The Best and Worst of Times
This has been a tough year for me. I’ve probably had some of the worst situations of my life happen this year. Truly awful, totally unfair events that have rocked me to my core and made me question the kind of person I am. Did I deserve what has happened to me? I always ask this serious question and try to figure out how I contributed to the situation I’m in. I am not completely blameless in the things that have happened to me but I also don’t think I would have handled things differently if I knew the outcome. So, I have to take solace in the fact that I’m not perfect but I know that what has happened is unfair. I didn’t deserve the harsh treatment I have had to endure. So, what now? Sit around feeling sorry for myself for the injustices that have happened. You know what that does? That let’s them win. The people who have already treated you unfairly also get to control the rest of your life by stealing your happiness. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!
There are two specific instances I am referring to that happened. One was personal and one was professional. And as I think about these shitty situations, I realize that in spite of these things happening, I’m still the happiest I’ve ever been. Do you know why? Because I focus on the good in my life. And lucky for me I have worked hard to fill my life with things I love. It doesn’t mean I don’t ever think about what has happened to me. It doesn’t mean I don’t get angry or sad that things played out the way they did. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t try to right some of the wrongs I feel have happened. But I do not spend all my days and nights focusing on what has happened. I live my life in the best way possible because I want to be happy.
If you know my story, you know this wasn’t always the case. It’s not that I didn’t want to be happy. I truly believe I didn’t know how. I was a pessimist and just looked at the world with a chip on my shoulder. I felt I was owed better than what I got. I concentrated on what I didn’t have instead of what I did have. It took me a long time to turn my thinking around. But I did and you know how? I put in the work it takes to change my thinking. I read the books, I watched the shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil, I took responsibility for where I was in my life. I finally realized the only way to change my life was to change the way I lived it and the way I thought about it.
It didn’t happen instantaneously for me. It took a long time. I read so many self-help books. Some of them were really helpful in opening my eyes about certain things in my life and why I was where I was. But they all called for some kind of action that I never paid attention to. I wanted to be happier but I didn’t want to work for it. I hate to be the one to tell you that it doesn’t work that way. You can read all the books and it can make you feel better but to be truly happy you have to do the work for yourself. Once I finally decided to take the books advice (and they all basically said the same thing in different ways) my life truly changed for the better. I started to focus on what I had instead of what I didn’t. I knew what made me happy and made sure I put myself in a position to enjoy it more. I realized that the world wasn’t out to get me. That people had horrible things happen to them all the time. And there were people who had much worse things happen to them and still managed to live a great life. But if you are like I was…it will take work to change your perception. And it will feel like work at first. But you have to commit to it. And soon it won’t feel like work as much as something you must do in order to be your happiest. Isn’t that the greatest and most important work you could ever do?
As I’ve been on my Hopefulist journey for about six months now I have made some really hard decisions about how I want the rest of my life to go. I have jumped in with both feet to commit to this business and it is going slow. Much slower than I hoped. But I’m not giving up. I’m all in. And I will continue doing what I’m doing until everyone knows who the Hopefulist is. The main reason is I feel this is my calling. I really can help people along a path to optimism from pessimism much faster because I’ve been there. I know a pessimist thinks. I haven’t forgotten. So, I know how much you don’t want to do the work. I know you want to come home after a long day and veg in front of the t-v. And that’s okay. But work on yourself too. It’s the only way you will get the life you truly want. I want to help you and every single pessimist who longs for a better life. I also think I can help inspire non-pessimists with a dose of inspiration of positivity. Give a little food for thought and hopefully help everyone realize their true potential and know they are the only one in charge of their happiness.
My cousin often jokes how he can’t understand how I’m a Hopefulist living in my shore house where I have a bunch of friends that I get to socialize with often and a wonderful husband who loves to take care of me. Here’s the thing though, these things didn’t just happen. I worked to get myself to a place where I wanted to be and then worked to make friends once I got there. I designed my life exactly how I wanted it. A life I don’t need a vacation from. You can do it too. And I always hated when people said this but…if I can do it, anyone can. You just have to do the work it takes to look at the world a little differently and believe in yourself and your dreams. Anything really is possible. And you are the only one who can make it happen.
Totally just pumped myself up today! Go me….I totally rock! And you do too! It’s Taco Tuesday. Grab a taco and think about what you can do right now to enjoy your life a little more. Then do it! I believe in you! And make today your best day yet!
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