This morning when I got to the office, a co-worker asked me how my morning was going. Most of us respond to this with a knee-jerk “good, you?” or “Ugh, terrible!” Have you ever stopped to think about how subjective those responses are?
For instance, let me show you two possible stories about my morning:
“I woke up late and had to rush to get ready. I dropped everything I touched, couldn’t find anything to wear and my hair looks terrible. Then I go to leave the driveway and the Shipt shopper pulls in behind me, blocking my car so I can’t get out. On the drive to work some jerk cut me off and of course I hit every red light too. What a terrible start to the day!”
(My blood pressure was totally spiking as I typed that!)
Or I could tell the story like this:
“I got a little extra and much-needed sleep this morning. I connected with my husband for a few minutes — it’s always nice when I get to talk to him for even just a short time. I even got groceries delivered already. How productive! On the drive in to work I tuned into my favorite podcast; I’m always so excited when I get to hear new episodes!”
(This story puts me in so much better of a mental state!)
Both of these stories are 100 percent accurate. The events of the morning didn’t change at all. All of these things happened. But the story takes such a different shape depending on which events I focus on, and how I choose to interpret them.
Our brains are hardwired to revert to the familiar; which for most of us is negative. It’s so much easier and automatic to focus on the stresses in our life versus the blessings, or the long list of obligations for each day instead of the accomplishments achieved.
I know sometimes this talk of “positive thinking” invites skeptics to complain that thinking positively is just delusional. But guess what? All thinking is delusional! Look at my stories above — both are true.
So, if life is going to be delusional either way, it might as well be a good one!
Guest blogger Sarah Beahan has been a loan processor and executive team member of Michigan Mortgage since 2002. In addition to her work at Michigan Mortgage, she is a certified Life and Weight Loss Coach, and owns her own coaching practice called Weighed Down Coaching.