I vividly remember a conversation I had with my mom about twenty years ago. She was telling me how ninety nine percent of the time she was able to get everything done well and on time. But then in that minuscule one percent when things got screwed up, she got so very mad at herself.
I have thought of it many times over the years, because I found my moms assessment to be correct. I also thought the “very mad” part applied to a lot of other situations. The severe traffic jam, the ridiculously late doctor, the “overnight” shipment that arrives three days later, the cancelled flight or the kid that gets sick the day you were off to a much needed getaway.
When these frustrating events occur, it is very easy to fall into, “why does this always happen to me?” mode. You get angry. You get short tempered. You want to tell your story of woe to all who will listen. You complain about Murphy’s Law or believe that this is just the way life is. You feel hassled and a wee bit bitter. “Ugh!” you exclaim.
A few week ago I was at an Abraham Hicks seminar and during one of the sessions, they offered a completely different viewpoint. They asked us to think of and recognize how almost everything in our lives has worked out and how the world has conspired to give us exactly the life that we have always wanted.
Hmmmm. Upon further reflection, I found that statement to be true also.
Abraham Hicks pointed out that if you really think about it you will realize that things are always working out for you. The problem is that the good stuff, the things that go right, the time when there is no traffic, the doctor is on time, the package arrives, the flight is early and you go away without incident are all so often unacknowledged.
We spend a huge amount of time and energy lamenting the things that don’t go right and next to no time celebrating when they do.
After pondering both of these points of view, I decided to start my own personal experiment. I began by repeating to myself over and over again, “things are always working out for me”. I added it to my list of attributes that I go over in bed at night. I recited it in my mind as I woke up.
I also made to sure to say it in my head every single time that something worked out. When we arrived on time, when the pants I wanted to wear were ready in the dryer, when the dog heeded a command (rare, unfortunately), when dinner was delicious and when yet another piece of my renovation puzzle fell into place.
“Things are always working out for me.”
A few things happened once my experiment began. First and most importantly, I realized just how many things really do work out. A staggering amount. Really too many to count.
The second thing I noticed is that when you go into situations with the attitude that “everything is always working out for me” you feel good, relaxed and have an expectation of good things. This in itself makes you positive and attracts positive things to you.
I know what you are thinking. But what about the times when things DO go wrong? What about then?
So this is what I found. I had a comically bad time trying to get out of LaGuardia airport last week. Without boring you with the details, suffice it to say it included a lost car, a useless sense of direction, a broken ticket machine, a high pitch beep and a conversation into a tin box screaming over said high pitch beep.
This type of scenario in the past could have sent me into a tizzy. I easily could have lost hours of frustrated exasperation to this series of events.
BUT–because “things are always working out for me” I was almost laughing through the entire comedy of errors. I was mildly amused and telling myself it was a silly test and to just move through it. Which I did.
This was something that decidedly did not work out. But because there was such a huge bucket of acknowledged things that had worked out before that, it didn’t bother me in the least.
So now when I think about the conversation I had with my mom all those years ago, I understand why there was such a sharp contrast between things working out and a screw up. Back then my mom and I weren’t acknowledging all the good. We were only reacting to the bad.
Now, because I acknowledge and appreciate all the multitude of things that work out, it is a breeze to handle the infrequent pain in the butt situations. When the annoying things happen I don’t take them personally, it’s easy to see that they don’t happen often and I don’t give them the power to derail me. End of story.
This experiment has also had another delightful side effect. There is no small amount of joy in recognizing all the things that go right in your life.
What do you think? Would you be willing to humor me and give it a try? For one week–repeat “things are always working out for me” (or something similar that resonates with you). Say it as much as you can stand. Even if you don’t believe it. Even before anything has actually worked out.
If you do, it may give you even more to be thankful for next week on the most ThanksGiving day of the year.
I can’t wait to hear about how it works for you.