Some days it's all too easy to get consumed by stuff that simply isn't worth the stress. I personally fall prey to the occasional adult temper-tantrum during the daily commute to work. It's next to impossible to feel at peace while trapped in a sea of cars all of which seem to be occupied by a driver spewing obscenities and throwing middle fingers in fits of rage. Whether it's the infuriating traffic you commute through, a debt you're worried about paying, or a difficult personality you have to interact with—many of us are overstimulated by negativity. It's as if blinders cause all our attention to zero in on the stresses, inconveniences, and frustrations of daily life. If it feels like you are living with with a chip on your shoulder, let that be a reminder that it's time to shift your attention to what really matters.
For the next five days, I challenge you to commit to participating in a simple daily task. The daily task will ask you to intentionally pay attention to something positive in the world. For some, these tasks will be easy. For others—those who are experiencing extra stress or struggling in general—it might be more challenging. If it's difficult to participate in the daily task, that's okay. Keep trying. Forget about trying to accomplish the daily task in some profound way, just focus on finding one thing, no matter how small.
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." - Sir John Lubbock
Before you get out of bed in the morning think about why you're glad to be given the gift of another day. What is one thing you look forward to today?
Catch a stranger doing something right, kind, or lovely. Simply notice it.
Find something beautiful in one thing where it could be easily overlooked.
Identify one thing you appreciate in someone you know. Extra Credit: Tell them.
Before you fall asleep at night, think of one thing you did to make this world a little better. How did you contribute today?
After you've succeeded with the five day challenge, try to make all five tasks part of a daily routine. What we focus on magnifies. Imagine how your daily experiences could elevate by choosing to focus on the positive each and every day.
Copyright © Finding Cloud9, Dr. Jamie Long