Last night I went out to dinner with two of my roommates from college. I love that even with our busy schedules, we still make time for each other. It’s so refreshing to be with people who just love you for who you are. On the way to dinner, we were talking about how we seem to be more inclined to be negative or to complain about things. I know I fall victim to this negative attitude all the time- I don’t immediately find the positive in a situation or point out someone’s good qualities. But I do know that I am happier and more at peace when I am thinking about the positive.
A few weeks ago, I was heading from Chicago to Maryland to spend New Years with my friend, Geena, and her family. After my flight had already been delayed half an hour (which is nothing for a Chicago airport in the middle of a snowstorm), they got us on the plane only to tell us we were waiting, to get in line, to be de-iced… sounded like a nice way of saying it was going to be awhile. An hour or so later, as we still sat on the runway, I was pretty frustrated because had my flight taken off on time, I would’ve already been in Maryland. I realized at that point, the more negative my thoughts were, the more anxious and frustrated I was about a situation that I had absolutely no control over. It wasn’t until the gentleman in the seat next to me started to complain about the long delay that I changed my mindset. It changed from a mindset of frustration to one of thanksgiving- I was thankful that the crew at Midway was so careful as to no let us fly if they didn’t think it was safe, I was thankful that there were men and women who were working so diligently (in the freezing, snowy weather) to get us off the runway as quickly as possible, and I was thankful that I was so fortunate to be able to afford fly. These thoughts took over my mind and the frustration slowly went away… it was that easy. I won’t go as far to say that I enjoyed being on the plane for so long, but I wasn’t anxious or angry anymore; I was at peace! That was the first time I became really aware of how little, positive thoughts can change your attitude.
It’s not always easy to find the positive. A lot of times, its way easier to find what’s wrong or to complain- but I think it’s worth it to change your mindset, to take the negative situation and find ONE positive thing about it. It can be that simple!
I like the way my friend Lauren put it yesterday. She was telling us about her day at work, how as she was about to close the store, a few people walked in (I’m really going to try not to be THAT customer anymore), making her long day even longer… when she got to my house she was frustrated from her long day. So, I asked her to find the positive and she said “Well, I guess the positive about this day is that its over, and now I get to have a drink with my friends!” Good enough for me ;)(I’m a sucker for pretty quotes, like this, from Pinterest)