Life Quotes...and what they mean to me.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
To me, this means that attitude, expectation, and perspective greatly color outcome (not unlike the topic of the previous week's quote). Sometimes, we are hard pressed to change a set of circumstances in our lives; for whatever reason, there is simply something placed in our paths we would rather not deal with. When that happens, the only option we have is to change the way we look at things: decide to see the good (however small), choose to envision a positive outcome (however unlikely)...insist upon taking a positive approach.
Directives like this one are so simple, yet acting on them is SO hard! Our brains tend to behave like "horses to a barn" -- automatically heading toward the negative, naturally wanting to reinforce what we see, know, and feel as reality. I saw someone being cruel on the news; I know from experience that this situation is occurring more and more often; I feel like there are fewer and fewer kind people in the world.
But wait! What if the news had chosen to show one of the numerous acts of kindness or goodness that occurred in your city today? Would that change your perspective? And if so, then what reality is the true reality? Perhaps you chose to look at that cruel act on the news as a growing epidemic instead of reminding yourself that the vast majority of people will never behave that badly. Instead of thinking about all the small courtesies you've witnessed in the last few hours (the clerk at the store smiled; the gentleman in front of you held the door; the lady at the stop sign let you go first...etc). And because you chose to look at this negative news report as an epidemic, your mind set out to reinforce that perspective by offering examples from all over the place -- the past, the national news, a story you heard in kindergarten! And now that you've looked at things from the worst possible angle, your mind has provided a handful of examples proving that you knowthis to be true, you end up feeling helpless and discouraged. And all these things further reinforce a negative view of "reality."
Since the same process we choose to reinforce the negative can also reinforce the positive, why not make a conscious effort to change the way we look at things -- and see what happens. At the very least, this gives us a starting point, a variable we can control in those situations that may temporarily feel out of control, and a positive reason to embrace hope. From there...the sky may very well be the limit.
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