My wife and I recently stopped over in NYC for a few days, one of our favorite places to visit for… well, oh so very many reasons.
One thing I find annoying about visiting major metropoles, though, is how much effort it takes to choose how to look at things.
Perspective is everything, as we know.
And realizing that we get to choose our perspective about everything often takes a long time. Some folk never actually realize it’s their choice at all, which is really sad.
And with so much mass media and “reality TV” sensationalizing everything they can in order to sell more commercials (there’s no such thing as “impartial news” in most societies – they are in the game to make money, which is done by selling commercials, and they can only sell commercials when people are watching or reading, and they can only get people to watch and read through shock tactics and pulling at your heartstrings), it’s no wonder that so many people in the Western World have such a negative perspective towards life. Especially if negativity is all they surround themselves with.
So it didn’t really come as much of a surprise when we suddenly realized that we, too, were getting caught up in the whirlwind of worst-case-scenarios as we talked about things.
Even the little things.
In just one conversation ants, bed bugs and cockroaches wormed their way into the forefront of our minds and we became concerned and worried.
It’s not normally the kind of perspective we subscribe to, by choice.
But here we were focusing on the dark stuff.
When that shift backwards in our perspective hit us we immediately justified thinking that way with “Well, NYC has them all!”
But so does Florida, where we live.
(And such creatures are quite a bit larger in Florida than they are in New York City!)
Nothing wrong with acknowledging the existence of “danger” and being aware/ cautious of what could go wrong with our trip (such as finding ants or cockroaches in our shoes, for example. As happens in Florida quite often with ants at the beach and palmetto bugs in buildings.), but when we start overbearing our living with those minutely frustrating issues, it means our perspective is no longer based in reality, but is focused on negativity.
And that’s not healthy.
Maintaining a positive mindset – not necessarily all guru-fancified happy-g0-lucky waves of the universe sort of positivity, but just keeping good and bad in a more realistic balance – takes years to become habit yet can be undone in a matter of days, and then begins that slow, arduous climb back into the real world.
As happened to us.
Hearing ourselves fearful of ants, bed bugs and cockroaches was a little disappointing, so it didn’t take but a moment to counter our negativity with something more balanced:
“Well, NYC has birds, butterflies and smiling pansies, too!”
A giggle later and we understood we had been swept up by the common mindset of large, competitive, “look after #1” cities that pervade a lot of the thought-based input we feed ourselves everyday through various media.
Take a moment.
Think about the words you use to describe and compare.
Are they generally dark and negative, or do they brighten those around you and put a smile on your face?
Focusing on either one exclusively is never a good thing, but how well are they balanced? Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale and Toby Robbins all agree on this: what you focus on the most is what you become. Focus on the negative, you become a complainer – tired and old – someone people get fed up with and don’t want to be left alone with at a party. Focus on the positive, you become an influencer – a breath of fresh air – someone people want to be around.
So remember this:
It is ALWAYS your own, personal, individual choice which perspective you dwell on the most.
Which do you choose:
Bed bugs, or butterflies?