Life is a mixed bag of joy and sadness. Every day brings its own delights and downpours. Some days are more positive than the others, but scarcely any day can be termed perfect. Even if there is one, we forget about it soon. But instead take a bad day, or a certain bad incident that you went through- don’t you find yourself going back to it again and again for days. It is so easy to focus on the negative things we go through. A certain embarrassing incident, low grades on a paper you worked hard for, disappointment in love, whatever it may be. We usually focus much more on the setbacks as compared to the little victories we had throughout the day.
I too, am one of those who remember the bad times much more than the good ones. But this habit of negative thinking drains you. And frankly, there is no point in thinking about ‘what could have been’. It does no one any good and rather stops the progress of the future. More often than not, we lose precious time mulling over the failures instead of striving for something better.
Even though it is easy to say that negativity doesn’t help anybody. I mean we may know what is right (moving on from disappointments) in principle, but how often do we apply it to our life. Knowing something and practicing are two very different things. Even though I would like to be more positive in my life, it doesn’t come naturally to me. What usually works for me at such times is to recall a particular conversation which I once read in a magazine. It went something like this-
Person A- tells a random joke
Person B- Laughs Heartily
Persona A- tells the same joke again
Person B- Slightly less enthusiastic laughter
Person A- Same joke one more time
Person B- muffled acknowledgment of something funny been uttered
Person A- Same. Damn. Joke
Person B (losing patience) – What is your problem buddy. Why do you keep repeating that one joke? It is not funny anymore.
Person A- Oh is that so? What is not funny? I thought you liked it.
Person B- Yeah it was funny. The first time around that is. But not if you keep repeating it at every chance you get.
Person A- Oh! Does it mean you cannot laugh at the same joke again and again; as many times as it is spoken?
Person B- Only a fool or a mad man will laugh at the same joke again and again as many times as it is repeated.
Person A- Oh that’s strange. But you keep getting upset about the same thing again and again every time you are reminded of it. When you cannot feel happy at the mention of the same thing again and again, then why do we feel sad about something else again and again even though nothing can be done about it?
Though not exactly profound, yet these words got stuck in my mind. It makes sense too, doesn’t it? And so, every time negative thoughts crowd my mind, I am reminded of this. For me it works. I get over whatever has made me upset and then I focus on the brighter things in life.
Written by Srishti Chaudhary