It’s rather difficult to practice tennis in the rain. Even if you’re on a clay court, a storm usually means keeping the racket bag zipped up and waiting for clear skies. It’s important to practice your serves and ground strokes when the sun is shining, because you won’t be able to when it’s raining.
The same holds true for life. The hardest time to practice being positive is when clouds roll in and things look bleak. If you haven’t done your training in advance – when the sun was shining – that bleak outlook is only going to grow darker.
The tricky thing is that we get comfortable when things are looking up. We just want to relax and take a break. We often don’t want to put in the work on the court when everything is going well. Today is a reminder to buckle down and practice being positive now so that you’re ready to go when a storm hits. How so? Here are three ideas:
- Write a Thankful List. Whether it’s on paper or in your head, list the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Even in dark moments you can find bright spots. If you’re reading this blog post, you can be thankful that you’re both literate and able to see. If you’re blind and hearing this blog post read out loud, you might be thankful for your hearing. Sometimes it’s enough to just be thankful for being able to breathe. (As someone who has suffered a partial lung collapse, I know it’s very easy to take breathing for granted until it’s taken away from you.)
- Help Someone Else. Doing something kind for someone is a great way to boost positive energy, and energy in general. Focus your attention on how their life is being made better by your actions. The bonus to this practice is you may be surprised how often those same people come back and help you when you need it. Even if not, though, you’ll have made a difference.
- Remember It’s Temporary. The things we go through in life, and life itself, are transient. They don’t last. That goes for the good things as well as the bad things. When you’re experiencing a good thing, enjoy it. Be in the moment. Soak it all in. If the sky has turned gray, though, remember it isn’t permanent. (As my mother so often likes to say, “This too shall pass.”)
If you put the time and energy into positive thinking now, it will pay off later. If you’re stuck in a pattern of negative thoughts, the good news is there are definitely ways out. It will take work, but it’s worth it. Every day is a new day to be a positive presence in our world. Our world needs it!