If you’re like most people that consider themselves to be “not as happy” as they could be, you will unconsciously spend time focusing on the things you don’t want rather than what you actually do want. It is a simple habit to get into but the damage it causes can be a huge. Luckily it is also easy to get out of, if you know it’s happening.
Many people believe there is a universal law called the Law of Attraction (Google it if you don’t believe me, even Celebrities believe it), which basically says you draw into your life more of what you are focusing on right now. It is way more complex than that but let’s just brush the surface for the sake of this introductory post and leave it there for now. So what this Law of Attraction says is that if you spend your time complaining and moaning about things there is a 100% chance you will continue to find more and more things to complain and moan about.
I’ve believed this myself for a while, if you’re going to spend your day expecting bad luck (and I know many people that do) then that is pretty much what you are going to find. It is more than just luck, if you expect bad events and circumstances there is a more than a strong chance that is what you will find time after time. On the flipside if you go through life expecting good things to happen in most cases that is what you happily run into. Attracting more of what you are used to and more of what you expect. I’m not saying it’s an exact science, there are lots of other factors but needless to say if you focus constantly on bad stuff you’re going to feel down pretty much most of the time with a few exceptions.
Here’s an example that I’m sure many people can relate to – You wake up one morning and you’re already in a downer mood because you have something ahead of you that day that you’re not looking forward to … then out of the blue something doesn’t go your way, say you stub your toe. The exact bad start to that any rubbish day would deserve. You start thinking “Man, this is going to be a bad day”. Next thing you know, with your mind still fully focussed on how much this day is going to suck, you knock your cup of coffee over and make a huge mess. All of sudden you start thinking “Why is this happening to me today of all days!”. Now you’re in a really stinker of a mood and just looking for more things to wind you up. You drop your keys when you’re opening the door, you can’t find the shoes you were going to wear then you go out to the car and would you believe it, the blasted thing won’t start … because of course, on today of all days, this was going to be the day you start getting problems with it. The list of things going wrong grows and grows until eventually you’re telling a friend at work about all your “bad” luck and you start to laugh about how ridiculous the day has been. All of sudden you’re laughing about it, you start relaxing out of the horrible mood and things start turning around. You’re no longer expecting any more bad things to happen and things start to pick up. Even the bad event you were dreading ends up being good because you’ve gotten out of the negative expectancy mood through laughing about the previous problems. Any of this sound familiar?
Here’s another example and one that I’ve faced myself numerous times in the past – you’re in a rush to get somewhere, before you leave work or home etc you’re thinking “Aw man, I hope it’s not a long queue at those traffic lights” or “I better not get caught behind some so slow driver” etc. You get the picture, you’ll have said them yourself over and over even as your driving to your destination. When you’re in that mind set, what do you find? Yip, everywhere you turn you’re getting held up … you’re finding more of what you just asked for.
Both of those examples are what I like to call Negative Expectancy. When you’re mood is so low that you’re drawing in the “bad luck” that would match the down mood you’re in.
Now this might be a bit trickier but let’s have a go anyway, can you picture a time where your mood was so high that you expected everything to “miraculously” fall into place just for you? Like you need to get some place by a certain time but you’re not stressing, you know you’ll make it on time … all of a sudden you get a straight run of green lights just like you hoped for. What about the time you’re in a great mood full of positive expectancy and you find a parking space right next to the door or you get the best table at the restaurant. You’re in a great mood talking about how well things are going, you ask for the bill and the waiter informs you that the meals you ordered were on deal so you got them for a great discount. There must be lots of little good things that you think coincidentally happened right at a time when you were already feeling amazing?
It’s probably not a deep enough post to called it an introduction to the Law of Attraction … but you surely get the message that the more you focus on bad things the more you will find. It is a hard thing to turn around as you will probably have made Negative Expectancy one of your daily habits but the good news is that you can change it. All you have to do is start looking for the good around you, build a Positive Expectancy by:
- Being grateful for what you do have, instead of angry about what you don’t
- Celebrating your daily successes, instead of focussing on anything bad that happened
- Actively thinking of positive outcomes, instead of negative ones
- Talking only about people’s good traits, instead of dwelling on their flaws
- Thinking about what you want in your life, instead of what you DON’T want in your life
Even if you don’t agree or believe in Like Attracting Like or the Law of Attraction, and you have every right to decide what you will, please be aware though that what you focus on is absolutely critical to how you feel. Doing all of the things above is vitally important to building habits that will lead to a happy mood … and here’s why.
Focusing on things you DON’T want or what went WRONG leads to:
- Picturing Bad Events
- Negative Expectancy
- Internal Turmoil
- Unwanted Stress
- Over Thinking
Focusing on what you DO want or what went RIGHT:
- Good Feelings
- Picturing Good Events
- Positive Expectancy
- Cheerful Thoughts
- Internal Calm
- Peaceful Mind
If you spend your time focussing on all the things you have and reminding yourself how lucky you are you will be more aware how truly fortunate you are. This will bring up feelings of gratitude, love, enjoyment and contentment. If you spend your time complaining about the things you don’t have, firstly you are ignoring everything you DO have and secondly, you are dwelling on all the negative feelings about LACK of something. This will bring up frustration, greed, envy and bitterness.
Believe what you will about like attracting like but whatever you do, try to stay positive … it’s for the good of your health. That one IS a choice!