By Lauren Denos: 10/12/2014 (Mindset)

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

Do you focus more on what you have, or more on what you do not have? More often than not, people focus on what they do not have. How they do not have the perfect job, perfect body, or the perfect mate; how they don’t have enough money, the car they want...the list goes on and on.

But, what if there was a change in perspective? What would happen if everyone put their focus on the stuff they do have?

Sure, maybe you don’t have the lean body you want, but how about your great strength and amazing capacity for perseverance? These are great things to focus your attention on! Does this mean that you would stop striving for these other things you want in your life? No! But, suddenly, with this change of perspective, you will enjoy what you do have while striving for what you want.

It is all about what you focus on. Concentrating on what you have will make you realize the abundance you possess, which, in turn, will make you feel much better about where you’re at in life.

How we feel is more important than what we have. If you feel good, life is good. Who cares what it looks like to anyone else! If you feel good that is all that matters. How you feel about your life is in your own hands.

Consider this example. Two people are on top of a hill looking at the same view. While one of them focuses on the potholes in the road and the trash, the other person sees the sunset and the ocean. They are both looking at the same view, but see completely different things about it. One sees beauty and inspiration, while the other only notices the inconsiderate nature of other people. You have the ability to choose how you are looking at your life, what you pay attention to and this will result in how you feel.

This is very much a gratitude thing. When you are looking at all the great stuff in your life, you are showing gratitude. An attitude of gratitude can be life-changing if you let it! What you will notice as you do pay attention to what is good, is the "not so good things" in your life will fade away, and things you’re thankful for will come to the forefront. In addition, you’ll start to see the lessons you’re learning and the opportunities you can have. When the former bad things start to look like blessings, nothing can stop you. With this in mind...

  • Make a list of all the things you do have. Whenever you start to think about what is wrong in your life, look at this list and remember all the great things you have.
  • Each night, take a few moments and write a list of what you are grateful for – in life and day to day.
  • List the good qualities that your husband, wife or friends have.

Keep in mind that there really are some people that we would be better off spending less time with, but many people see the negative side way more than the good side of the people. You may say, “Well, my husband will not dance with me,” or, “My wife does not talk to me as much as I want,” or even, “My friend Jim is kinda lazy.” But, really, if you look closer, what do you like about that person? Pay attention to that instead. Your husband may not dance with you, or he may drop his laundry on the floor, or never think to cook you a meal; but what does he do that you like? He brings home movies so he can snuggle up with you, he asks you to watch the games with him, or comes up behind you to hug you while you are doing dishes. That’s all it can take to change your view of someone. So simple. Focus on the positive things. It’ll make a difference – just watch!

If you are in such a bad place that nothing seems good, then focus on the fact that you have tomorrow, another chance to make it a better day. Or, at least, enjoy a sunset or the flowers on the side of the road. Even if you do not have much, you have something. Always be looking for what you do have, even if it is something small. Hold onto that thought and grow it. I know it can be hard at times, but with practice it gets easier.

This is a process. No one knows better than you what’s going on in your mind. If you are in such a bad place that you do not know where to begin and you don't think you can do it alone, then use a friend to help you get started. Ask a friend to help point out what is great in your life, and keep listing things until you get some that you really believe in. Again, they will not be able to read your mind, but they will still have an impact in raising your spirits and outlook on life. There is no right or wrong. It is just about what works for you. Outside perspectives never hurt, so if you know someone that would greatly help you in this change, call them up!

Be patient. When you first start to use this technique, you may not feel a huge difference. But with practice, I can assure you that this technique will get easier and you’ll get to where you are feeling better and better until you truly feel like you have an amazing life and everything just goes up from there.



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