Suppose that we start writing in a note why the children cried on each occasion. The list will look something like this:
- Want a plate instead of a bowl
- Orange marker is lost
- Other sibling might take a toy
Imagine the children grown up and reading how they had cried on such things in the past. They will even laugh that they gave so much importance to these little matters.
Similarly, when you face a problem in life, remember that a time will come when this problem will not seem much to you and you will wonder why on earth you had been worrying about that. In every problem, fast forward to the future and think: will it be important 5 years from now?
Human mind is an amazing machine. Most of the perceived blessings and difficulties are made right there in our own heads. Only convince your mind to think about the same thing differently and everything changes. Your mood, your relationships, your day, your happiness, your life.
For anything unpleasant and hurting, try to let your mind wander around its perceived benefits, deliberately turning your back towards its harms. There are plenty of examples to take from our everyday lives which show how many issues cease to exist with just a little tweaking of thoughts.
- Most people feel their blood boiling when they’re stuck behind a slow car in a single lane. Try to think about its advantages and one will find that slow car is saving us from a speeding fine we might have incurred in that kind of hurry.
- Sometimes we find parking far away from the door of our office or a shopping mall. But that is our chance to inhale more fresh air both ways in addition to a little walking exercise. That is even more important in today’s lifestyle where we spend most of our time in closed cages of our houses and offices.
- Can this mindset also help in serious issues such as bed rest due to a long term sickness? Yes. If we survive, there we have a chance to think about our world, build perspective and reboot our life. Many people have successfully done it.
I have myself had some interesting experiences using this approach. I use the following phrase in such situations: Whatever happened happened. Now let’s see what can be done from here.
- Once there was some problem with my Internet service in early mornings. In today’s age, the worst you can do with someone is to take away their Internet connectivity, and hence I felt justified in being angry. Then, I started to use that offline time for starting my book I wanted to write since ages. Now I think of that downtime as one of the best blessings I have had because it rolled me past that initial rest inertia.
- A few days ago, I missed a train with its doors closing in front of my eyes. With nothing else to do in 20 minutes before the next train, I started to think about a conceptual problem that has kept me puzzled since high school (for technical persons: physical interpretation behind j, square root of -1). I was on track to the eventual answer by the time the next train arrived. It was a very fascinating journey.
Following this method of thinking can take one to unexpected positive outcomes. Or maybe nowhere. But it will still be better than self-inflicting misery of a negative thought process.