There is a famous saying that, “if you aren’t moving forward, then you are heading backwards.” I completely agree. There is no such thing as standing still in life, Time moves forwards regardless. Too many of us spend too much energy getting stuck in our present circumstances or being held back by our past. There is nothing we can do about what has already happened. All we can do is learn from it and strive to become a better person in the process. In terms of the here and now, your attitude and efforts should always be geared towards positive ends. Leave the negativity to others. My mom often used to say, “Make the best of it, whatever “it” is.” As usual, her wisdom is a beacon of light that shines through my life.
You get to decide what you focus on. You can spend your time and energy on things that bring you down or lift you up. I know people who are pretty blessed who can find something wrong with just about every situation. On the contrary, I’ve been amazed by others confronting great difficulties who manage to keep their spirits up through positive thinking and proper perspective. Life isn’t what happens to you, but what you think about it and how you end up responding to whatever has transpired. You can go through life accumulating personal baggage because things haven’t always turned out as you had planned or you can accept the ups and downs as part of the journey – easier said than done I know.
So much about life comes down to your attitude about it. I know privileged people who are regularly misanthropic and others with less economic advantages that seem to be mostly happy even though their lot in life seems comparatively difficult. Every day we wake up we get to make a choice about how we approach our life. We can see our existence as an amazing gift full of unlimited possibilities or a burden full of work, obligations and limitations. We can appreciate what we have or yearn for what’s beyond our reach. We can make a positive difference in the lives other people or focus exclusively on ourselves. We can build bridges to solidify positive relationships or forget to tend to the basic maintenance of effective human interaction.
I’ve always believed that life rewards focus and persistence. If you keep working at something you will eventually make progress. What you have to be careful about is managing your expectations. You also need to take responsibility for the outcome(s) you want and not expect someone else to create the reality you want. Happiness is no exception. Happy people work at being happy and start with themselves first. They have to deal with unhappy moments like everyone else, but have trained themselves to practice acceptance rather than resistance and have fine tuned their own capacity to muddle through and make positive changes.
There is a fundamental difference between a good work and fiction and our own stories. We are the authors. There is no more subjective experience than living one’s own life. To a large extent, we get to decide how it all turns out. It may be cliché to state the obvious; however, it is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that matters.