypnotherapy sessions with a skilled counsellor and life turned around.

What both the psychologist and the hypnotherapist taught me over these sessions was not what was happening to you, but how you approached it that made all of the difference. If you have a positive outlook, not matter how bad things get, things will turn out. The positive attitude helps you to overcome almost everything with a bit of grace and dignity.

There are all the self-help books out there, “The Secret” being one of them. The big element that that this book extols is the law of attraction, that like attracts like. For the most part, I’ve found this works. Okay, there are times when you really in “Pooh Corner” where you’re going to go off in a huff. It happens. I’m also aware that those with anxiety and depression conditions may find this a bit hard to fathom, but I do understand that this is why these are conditions that require sensitive, trained help to get through. These are things that can’t get wiped away that easily.

However, for the normal, mild mannered person walking down the road, the person with a direct gaze, an open face, a slight smile and a polite demeanour is going to find life is far easier than the person wandering around, head down, anger screaming from every pore giving off the impression that they’re going to skin your puppy alive if you say hello to them.

As much as I bag it, The Landmark Forum also put me on to the fact that we filter everything that is said to us through the experiences life has dealt us. If you can get rid of some of your pre-formed prejudices and see things for as they are, you’re often a lot better off. Taking out the emotional aspects of situations and seeing them clearly and unemotionally can take a whole lot of angst out of situations. 

It’s just a matter of choosing to do so – not that there are times when this can be next to impossible, but it can help diffuse what you have found is next to intolerable and make life a little easier.

So why to I bring this up? 

Things are good at the moment. I've been setting intentions lately to make sure days run well. In the morning on the walk in          I set the intention that the day is going to be fun and productive, that the coffee will not have burned beans and that there aren't too many curve balls thrown my way. Going into the day like this makes things run somewhat smoother.

As I change jobs so regularly, when looking for roles I set the intention that the work in interesting, the team great, the money good and the prospects even better. This has served me very well indeed.

It’s this looking forward and setting the intention for good that helps to smooth over the bumps.

Brings me to why I’m writing this blog. 

A friend is not having a so good time of things. It’s not that life has given her a couple of curve balls – but these are things that she can’t do anything about.

Oh, I forgot, the Serenity Prayer. This helps too. “Insert your Deity here, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.”

I recite this daily too.

Of my friend. So, your friend gets a life threatening disease. You can’t do anything about it but you can be there for your friend. It's sad, but it's their life to fix, not yours. 

Your work situation is not what it was, but you can find strategies to makes things more tolerable, whether that be an exit plan, a chat with the boss or just changing your attitude to things.

See where I’m coming from.

Okay, so my friend is having some changes thrown at her. My way of looking at her situation, look for the good, adapt, go in with a smile, look at it like it’s an adventure and offset the not so good stuff with things you like doing. This strategy makes sense to me.

My friend’s strategy is to sit on the couch with a glass of wine, arms crossed tightly across her chest and repeat, ad nauseum, “Life is Sh&*!” in a very angry tone.

I've given her my Pollyanna words. Probably not what you want to hear when you’re down.

But after three weeks of listening to this I really want to pour a bucket of water over her and tell her to stop acting like a three-year-old.

Oh, the last life lesson I will impart, tantrums are for children. Stamp your foot once, build a bridge and get over it.

There is far too much about life to enjoy, embrace and interact with. Lying down in the middle of the supermarket aisle, screaming and yelling is no more going to get you want you want than is flipping the bird  to the world and telling it sucks.

You only get one life. How you approach it is up to you.


Jackie K said...

Yes but perhaps your friend needs to go through her current phase first? When my dad got his diagnosis he was inititially in turmoil but kept saying "Well you have to be positive!" I just said "you don't have to be positive from day one. Its ok to be down/angry/scared as well."
Everyone's different, and everyone has different battles.
But yes for everyday curveballs you are right - facing things and being optimistic/chirpy will get you further.
Hope your friend comes round/is ok.

Pandora Behr said...

I hear what you're saying but the current phase is the end of a phase that's gone on for three months (it;s just got worse lately) I've sat, listened, not borne judgement etc - just over it. Your dad has full reason to be in turmoil. This friend is healthy with a lot of things going her way. She's just allergic to change.