Cultivating a good attitude by composing a list of enjoyable reasons underlying the things I experience.
Bad: I wake up because I have to. I’m tired, sleepy, and I just wanna stay in bed all day.
Good: I wake up everyday in order to experience the delightful surprises that spring forth from existence. What will happen next!? I enjoy it when long-suspected secrets are revealed as well as when brand-new things pop into my radar. I also wake up in order to spend time with my family, to see what they’re up to and have some fun. And of course I wake up to enjoy delicious treats to eat — yum!
Bad: Running is a burdensome chore that’s necessary for making my flabby body less flabby.
Good: Running is as an early morning adventure, a chance to see the streets from a different angle, unpopulated and dawn-lit. Through running, I’m playing my part as a suburban dad, I’m having fun with fitness, and I’m setting the tone for the day: an early-bird ready to catch the worm.
Bad: I eat breakfast while feeling like a filthy little piggy stuffing my fat face.
Good: I eat breakfast with the attitude that I’m starting my day off right, I feel as though I’m consuming wholesome ingredients, the building-blocks for my body (a vehicle that’s now well-prepared for traveling through its daily journey). Plus, I love the savory flavors that dance across my palate each morning.
Bad: I shower everyday to wash the filth from my dirty body.
Good: Every morning I ritualistically prepare myself, rinsing away the previous day to start anew — a baptism to purify, regenerate, and initiate into the sacred experience of existence. Afterwards, I’m fresh and ready to explore the unfolding narrative of today.
Bad: I write to pass the time, what else am I gonna do.
Good: Writing is the means by which I effortlessly express myself. Every artist has his medium, his method of expressing creativity, and mine is the written word. Words flow from my thoughts into my fingers and onto a screen — imagination made manifest. But it’s even more than that: the ideas that swim as thoughts through my mind seem to originate from a source beyond me — I sense a connection to a greater well-of-knowledge from which I merely transcribe. And by this connection, I derive comfort, power, and a sense of belonging.
Aches and pains
Bad: I guess this is it — I’m a goner. Goodbye cruel world.
Good: The distrust I still harbor towards life is manifesting again. I don’t like when I’m so untrusting, so I’m going to reject this feeling of pain. It’s not a sign of something nefarious, simply my fearful immaturity flaring up. On the plus side, it serves as a simple reminder for me to love and appreciate life, like the pulsating beep of an alarm clock. I’ve been asleep, unloving and unappreciative, but now I’m aware.
Bad: I need something to fix myself, so I meditate to calm my anxious mind.
Good: Through meditation, I still my surface thoughts, allowing me to connect to the deeper part of who I am. When I return I’m centered, in the middle, balanced between the superficiality of the physical world and the spiritual depths that lie beyond.
Difficulties in relationships
Bad: I’m having a difficult moment in my relationship: my companion is mean. What a jerk.
Good: What I experience throughout life is based on my perception and frame-of-mind. If I allow negative thoughts to swirl within my head, I develop a bad mood, I see the world pessimistically, I behave poorly, I contribute negativity and therefore receive the appropriate result: the sum of all this negativity. I will use this moment as an opportunity to remove the weeds that are clearly overrunning my mental garden. In addition, I’ll apply focus to the thoughts and ideas that produce delight.
Bad: I’m going clothes-shopping with my friend — a waste of time that’s cutting into my oh-so-important schedule, plus it’s just an exercise in wasteful consumerism.
Good: I’m going clothes-shopping with my friend — it’ll be a fine opportunity to experience the feeling of togetherness with my delightful pal, plus it’s a chance to get out and engage with the world in a lighthearted way.
Bad: I sleep because I eventually pass out, that’s pretty much the only option I’m offered.
Good: I rest to reset for each upcoming day. It’s like a break between shows, a chance to begin each day’s narrative like it’s new. For instance, even though I eat everyday, it’s like a completely new experience as I consume a different meal, as if I’ve never eaten before. All these fresh feelings are possible because of the nightly gap that resets the stage.