Growing up I can remember my mom had a collection of rose bushes on the side of the house. In full bloom they were beautiful and fragrant adding vibrant reds and whites to the landscape. But I also remember when she decided they needed to be pulled up. That meant my brother and I had to deal with the "other" side of the roses....the thorns.
It's a common saying that "every rose has its thorns." My question for you is whether you focus more on the thorns in life than the roses. Do you give attention to all the things that hurt you? Do you see the world working against you, bask in loneliness, and feel constant stress? Or do you see the beauty and majesty of life, even through the tough times, finding possibility and plenty to be grateful for?
As always, it is a choice. It may seem that we are hard-wired within our daily lives to focus on everything that's going wrong. But it doesn't have to be that way.Shifting our mindset from a negative bias to a positive outlook impacts everything in your life including relationships, business, and health. Here's how to make the switch.
Start by becoming aware of your negative thoughts. Check in numerous times during the day to see if you're anxious, angry, sad, or fearful. See if you're frustrated and angry on the drive to work or feeling depressed sitting in your home. Just this one singular act can begin to change everything.
Ask yourself what the outcome of that feeling will be. Vernon Howard calls it "counting the cost." Does anxiety and fear stop you from being open with people? Does anger make you rude and bitter?
Lastly, make the conscious decision to see the positive outcome. Focus on the rose and not the thorns. Find one thing to be grateful for.... and then another. Repeat this day after day and experience the awesome change a simple shift in focus can provide.
That summer pulling up roses was filled with scraped hands and bloody arms. I realize today during that time I only focused on the thorns. But I learned how to work with them and not them distract me from my goal. Look at the rosebushes in your life and see where your attention is drawn. Do you see a thicket of harmful thorns or the beauty of colorful roses?