Have your friends often told you to not blow things out of proportion? With so many situations and events in life, do you see them the way they should be? Or, do you distort them?
Do you often find it hard to think positive? If positive thinking is difficult, let’s explore how to think right.
What are right thoughts?
Right thoughts are those thoughts which make you see situations the way they are. Right thoughts don’t blow the situations out of proportion.
You laugh at your own image, when you visit a museum and see yourself in a convex or concave mirror. You laugh, because what you see in the mirror is your distorted image.
Do you make the same mistake with life’s situations? Do wrong thoughts garble the situations?
Ten ways You Garble Situations
If a problem is 20%, you make it 90%. You magnify it, that is, make a big issue out of something.
Detach yourself and see whether the problem is that big. If someone else makes a big issue out of something, you tell them not to do so. You say that because you detached yourself.
To rate situations, learn to detach yourself.
If you create negative thoughts about a situation, sit and ask yourself: “Did I magnify the problem? Is the problem that big?” Give situations only as much importance as you should.
All or none approach:
You think about situations in extreme. You look at situations as black and white, but life is not so. It is shades of grey.
A child prepared for a medical exam. His parent asked him to get 95%. But, the child scored 88%. The parent scolded him a lot and said he should have at least got 90%. The child went silent for two days, and then became mad.
Though this is an extreme example, you can learn a lot. Right thoughts could have been to sit and express: “I had an expectation of 90%, but you got 88%. There’s a problem. Let’s find out the mistake. Let’s see how could you have improved your study techniques, and, how we could have helped you study better.”
Making such plans will be far more helpful for your child. This is right thinking.
Try to make the situation smaller and have a problem solving attitude.
Jumping to conclusions:
You jump to conclusions, without understanding the whole situation. You expect and assume a lot. And, without listening, jump to conclusions.
One early morning, a union leader went to his manager’s house. On seeing him, the manager thought that he would have come with demands from the factory workers.
He avoided him.
The union leader tried many times to meet the manager. After waiting for long, he finally left.
One day, the manager spotted the union leader in the factory. Out of curiosity, he asked the reason behind his last visit. The union leader said that the matter was now resolved. The manager insisted that the union leader share the matter. The union leader replied that it was his daughter’s wedding and he had come to invite him.
By not attending the wedding, the manager missed a golden opportunity. He could have developed better relations with the union leader.
First listen with an open mind, analyze, and only then come to a conclusion.
Do you often think that bad things happen to you? You are always surrounded by bad people or bad situations? And, they’re responsible to make you feel miserable. This is the victim feeling.
Learn to detach yourself from the situation and see the good that happened in the bad. There’s some goodness in bad situations too.
In this case, the right thinking would be: “I faced this situation, but other people go through worse.”
You often label people as “smart, inefficient, hopeless, incapable, etc”. By doing so, you see the person through the label. This transmits negative energy towards the person.
For example, if someone arrives late, you label them as a late-comer. You send this wrong energy to them. Realize that he may be trying to come on time, and at times reaches on time too. But you always see him through your labels, and end up thinking wrong about him.
Don’t label people. If you somehow do so, be conscious about it and tell yourself not to do so. See the positive in others.
Why me attitude:
Arthur Ashe was a top tennis player of his time. While at the peak of his career, he was detected with a fatal disease which was disheartening.
He received sympathetic letters from his fans from all over the world. One of them asked him, “Why you? How could God do this to you?”
To which, Arthur replied, “More than 50 Million children take up tennis. Less than 5 Million get basic coaching. Only 10% of those 5 Million learn professional tennis. Less than 50,000 play in Circuit A. Some 5,000 compete for the Grand Slams. Barely 50 of them make it to the Wimbledon. Exactly 4 people make it to the semi-finals, and only 2 to the finals. There’s only one who gets the cup.
All the success I achieved and the cups I lifted, I never questioned God, “Why me?” When God blessed me with victory and happiness, I never asked why me? Now when I have this disease, why should I ask Why Me?”
Whenever something like this happens don’t say “why me”, say “try me.”
If you put sweets and dirt in front of a fly, it will sit on dirt only. Same way, in life we have good and bad situations.
People with the fly mentality always choose to focus on the bad situations. They’ll think only about bad situations.
Good and bad are together. You need to select the good.
Focus on what to do
Many times, you try to forget something with force.
For example, students try to study while someone watches TV in the other room. But, TV draws their attention. They force themselves to forget the TV and focus on studies. This is called noting.
This becomes quite challenging. Rather than thinking that you should not focus on TV, think that you should focus on studies. Think that you need to concentrate on studies. Your mind goes to the place which interests you. Wherever your attention goes, your energy flows in that direction.
Focus on what you should do, not on what you shouldn’t.
Disqualifying the good:
Many people disqualify the good that happens to them.
For example, someone praised a woman for her saree, but she rejected the praise. She didn’t want to reveal that the saree was a present by her mother-in-law. She could have enjoyed the praise and attention, but instead disqualified them.
Let’s not disqualify the good.
Let’s see situations the way they are. Learn to detach and see them and you will then realize that situations are not as bad or as big as you had thought them to be.