Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your life, why not focus on what’s going right?
On my meditation table, I keep a variety of books. Randomly, I’ll pick up one during my meditation time and turn to a page and read. How fortuitous that I recently picked up a Thich Nhat Hahn book and read this quote of his.
“We often ask, “What’s wrong?” Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger, and depression, and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds in side of us and around us. We should learn to ask “What’s not wrong?” and be in touch with that.
After I read this, I found myself repeatedly thinking ‘Count your blessings’ and asking myself, ‘What’s going right in my life right now?’
Admittedly, I do have a daily practice of keeping a written gratitude list. Each morning, I jot down what’s good in my life. But, this concept of reframing a simple question and, in doing so, inviting happiness and joy rather than sorrow and suffering, really struck me.
It’s not that I think we should ignore the difficulties we experience, but, perhaps it’s more fruitful to focus on the good and not the bad, to put our attention on remembering what is working rather than what’s not working. This slight shift in your outlook can be a turning point. It can be the gentle redirection you need to center yourself on joy.
So ask yourself this question. Not once, not twice, but several times a day. What’s going right in my life?
What’s going right in my life right now? I have my physical and mental health. I have a job and financial security. I have supportive family and friends. I have 3 healthy, intelligent, and well-adjusted children.
When I think of those fundamental blessings (health, family, security), what’s going right in my life is mostly everything.
Hanh, Thich Nhat. Peace is Every Step: The Path to Mindfulness in Everyday Life. New York: Bantam Books. 1991. Print.