Surround Yourself With Inspiration
Inspirational media makes us happy and optimistic. It gets the creative juices flowing. So why are we watching so much horror? There are so many happy, inspirational books and movies available to the world. It's surprising that we don't pull them into our lives more. The media would have us believe that we are soon going to culminate in a pathetic cesspool of mire and sadness. but really, life is quite beautiful. Sometimes we just have to look for it. Other times we have to make a point to go and seek out happiness. There are bumper stickers out there proclaiming "No Bad Days", "Find Happiness", and "Get Happy." So why is it so hard to do it? What's holding us back?
Visit any local bookstore and spend some time in the children's section. Look at the Caldecott winners. It's no wonder children are much more happy than the average adult. They don't have the capacity to surround themselves with sadness and gloom. Being sad, or depressed or worried is a learned trait that takes years to cultivate. Walk the halls of an elementary school and watch the enthusiasm of all the kids. it's really quite extraordinary. When compared to the office buildings where adults spend the majority of their days, I'd opt for a grade school and children any day.
If you can't muster the joy or the enthusiasm or just the feel that life is good, perhaps it's time to take a look at what you are surrounding yourself with. Are you watching the news? Pretty depressing. Even the feel-good stories are surrounded with the adversity the person had to go through before something changed. Are you watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?" While it's great to see how someone's life can be positively affected with a new home, you're still going to cry throughout the show, event at the end, you're going to tear up right along with the home owners. While it's a nice TV show, it's not going to get you out of a funk.
While sarcasm might garner a laugh when you talk about home, spouses, kids, work and play, it's not the easiest form of communication for the general population to digest. Instead opt for a positive take on what's happening in your world. Rather than just commenting on a friend's car or new coat or home, give them a true compliment of how much you like it. If you admire the pair of shoes your girlfriend is sporting, don't comment on the probable price tag. Instead tell her they totally rock and look great on her. Not only have you just made her day, you've elevated yourself from an envy-inspired idiot to someone who is genuine and caring. Which would you rather be?
Between the news, headlines and water cooler gossip, we rarely hear about something good. Beyond the weather, discussions range from traffic accidents to what famous person died. Rarely do we discuss something really wonderful. When someone at work does show pictures of their new grandbaby or cousin, many will say something like, "I didn't know you have kids". People just don't' talk about the everyday happy stuff. They highlight the bad and only when something really miraculous happens do they feel free to share it.
Traffic, bad weather, wildfires, those are things we talk about. But the family reunion you attended where you got to swim in a lake and catch crawdads for a weekend never gets mentioned when speaking to friends and acquaintances.
Surrounding yourself with the positive can both pull you out of a funk AND bring some positivity to those around you. If you were to watch a Robin Hood movie and read a book like Peter and the Star catchers one weekend, you would be surprised how quickly a smile appears on your face.
Sit in a children's section of a book store and find the book "The Big Orange Splot". It's a wonderful book about being the person you were meant to be. It's a book I buy for every child I know who turns 5. But first I give it to every expectant parent. It's a quick, inspirational read that causes you to want to be happy. It lets you know that you can help other people, be yourself and live your life with a smile.
I wish many smiles for you.