The phrase “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses” is pretty common, but in case you haven’t heard it before, it means having a positive outlook on life.
Do you know how to use your proverbial rose-colored glasses?
How do you see the world around you? Do you see beauty, love, and happiness all around you, or do you find that the world is less than appealing to you? Do the negatives outweigh the positives for you?
Fact: finding beauty around you, in your every day life, makes for a happier and more self-confident you.
It’s true–and I can personally vouch for it.
For example, I posted this photo on Instagram during a recent snowstorm. Such a simple and every day sight to behold–but breathtaking at the same time. You just have to slow down and LOOK.
Bliss Mission: Find Beauty All Around You
Today, I challenge you to find beauty all around you in the world.
Find it in the faces of your children or friends, find it in your own back yard or at a local park. Look for beauty in even the most trying times. If you find yourself in traffic, notice the camaraderie you feel with your fellow travelers. Notice the scenery around you, the color of the sky. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, find beauty and be grateful.
I promise you that adopting this habit can only help to increase the joy in your life, and is one more step on your journey to personal bliss. What do you think?
Several years ago, I had a light bulb moment. I was cooking dinner (spaghetti and meatballs, yum) for my family. As I bustled around the kitchen, pulling ingredients from the fridge and pantry, tools from the drawers and cabinets, and other sundry items from various places, it occurred to me.
There are people in the world who don’t have tools with which to cook.
There are people in the world who don’t have food to cook, or safe water to drink, or even a kitchen from which to feed their families.
As I opened the silverware drawer and pulled out a clean spoon to stir the sauce, I said a quiet thank you. As I served my family dinner, I said a quiet thank you. Looking around the table at their beautiful faces, another quiet thank you.
So, even though I had to stop working on an article (which was due by midnight that night) in order to cook dinner, even though my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic about putting my work on hold to cook dinner, even though I would have rather put my head down and cranked out the work–I found reasons for gratitude in the smallest things. And guess what?
It changed my mood and my feelings about the evening completely. I still met my deadline, but I also spent time with my kids and husband with a smile on my face, rather than wishing away the time. I remembered how very lucky I am to have my family and how grateful I am to be able to spend time with them.
So here’s my bottom line folks–stuff happens. Instead of getting upset when life decides that you’re going to have to cook dinner when you’re trying to meet a deadline (or say, you get a phone call during your favorite show…or anytime things don’t seem to go the way you expect them to go), try changing your perspective.
Instead of being annoyed with the interruptions life offers, consider the other side of the coin. Remember that there’s always something for which to be grateful–there’s always a silver lining.
Bliss Mission: Use your silverware drawer to remind you to be grateful!
The next time you go and open your silverware drawer, full of clean and usable tools, take a moment to be grateful.
Even though you might feel silly at first, I promise you that finding reasons to be grateful in your daily hum-drum activities will help you to change your perspective–and your life. Finding happiness and joy isn’t as hard as we think.
Today I challenge you to notice those little blessings in your life and to be grateful for them. Try this little technique for today, and note your state of mind when you go to sleep tonight. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Tell me in the comments: What are you grateful for today?
How likely are you to judge someone who looks differently than you? What about someone who has a different religion, belief system, morals, values?
My knee-jerk response to that question is “oh, I never judge…I’m one of the most open-minded people I know!”
And while that may be true in some cases, the fact is that I’m human, and unfortunately, like everyone else in the world, I’ve made snap-judgments based on a person’s appearance or behavior.
For example, if I’m walking alone in a parking lot at night and I’m approached by a well dressed woman, I’m not likely to feel nervous–but if I’m approached by a not-so-well groomed man, I’m likely to squeeze my kids’ hands a little tighter and might even clutch my purse a little.
And, if he walks too close, I am likely to start walking faster.
I know, that’s terrible. I owe men everywhere an apology for that type of stereotype. Men, I’m sorry, I hope you’ll understand. 🙂
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, allow me to get to the point…
What about you? Do you find yourself judging your neighbor’s teenage daughter for wearing that short skirt? What about the family that never picks up their newspapers? Or the mom at the grocery store whose kids are terrorizing her?
