Start Small

Tonight, I took a look at my list of topics and felt this was a good place to start diving in. I then realized as I was writing that it’s something I touched on in a recent post. I am publishing it anyway.

I am finally in a place where I can be pretty honest with myself and say that when I was in High School, I was a pretty negative person more often than I would have liked. I can’t pinpoint a single moment that started it all, but have a general idea of when it all began. I’ve come to realize that my life got “worse” because I let it.

Things aren’t always easy. In fact, life deals us some pretty crappy cards sometimes, and some are definitely worse than others. But there comes a point where I know I begin to look inward. At myself. At how I am working through things… or not working through things.

The day I got real with myself and stopped blaming everything and everyone else for my problems, whether justified or not, is the day that I began putting things back together. I realized that I lost friends, relationships, and opportunities by seeing life through a cloud of negativity. I wanted that to stop. I wanted to work towards being happy and optimistic, without just putting on the mask of being so.

So a question that may or may not exist is why am I writing on this topic?

I’ve become increasingly aware of others who are consumed by negativity. And I think back to the people who called me out on it at the time. Those annoying comments ended up being what got me thinking. I heard a lecture a few years back from a very talented designer on the topic of happiness. He told us about a routine he got into every night to see how it affected him day-to-day. I’ve heard about it since then so it is certainly not revolutionary, but it was the simple act of writing down three good things about your day just before going to bed. I took it a step further and wrote down three things I wanted for the following day as well.

Sometimes, they were big things. Most times, they were tiny details. Other times, I had to fight to find even one good thing. But as time went on, I realized I was noticing more and more. They were moments that brought a smile to my face or brought me back to a good memory. Moments that made the problems of my day seem to fade, if only a little. Most importantly, what it did was allow me to finish each day by looking back with a positive eye. Then I would wake up, re-read them all, remember what made my day good, and what I wanted for this brand new day. It helped.

I would never want to make anyone feel bad for feeling bad. I hated when people made me feel lesser because I was unhappy. So this post is not meant to judge, but offer something that helps me—something that I plan on starting again.

Those crappy cards don’t have to define our lives. It’s easy to get trapped by negativity and the less you try to break out, the more it takes over. But if you start small, you may be surprised by the big things that can come of it.

And that, my dears.. is my tiny two cents.


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