14 Dec A few happiness related stories…
As hinted at above, we’ve been following Lou Tice for a while now and he constantly impresses us with his practical wisdom and valuable ideas. Today, we’re happy to bring to you a few of his short messages…
Rocks or Diamonds
Given a choice, would you rather carry a bag of rocks or a sack of diamonds? Well, we do have a choice and you will be surprised how many people choose rocks.
Abraham Lincoln once said that if you “look for what’s wrong, you will surely find it.” How true this is. The imperfections in ourselves mean we can always find deficits if we try.
If your focus is on what is wrong, if you are busy looking for the flaws and weaknesses in your character, you are weighing yourself down just as surely as if you were going though life carrying a bag of rocks – and every day the bag gets heavier.
Of course, if you are a world-class negative thinker, the weight of your burden becomes just one more thing with which to find fault. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time looking for and appreciating all that is right or delightful about yourself, it is as if you had a sack of diamonds in your pocket.
To get a quick reading on where your focus is, list all your shortcomings and all your strengths on a piece of paper. Once you have finished both lists, look to see if you used a double standard. Did you list as weaknesses those things that are occasionally true about you? On the other hand, did you list strengths that are almost always true? If so, you are stacking the cards against yourself.
If you get rid of your old programming that says it is better to carry rocks than diamonds, and start affirming your strengths instead, your life will be so much richer! And what better day to start than today.
Optimism and the Odyssey
When you are presented with a thorny problem, how do your respond? When you have been dealt a serious blow by life, what do you tell yourself?
Today, I want to talk about the power of optimism. In Allan McGinnis’ book, “The Power of Optimism,” he reminds us of a wonderful scene in Homer’s, “Odyssey.”
Odysseus’ son is worried that his father will never come home from the wars. But Pallas Athene, the heroine of the book, gently reassures him by saying, “Your father will not be exiled much longer… trust Odysseus to get free. He always finds a way.”
This is an excellent description of option thinkers: No matter how tough the problem, no matter how great the odds, the option thinker always believes there is a solution. Option thinkers keep trying, experimenting, and looking. And eventually, one of their efforts bears fruit. They just refuse to give up when things get tough.
When Odysseus finally does make it home, in time to drive away his wife’s suitors and reunite his family, it is perhaps the greatest homecoming scene in all literature.
So what do you tell yourself when you are up against a wall? What do you say when you have been knocked down by life? Instead of looking for someone or something to blame, instead of falling silent in defeat and depression, why not remember Odysseus and tell yourself, “I’ll find a way. No matter what, I will find a way!”
PS: you can find out more about Lou Tice at www.thepacificinstitute.com