As I’ve mentioned before, I embarked on my #1 Bucket List item this year and participated in a 140.6 mile triathlon this month. Back in March I started documenting my journey in a private blog for my family and friends.
Over the course of my training, I have encountered some negative comments, hate filled drivers, and some general lack of support. I did not blog about any of those things. There were far more examples of people going out of their way to help me, encourage me, and support me to focus on the negativity of a small group of people.
It can certainly be hard to focus on the positive. Compliments and support seem to last about 5 minutes but when you feel hurt or wronged, that can last a lifetime. By focusing on the positive on my blog, I found that my whole approach to life was brighter. I started feeling higher during the highs and the lows had less impact on me.
As another example, about four years ago my car needed a new transmission. Neither the car’s age nor mileage forewarned the $3,000 repair. I had a choice to take my chances that the repair would last long enough to warrant the expense or just replace the car. I decided to spend the money to repair the car. Four years later, the car is still running well AND I haven’t had a car payment in four years. I hadn’t thought about it in years. A few days ago I was driving and randomly the thought of “I’m sure glad I replaced my transmission” popped into my head. When you surround yourself with positivity, it grows and grows.
I have read before about keeping a gratitude journal or writing down three things every day that were happy or encouraging. I never took the plunge and tried it but now that I have spent the past seven months writing daily on my blog with a positive focus, I am a true believer that it works.
To be clear, I have encountered rough patches over the past seven months of training including getting stuck in a thunderstorm while out biking, getting chased (but not caught!) by a dog, having five flat tires, knee pain, shoulder pain, closed roads, and unexpected changes at work. I blogged about all these misadventures as a means to show my vulnerability and real perspective of what I was going through.
My perspective was always what I learned or what I was changing in order to minimize my risk of having the same problem. So focusing on the positive does not mean that you hide from or minimize your challenges but it does mean that you do not give any power to the people that bring you down by sharing their message and spreading that hurt.
Take this time to be thankful for what you do have and focus on the positive things that are occurring all around you. It will make a difference.