• The Hopefulist

Your life depends on how you look at it.


Perception. Your whole life depends on which direction you are looking. These are pictures from yesterday. It was a rare sunny, warm day in February and I took full advantage. I sat outside and read for awhile. In order to face the sun I had to have my back to the water so the view was my back steps and my neighbors house. But I turned my camera around and this is how it looked for people looking at me. Which one looks better? Honestly, the whole reason I was out there was to soak up some sun so the view wasn't even the point to me. It was the warm sun on my face and that was glorious! But if you are trying to take in the whole picture, then take in the WHOLE picture. Look at your life from all sides. Not just the way you see it. Once you can do that on a regular basis you will see your life as others do and realize you have a whole lot to be grateful for.


This is why it's so important to learn to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Because there will always be a little bit of both. But what you concentrate on, what you focus on is how you perceive your life to be. My husband and I have a friend who lives on Long Beach Island. Right on the bay. Standing in her backyard, the view is water for as far as you can see. She lives in a very nice house with an amazing backyard. She does however live next to a very large church. And that is what she chose to focus on for some reason. We were hanging out there one day and we were going on and on about how lucky she is to live with such an amazing view. She points to the right of her house at the church and says, "yeah, except I've got that to deal with." Then my husband said one of the most perfect things I ever heard him say; "Then, look left." Right? It really is that easy. Just look left.nHer attitude actually annoyed me. To have such an amazing house on such an amazing spot and she just focused on what she didn't like. But there are people like that. There isn't much you can do about them.


My mother was another person who only ever saw the downside in her life. When she looked at her life at a whole she focused on the hard times she had to go through and the fact that she was never able to find the happiness she so desperately felt she deserved. I looked at her life and saw three healthy, productive children; a second marriage with a husband who would do anything for her; a health care plan that paid for all of the health issues she had, mostly from lifestyle choices. She had a beautiful home that she got to decorate however she saw fit. She always had new cars and money to buy clothes and jewelry that she wanted. I thought she had a pretty good life. But she looked at her life through a different lens. If you are feeling sorry for yourself, if you are down and think your life is awful, think about how others may view your life. What do you have that other people may find appealing even if you don't?


It's important to set yourself up to bring as much joy into your life as you can. But while you're making that happen, what can you focus on right now that brings you great joy? Or what can bring you joy if only you let it or even acknowledge it. Do you have a job that helps pay the bills? Some people don't. Do you come home to a loving family? Some people don't. Do you have a pet that goes crazy with their love for you whenever you walk in the door? Do you have a house that you are proud of? These are all things we take for granted. And that is the death of happiness.


If you truly don't have a lot to be thankful for right now, then find something, anything and focus on it. Do you come home to an empty house every night? Don't. Get yourself a pet. I personally prefer dogs because they seem way happier to see you at the end of your workday but cats are good too. And they are a lot easier to take care of. But get yourself something to love and put all your focus on the happiness that little creature brings to you. If you keep focusing on that you will feel better about your life. You will have a better attitude about the rest of your life. You will put more positive vibes out into the universe that will reward you with more positivity. Is it really that simple? Yes, it really is. You don't have to get a pet but have something that you love and brings you great joy that you can focus on every day. And don't forget to turn around occasionally to see how good your view really is.


It's Monday! My favorite day after Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A brand new week full of opportunities and possibilities. Take a moment to step back from your life and see it as others do. Does it look better? Focus on the good. Put the bad in your rear view mirror. Now, go have a Monday and make today, your best day yet!

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