Have you ever heard the saying, When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change? The meaning reaches far beyond face value, and that’s what I was inspired to write about. The theme behind that phrase is perspective. That’s truly how to describe the action of changing the way you look at things. So, starting there, how can we consciously make a shift like that in our lives? Specifically, how do we change the way we look at things?
Let’s begin with the simple example of a single slice of bread. The average American, sitting down for a meal, would probably look at that piece of bread and feel short-changed. It would leave them wanting more. They’d most likely dismiss it and hold out for something more substantial. It may even leave them feeling angry – altering their energy to a lower vibrational pattern. The same could be said about a glass of water. If the glass wasn’t clean or the water wasn’t clear, many would instinctively choose not to drink it. The situation with the glass of water may, similar to the bread example, leave a person feeling upset and shortchanged (especially if they were served this in a fine restaurant).
At the opposite end of the spectrum, imagine someone who hasn’t had anything to eat or drink for days. Their mouth is parched and their body is weak. When presented with that same slice of bread and the “not so clean” glass of water, they would be overjoyed – their eyes would well up with tears and they’d cradle that bread and water in their hands like a precious gem.
Without going to those extremes, I’m sure that everyone can relate to times when you’ve encountered people, in person or in the media, who are unquestionably happy and content, but are faced with, what appears to be, overwhelming difficulties. You may struggle with the fact that they’re so happy, in spite of their current situation. Society pressures us to think that we can’t be happy without an endless flow of money, perfect health and perfect relationships, while these people are blissful without having these things.
Oftentimes we assume that many people around us are living without any challenges. We may actually want to change places with them – taking their life over ours. Truth is: If you think that someone else has things better than you, then you just don’t know enough about them. Everyone has their own brand of “stuff” that they deal with in life. We ALL do. If you can’t identify what another persons’ challenges are, it simply means that they’ve altered their perspective on life and are able to place focus on their blessings. By doing so, they aren’t wearing their problems on their shirtsleeves, and therefore appear to be in a problem-free life.
You see, being happy has nothing to do with being problem-free and financially secure. Because, as you saw with the example of the bread and water, it’s completely about the way you react to each situation; where you determine to place your attention; and, whether you choose to be in a state of gratitude for the life you’ve been blessed with.
Much like when someone says, “Just remember, things could always be worse!” We need to alter our perspectives in order to enjoy happiness, peace and contentment in our lives. With that in mind, take a few moments to identify something that you believe is, let’s say, less than desirable in your life. It could be an illness, a family problem, or a financial issue. After you’ve identified it, study the situation and challenge yourself to shift your perspective.
Changing the way you look at things is a process. Unfortunately, we can’t just flip a switch and start viewing the world from another, more positive perspective. A change like this will take some time and practice. The great thing is that once you’ve started down that path, everything will seem more joyful. You’ll live in a constant state of gratitude and attract more positive energy to yourself and your life situations.
On a personal note, after having a couple of years filled with difficult situations, I can speak from experience on this process. I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. Happiness IS a choice and it begins with being able to see beyond the obvious to discover the beauty in every situation, person and thing that’s placed in your path. I wish you all a joy filled New Year!