I’m naturally a very happy person. When I say “naturally,” I suppose it’s not 100% true, but it feels natural. It’s just the way I think about things in general whether it’s handling bad news or dealing with stress. (Although the stress from planning our venture across the ocean is proving a true test of this ability)
How do I remain happy even when things aren’t going great? It’s actually very simple, and in my opinion easy to do. Don’t focus on negative things. Always search, no matter how hard it may be, to find something positive in a bad situation. Nine times out of ten, the positive will prove to be more useful thoughts than the negatives. In other words, the negatives were never worth focusing on in the first place. If there is nothing positive about the situation that you can think of (you’re not trying hard enough if that’s the case) then focus on your positives.
I lost a job two months ago that I’ve had for three years, and had planned on making a career out of. I’ve spent the last year of my life preparing for a big promotion, and I sacrificed quite a few things for it. One day I came into work and found out that our franchise was being shut down, because of the actions of some of our store managers and I was out of a job. Bummer, right? Maybe, but it really depends on how I chose to handle it. I wasn’t bummed at all, actually. The first thing I thought of was now I can travel everywhere I wanted to go. I had sacrificed my dream of world travel for this promotion, and it was something that had somewhat torn at me. But what about money to pay my bills before I leave? I say “before I leave” because I’m never too worried about money on the road. True to the outlook on life that I’m explaining to you right now, things always have a way of working out. Every time I’ve ran out of money on the road, the world didn’t stop. I made shit happen and worked it out. But money before I leave? Focus on the positives in yourself: I have plenty of skills. I’m a musician. Or I can do just about any type of home building work if I have to. The very same day I was booking as many shows as I could. I focused on that positive aspect about myself and exploited it to my advantage. So far I haven’t done a single construction job and I’m making just as much money as I was at my day job. Which also leaves me plenty of time to plan for this trip, work on my newly acquired (okay, more like acquiring) skills of web design, video editing and music engineering. Not to mention spending time seeing my friends and family before I take off. I’m more busy than I’ve ever been, but I’m busy doing things I enjoy doing. Not sitting 10-7 at a job making someone else more money than myself. If I had focused on the negatives of that situation, I would have been too pre-occupied feeling sorry for myself to get off my ass and do something to change it. I’m actually happy that the “negative” thing happened.
A friend gave me a good piece of advice once when I was making a tough decision about whether or not I should stick with a girl I had been dating: “You need to make a list of the pros and cons about this relationship and see which list is longer.” Cons won, but that’s besides the point haha. Relationships may be the only time this system somewhatfails, because in my opinion you shouldn’t have to try to make yourself be happy with someone. Although, I do recommend the pros/cons list! Anyways, in any other situation, make the same list. Take a piece of paper and write “Pros” on the left side, and then “Cons” at the right side. Be honest and write them all out. Now grab the right side of the paper, rip the “Cons” list off, and throw that shit away. You’re now holding a list of the things you should be focusing on.
I promise you in any situation you’re in, there are positives. Focus on finding them, no matter how hard it may be. It’s a skill that’s perfected over time, and I guarantee it will make you a happier person. When a bad thought enters your mind, push that shit right out. Don’t even give it the time of day. Replace it with a positive thought and focus on it. Remind yourself how many great things you have to offer. I’m sure there are plenty!
My motto: Just wing it! Shit will work out perfectly. And yes, that’s why I have a tattoo of those words along with a duck wearing a monacle.