For every event in life there are many different points of view. When we look at an event from one angle, we might feel worried and anxious. Seen from a different perspective, all fear might dissipate and an extra moment of happiness be added to our life. While sorrow is a part of being human, life is too is too short to spend unnecessary moments in unpleasant emotion. Reframing our perspective is powerful tool to increase joy.
Some times it is a sense of entitlement that makes us feel bad. Not getting what we want or thinking that we know what is right can block compassion and leave us feeling disconnected from others. Recognizing that not getting what you want might be a good thing can be hard to wrap your brain around. I remember not getting a job that I wanted and being very unhappy. Two months later I was offered a much better job that changed my life for the good. I would not have been available for the better thing had I gotten the thing I wanted. We are often mistaken in our assessment of a situation because we are not able to see the whole picture and the consequences have not yet unfolded.
The bad things that happen can empower us. Failures and mistakes come with lessons that allow us to build towards success, if we are willing to focus our thoughts in that direction and not burden ourselves with critical self talk. Basketball star Michael Jordan credits his failures, his missed baskets and bad plays, as the very reasons for his success. He allowed his mistakes to inform his education and develop his skill.
The next time you experience an annoyance or a problem, a flat tire for example, what if you intentionally reframe your thoughts and choose to wonder what might be the results of being delayed instead of getting worried or angry. Having an attachment to a specific outcome and getting your panties in a twist when it does not come the way you planned can lead to increased stress and impair good decision making. Being curious about the world as it unfolds around us allows us to be more relaxed and fully present, facilitating better choices.
"A healthy perspective really is the foundation of joy and happiness because the way we see the world is the way we experience the world. Changing the way we see the world in turn changes the way we feel and the way we act, which changes the world itself.” from the Book of Joy, conversations with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu