I know many people who say “The whole day is blown” when they’ve had a bad morning. I like to think of it as the bad stuff has gotten out of the way early. It isn’t a foretaste of the way the day is going to go.
It is the same thing with your week or your year or your life. Just because it starts off bad doesn’t mean it is going to finish that way.
If you look for the bad then that is all you will see. The more energy you give it, the more it will have. There will always be bad things happening, but do you really want to give them your time and attention?
I know plenty of people who think that bad things always happen to them, that they are victims. They think there is some cosmic joke and they are the punchline, or the punching bag. The interesting thing is that the same events, or worse, happen to other people and they just let it roll off of them.
Just because you have always thought in a certain way doesn’t mean you have to continue thinking that way. Just because your parents and their parents and their parents were gloomy and doomy doesn’t mean you have to be. Attitude is not genetic. It isn’t like a tendency towards heart disease or diabetes. And even with those, a genetic weakness doesn’t mean you will get the disease. It just means you now know what to watch out for and prevent against.
How do you prevent against an unhealthy attitude? Isn’t it just like a reflex? Something bad happens and you react to it. You get hit in the knee and your leg pops up. You get hit with a subpoena and your blood pressure pops up.
Attitude is controllable. It isn’t easy. It takes a bit of unlearning. But this is true with everything. The first step is knowing that there is a way out, that you don’t have to stay in that mental space.
Then, every time you find yourself getting angry at an event, try to notice yourself doing it. Observe without judgment. This is hard, because judgment is all you had going for you for a long time. Just look at your reaction as if it is a small child having a temper tantrum. It isn’t you. It is a thing outside of you. Forgive it, because it is a childish thing. It doesn’t know better.
This will take a while to get to. Forgive yourself for not doing it right. Nobody makes a change instantly. It isn’t possible. Forgiveness is essential. And if you can’t forgive yourself all the time, forgive yourself for that too. Being thankful is helpful too. Be thankful for the bad situations, because they are teaching you how to change. They are opening you up to a new side of life. They are your way in.
Soon you will be letting things just roll off of you. They will happen, but they won’t affect you. You’ll be like a boat in the sea, moving with the waves but not toppled by them. They won’t wash over you and drown you like they used to.
Then, because you have a better control of your reaction, the event won’t have as much power as it did over you. Instead of events controlling you, you have control. Because you have control, the events don’t seem as bad.