Of course you do…at least now and then. It’s human nature. But did you know that judging other people can have a negative effect on YOU?
It’s pretty simple really. By thinking negatively about someone else, you are bringing negativity into your mind…which then, of course, attracts more of it into your life.
Ok, so here’s the deal: quit judging people already. And, quit taking others’ negative behaviors personally. You have a choice. YOU can decide how to let it affect you. You can decide how to react, and you can choose your own perception of the situation.
I know, easier said than done, right?
Something that I’ve discovered in my pursuit of fulfillment is that the way to avoid judging people (as often as possible, anyway) is to find compassion within yourself for your fellow humans.
It’s not as hard as it sounds, and the more you practice it, the easier it gets.
The next time you find yourself judging someone, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. If a checker at the grocery store is rude to you, remember that she’s a person. Maybe she’s dealing with something in her life that is distracting her or upsetting her. Maybe she’s working three jobs and she is doing the best she can to take care of herself and her family.
If it’s your friend or family member driving you bonkers, you might even know what is bothering him or her. Maybe you can help them to get through it, maybe not.
Bliss Mission: Respond With Love
The bottom line is this: by responding with compassion, and by NOT TAKING IT PERSONALLY, you can avoid a lot of stress in your life–both for yourself and for people around you. And, my friends, avoiding stress means FEELING GOOD. And, like attracts like.
If you feel good, you will draw good into your life. Simple as that. So when you react and respond to those around you, do so with love, even if you don’t know the person.
And so, your Bliss Mission, should you choose to accept it, is this: spend the next 24 hours of your life consciously avoiding passing judgement on other people. Don’t beat yourself up if a judgmental thought pops in your head–just allow it to pass and then replace it with a more positive, compassionate thought.
You’ll be amazed at the difference this simple tweak in your thought process can make in your day. What do you say? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
When I was in high school, and for a semester in college, I worked at McDonalds. I worked behind the counter mostly, and on the menu board above my head was a sign that read, “Smiles are free.”
My co-workers and I used to joke about it, but the management was very serious about being sure we smiled at our customers. If we didn’t, we risked being moved to the fry station, and NO ONE wants to work that station. So we smiled.
And, in return, most of our customers would smile back at us. In fact, research told our managers, a simple warm smile from the front counter girl could change the customer’s perception of the entire dining experience, and they were twice as likely to return if they felt they’d received good service. In some cases, it turned out, customers who received great service rated the food higher too.
So, in layman’s terms, a smile was powerful–it could be the difference between a lifelong customer and a one-timer.
And, I’ll tell you another little secret. This powerful tool is not only available to the folks at McDonald’s.
I could go into all of the science behind this, but that’s not the point of today’s blog. The point is that when you just smile, you can create a significant upswing in your day and even in your life. Your mood will be more positive, and you’ll suddenly notice people around you being kinder to you, and most likely friendlier than usual.
Consider this. If you’re walking down the aisle at the grocery store and someone looks you in the eyes and smiles, saying hi, what would you do? Of course, you’d respond in kind.
Now, close your eyes and smile to yourself for ten seconds. Do it now, no matter how silly it feels. Don’t worry…I’ll wait.
Did you do it? How do you feel? I’ll bet that something in you feels just a little better, even if you do feel silly.
Bliss Mission: Smile More
So I have an experiment for you to try. For the next 24 hours, practice smiling more. Smile at your kids, your spouse, the mail man. Smile at your coworkers, your boss, your trash guy…just everyone you meet today. Even smile while you’re on the phone.
I suggest that you’ll find that people in general are nicer to you, just for starters. The added bonus? You’ll notice that your own mood is bumped up a few notches too.
And, of course, you’ll be making the world a much more beautiful place. So, smile today! It’s free, it feels great, and it can effect serious results in your life.
Try this little experiment, and let me know how it works for you. What do you say? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.