So often we have tasks we want or need to accomplish, but something happens that makes us feel defeated before we have even begun: an interruption, an errand that takes more time than we had planned, a highway tied up with deadlocked traffic, an irritable baby who keeps us up all night, or perhaps just a late start on our day. The options are endless and seemingly right around the corner, waiting to obliterate any hope of productivity. Add a pandemic to any of these scenarios and all hope screeches to a halt.
What is your response to moments like these? Do you spend your entire day with a defeated, depressed attitude feeling like you are already so far behind, there’s no reason to even ATTEMPT anything on your list? Do you take it out on those around you? Perhaps you beat yourself up all day and convince yourself you actually are the loser you suspected you were. Or maybe you cancel everything, make excuses, stay in bed, or eat chocolate all day? Clearly, any of these responses can seem completely reasonable, or even justified, in the reality of the moment.
“Think you can or think you can’t. Either way you will be right.”Henry Ford (1863-1947)
Can you Flip the Switch?
Recently my day had a less than desirable start and immediately an overwhelming urge to just quit flooded my normally optimistic mind. Then, strangely, my inner voice demanded, “Why is it so easy for you to just give up? Can’t you find another way to think about this situation?” The minute I stopped to consider that question, I instantly felt my spirits lift, and my resolve to succeed return. A simple flip of the switch in my mind and I no longer felt utterly hopeless. I no longer felt desperate and unable to progress on my to-do list. No longer did I want to give up. Actually WANTING to press forward with determination, knowing I needed to master my thoughts, I changed my direction and just started the next thing on my list.
“A positive attitude causes a chain of reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.”Wade Boggs – An American 3rd baseman
Certainly, there are many reasons in our world today for us to want to give up, to be frustrated, or to feel defeated. No one will be helped by those responses, however. Especially not you! Rather, take some time to think differently about your situation. Consider the following questions: What are the positives? Can you change anything about your attitude? Can you adjust anything to make it easier? Do you need to ask for help? What are the steps needed to turn your outlook around, to motivate you, or to set you up for success? This time to think and consider all possibilities is paramount in normal times, but even more vital for all of us in today’s questionable atmosphere.
The next time you begin to plummet down the pit of despair, consider this. Stop! Think! Evaluate! Clearly the old adage of “mind over matter” applies here. Will you choose possibilities or defeat? May your days be filled to overflowing with possibilities!
Think and act as if it’s impossible to fail.”Charles Kettering (1876-1958)