Happy New Year – Give It A Fighting Chance

Ah yes, don’t we like a good fight? We fight with each other, we watch others fight, we fight animals, train them to fight each other and we fight for the causes we believe in. Everything is a fight and the more of a struggle it is, the better.

I come to write about this today because as I took a shower this morning I noticed this on a deodorant spray bottle: “Fights white marks!” Huh??? Hang on a moment. I don’t have white marks, naturally. Maybe yellow in a white shirt if I don’t wash it regularly. But I do not produce white marks. Deodorants are known to do that though. Especially the anti-perspirant type. So why would a deodorant need to fight white marks? Don’t give me any to begin with and job done, right? Or does this deodorant give you white marks and then enters a violent fight in your armpit to eliminate the stain again?

You can see why one might get confused over this. But this deodorant’s marketing goes with what we, as a society, want to see. We love a good fight. LOVE IT! If it is not worth a fight, you won’t even get my attention. But I don’t think we are doing ourselves much of a favour with that way of thinking.

You may have heard of the law of attraction. While I, myself, do not believe in a conscious, caring universe that provides everything we wish for, I do believe that we control what goes on in our life. If we continuously focus on the negative things in our live, we will be more aware of all the things that are wrong in our lives. Our brains re-wire themselves all the time and the connections in our brain that transport those negative thoughts are transformed into thought-super-highways. The positive thought connections, in the meantime, shrivel away to little dirt roads and gravel paths until eventually they seize to exist all together. If we chose to count our blessings and see the positives in our lives, we will be happier. I am not saying that being aware of the positive magically attracts more positive things into our life. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. I would argue it does not even have to. By focussing on the positives all the time you raise your awareness to all the good stuff while you become less aware of the shitty bits. So whether there is more of the good actually happening, your perspective has changed and you recognise what there is already.

Let’s take America’s “War on Drugs”. Ever since it started over 40 years ago, the US have spent over $1 trillion. That is a hell of a lot of zeros. But apparently the drug problems have increased over that time. I think this is due to modern facilities maybe making it easier to transport and distribute, but maybe also because since we are focussing on it, we are seeing more of it going on which was previously hidden. One of the reasons why the war on drugs may be failing is because the focus is on the drugs, not on the addiction. So dealers are locked away, but people are left wanting more and they will find it. Lock a dealer up, there is always another one happy to get his job. What if instead we focussed on doing more work to get those who are addicted off the drugs and, better still, give kids more chances to do positive stuff which will keep them too busy to even get into that sort of thing. Once in a blue moon, we hear about a dance or art project that gets kids off the street, out of gangs and away from drugs. But those are little side notes and barely news worthy. A crying shame that is. Imagine if we focussed our attention more on those things and put our efforts and money into creating more of it? We’d live in a better world, I’d say.

So while you are still busy pondering on your new year’s resolutions, why not make it one of them to stop the fight and focus on the good stuff? Open the gates to those shrivelling little paths of positive thinking and build them out to 8 lane super-highways.

There are a few ways you can do that:

  • Keep a gratitude diary – write down a minimum of 5 things every day that you are grateful for, preferably just before going to sleep. This can be a pretty lady smiling at you on the tube, the extra strong latte that was charged as a normal one, live’s every day little sun-rays.
  • Forgive – don’t hold a grudge. Forgive easily and fully. One way to help do that is take yourself out of the equation and try to think from the other person’s perspective. Why did they do what they did? What might have gone on for them? Is there anything that could have made you act in a similar way? Understanding that the way someone else acts is all about them and what they have going on rather than you really helps.
  • Be nice – treat others like you want to be treated
  • Say thank you – to other people, to yourself, in every situation you find yourself in. Find the positive. Someone slaps you in the face, but it got you to look down and see that penny in the road. Awesome, you just found yourself a penny! 99 more slaps and you got yourself a pound 😉

What goes on in your life goes on no matter how you think about it. This is where you are in control. See the negatives and be miserable or focus on the good stuff and be happy. It is up to you. Your decision.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet

Have a great 2014!!!

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