By Dawn Apuan, Regular Columnist.
“Well, it’s a morning, that’s for sure. I don’t know if it’s good.”
You might think I’m quoting Eeyore, but in fact, this is a fairly regular conversation I have.
Another way this conversation sometimes goes:
“Good morning! How are you?”
“*Sigh* Well, I’m here. I guess that’s good.”
Every day I just smile.
There are two kinds of people in the world: ones that are generally positive and see the good, and ones that are generally negative and see life as hard.
Just the other day I was talking to someone who was commenting that life was pretty tough for her at the moment, and then she said reflectively, “well, isn’t life just always supposed to be hard?”
I disagree. But it hasn’t always been this way.
From Hard to Easy
Growing up I definitely viewed life as hard. I worked hard for everything and everything felt like a struggle. Bad things seemed to happen frequently and nothing was ever easy. My parents divorced at a young age, my dad struggled with depression and suicide, I had a less-than-ideal relationship with my stepdad, and I struggled with depression and self-image…
Life was hard, and I didn’t know any differently.
That is, until I became an entrepreneur and threw myself head first into the personal development world.
I was fascinated. I had never realized that my outer circumstances were influenced by my thoughts. I had no idea that I actually had power to change my circumstances simply by changing my beliefs and thoughts.
At this time in my life, things were legitimately really tough. My husband and I were working for the same organization and had horrible bosses that treated us so poorly it was appalling. Seems like an easy fix, right? Just get a new job. But our job provided a house and cars and a myriad of other non-cash benefits that made leaving not so simple.
I had been depressed and desperately searching for a way out to change our circumstances, which is why I decided to start a business (admittedly, probably not the best reason, nor a great foundation for success). But then something crazy happened: I changed.
I learned to be happy and positive and hopeful for future possibilities long before our circumstances changed one bit.
Gratitude is what really began that mindset shift, along with other tools I was learning.
When it finally came time to make the big leap, life got really chaotic.
Imagine leaving a job you’ve had for 25 years, leaving a fully furnished home, packing your things, starting new jobs, buying furniture and cars, finding a home to rent, getting rental and car insurance, signing up for utilities, switching cable and internet…and so on. The to-do list seemed almost endless and we did all of that in 16 days with 4 kids in tow. I’d never wish those couple of weeks on anyone.
Anyway, in the middle of that time – while we were still working full time, with the kids in school and packing the house – I asked my husband what his plan was for the following day.
His response? “Be miserable.”
I laughed at his Eeyore view of life and he was not amused.
The point is: every day you have a choice. You can choose to have a good day or a bad one. Even if you ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed,’ you can take a moment to shift your thoughts and shift your day.
A 3-Second Hack
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is say “Thank you, today is going to be amazing!”
I might have had the worst night’s sleep of my life, up 15 times with a sick kid, but in the morning regardless of how I feel, I make a conscious decision to make it a great day by starting out well. I have other parts of my morning routine as well, but the initial thought is key and I encourage you to at least give it a try.
I’m willing to bet that most of your days will automatically improve, and, I bet you’ll also start having an impact on those around you. My tween daughter might roll her eyes every morning when I use the same phrase to wake her up, but I think she still gets the message.
I believe happiness is contagious. Starting at a young age, I made it a bit of a game to have people leave any interaction with me happier than when they came. Let me tell you, I haven’t always had this sunny disposition and that definitely wasn’t always the case, but after deciding for myself that every day is going to be amazing, well, I live a pretty amazing life.
You can too. It just depends on how you decide to look at it.
Dawn Apuan is a business and mindset coach for moms, author, and motivational speaker. Former pastor and non-profit Executive Director, her mission is to empower moms to stay home to raise their kids by providing the tools and support to build a business with dependable income. Check out her free training, “How to Make Memories and Money at Home,” to learn how to start your own business at www.dawnapuan.com/training.