Are you like me? .. I have always had the tendency to, through all the goodness in my life, zero in on the one thing that is wrong. I zero in on it, like targeting it for destruction. Then, I execute and attack until it is no longer an issue.
Sounds great, right? Sometimes, it is! It is a very useful thing. However, taken out of balance, it is not helpful in the attainment of purpose or happiness in the grand scheme of life. There are skills that are useful for work, and then there are principles and understandings that we must embrace and learn to operate in in order to be happy human beings.
So, let’s say, for example, as I am writing this message today, that I decide that I don’t want to use punctuation. I am just going to do whatever and be thankful for the words that flow so freely. Hm. I have a strange feeling that many of you would not appreciate that .. 😉 .. thus, the attention to detail and fixing things that are wrong is important. It is essential to produce a product (in this case, a hopefully positively influential message to you) that is desirable and valued.
However, in life, if we are always zeroing in on what is wrong or what is not perfect, we will find ourselves not only incredibly unhappy, but also chasing our tails in dog-like fashion.
If our minds are like cameras and what we focus on is what develops, should we possibly place more emphasis on what is good and right and awesome, as in, family to spend Thanksgiving holiday with, versus the house that is a disaster due to the amount of people we have over? Kids running around, etc?
Don’t throw things; I am not speaking of irresponsibility and blatantly ignoring things that are not good and that need corrected. I am speaking of general focus. I am simply giving the personal example of the fact that I have chased many a wrong thing in my life to fix it, only to find myself back where I started, more discontented than I was when I embarked upon it, due to feeling like I wasted a bunch of time. Not only that, but then, there was a new fire to put out due to my lack of overall focus over the rest of my life.
I could give an example in relationships. If something in particular drives you crazy (not good crazy, but bad crazy) about someone. Should our goal be to go out and find the exact opposite of that trait in someone else? Regardless of if it is a friend or a significant other. Are we possibly neglecting a lot of other things if we laser focus on that one trait, that one thing? Are we possibly welcoming more problems to arise with this plan of action, if we have tunnel vision to only solve the one problem, versus finding the best fit overall? Maybe focusing on others’ strengths? I have seen this concept in small businesses determining partnerships and hiring individuals. To be successful, they had to go back to square one and identify their non-negotiables, and work from there.
SO! My rabbit trail leads me to this idea: that yes, on Thanksgiving, we are reminded to think about all the things that we are thankful for. We should make a list of the blessings in our lives. I realized this on my birthday the other day – that some of the greatest gifts that I have are the friends that I share it with. It filled me with a love and sense that made me want to give them gifts on my birthday, versus the opposite, because they are blessings to me and I love and appreciate them. (Thus I got up at 0400 and made homemade chocolate chip cookies and zucchini bread). It made me incredibly happy to do it.
Sometimes, people think I’ve lost a few screws, but that’s ok. 🙂 Being radical and being different, really just being ME, is ok.
When we focus on the things that we are grateful for, we obtain a broader awareness of those around us and can be better influences for them. We can bless their lives. We become easier to work with, more pleasant to be around, and, much, much happier personally, from the inside out. We can truly give to others, versus take.
Might I challenge you to take a moment – no .. take more than that. Take some time today and write down (or type down, whatever your preference is) some things that you are thankful for. Family, friends, career, your favorite coffee in the morning, etc.
This is greatly worth investing some time into, do not limit yourself or think that it should take a long time, either, as many times we can overjudge how long something will take.
Set a timer for five minutes. Begin writing. If the thoughts don’t flow after 5 minutes, try again sometime later. If they begin to flow, roll with it. Don’t hold yourself back. Maybe we have more things to be thankful for than we realize at a glance of a thought?
Happy Thanksgiving to you, and your families and your loved ones!