positive and present
how to be more mindful

look where you want to be going

 

A few months ago I was driving to work and I noticed an old, beat up car on the side of the road. As I was looking in the direction of that beat up old car, I realized that my own car was drifting in that direction. It was then that I realized: I tend to go in the direction I am looking. Now, this may seem obvious, but it wasn't to me at the time and it really hit me hard.

It occurred to me that, in general, if I focus on something negative -- such as a break-up, a bad day at work, or a fight with a friend -- my thoughts will drift in that negative direction. I will go towards the sad side of the emotional spectrum, and everything will seem painful, sad, worthless. I find myself looking more and more at the sad things, the hard things, asking myself self-pitying questions like, "Why does this always happen to me? Why do I always fuck things up? Why don't I know where my life is going?"

However, as you may have guessed, if I focus on something positive -- such as a job done well, a story I'm particularly proud of writing, or a new love -- I find that all of my thoughts tend to drift in that direction. I start to think about what's great in my life. Cliche as it sounds, I notice all of the beautiful things around me -- a bright blue sky, a blossoming bush, or the smile in someone's voice when they answer my call. Of course, the more positivity I project, the more I get in response. When I'm focusing on the good, I see the good. I move towards it. I seek it. Likewise, when I'm focusing on the bad, it shows up everywhere.

The point I'm trying to make is this: don't look where you're going; look where you want to be going. Of course this is far from easy -- especially when negative things that are out of your control are happening around you -- but it's important to remember: we can control how we feel. Sure, this is very difficult (especially for someone like me who is constantly drawn to an Eeyore-like mentality), but it's do-able. It's all about where we choose to focus our attention. Don't look at what's around you (unless, of course, your life is completely idyllic and filled with nothing but happiness). Instead, look at where you want to be going.

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