I woke up and got “at ‘em” today only to be slightly distracted by my awesome Twitter friends (notifications come to my phone so it beeps and boops all day long if I’m tagged in a tweet). After working hard for most of the day, a phone call from my little cousin, whose smile can be heard through the phone, was a welcomed break.
We discussed how we’re both feeling very motivated lately; moving steadily in a positive direction, catching dreams and working toward our goals. Then she mentioned something that many of us are too familiar with. She said that she was amazed at how miserable and/or negative some of the people that she associates with seem to be “all of a sudden” and that she worried that it would affect her progress.
Well, after hopefully inspiring her with my own tortuous tales (I WILL be 40 in 4 wks, so I have a few) I explained that these people did not just “become” miserable and/or negative but because she is surrounding herself with more positive people or people who are also working toward their goals with less, shall we say, drama, in their lives, the “miserable/negative” is magnified because she has something to compare it to. Some people are just drawn to drama, and some truly don’t know HOW to be happy; it doesn’t mean that they are any less nice and most importantly, that it has to affect us.
My cousin then mentioned that even her emotions change drastically after talking with one of her girlfriends for just 5 min., but I’ll get to that in a minute. With my cousin being much younger than me and having less experiences under her belt, she was also concerned with what will be said (negatively about her) if she distances herself slightly from these people.
Ha! I didn’t mean to laugh in her ear like that; it was a knee-jerk reaction but I’ve been there. So, I explained that this is not important. Not important at ALL. Sure, to “save face”, so that it doesn’t seem as if they were “dumped” by my cousin for greener, more positive, pastures, things or fake scenarios may be created (put yourself in their shoes…trust me, they know that they’re miserable whether they admit it or not and I’m sure that it doesn’t make them feel any better than my cousin felt) but again…what is said is not important. What is important is that she continues to move in the right direction. Those others can choose to either celebrate with her or not (get in line or get left behind).
I’m not quite sure that she grasped this, being concerned with her relationships, so I just told her that understanding all of this comes with maturity (NOT age) and all that she has are her feelings. I went on to say that she should follow her instincts, use those bad “feelings” as an indicator, radar, her meter of merry measurement! Go with it! No one can give us the answers to a test that they didn’t create anymore than we can know what will work for us without ever having experienced it. There are even things that I’ve experienced several times, for almost 39 years, that I’ve just finally grasped and would have grasped much sooner if I had just listened to my gut instead of my brain. The gut is a better indicator because we can’t control it; we can’t control how we feel. As for the brain, we can make ourselves believe anything that we want to believe.
When we do positive things and visualize positive results, great things inevitably happen. Why? because we’re focused on them and naturally do things to ensure those results. Will everyone we know follow suit? No. Will everyone care? Probably not. But look at it as if you were one of many people waiting for an elevator. Some continue to press the button several times, then take the initiative to walk the stairs. Some wait, unsure of which will be faster, waiting for the elevator or taking the stairs. After allowing a full elevator to go by a few times, they begin to feel a sense of urgency and choose either the stairs or quickly maneuver and squeeze themselves onto the next elevator. While others are too busy standing around gossiping about the “impatient” people who took the stairs and the “desperate” people who squeezed onto the elevator, that they miss the next elevator all together and end up just going out to lunch to do what they do best. Then you have those who fear elevators and heights so though they truly wish to get to the top floor, they make excuses and limit themselves to whatever is on the ground.
A negative cause (focusing on others’ negativity) always gives you a negative effect (heavy heart, anxiety, discomfort). It’s that simple. No need to over think it. We shouldn’t give thought, time or energy to that which distracts us from our goals and feelings of happiness. We are not all on the same path at the same time and that’s OK. What is important is that we recognize the type of elevator rider we are and then act accordingly or make a change; sometimes causing us to make tough decisions along the way.
Everything works out in the end if you allow it. It may not be what you expected or thought you wanted but keep your eye on the prize…ultimate and ineffable happiness.
Joani Plenty is a mother, wife and lover of life. An expert on friendship (not because of the successful friendships but because of the unsuccessful ones) and former personal success coach, Joani’s goal is to tell her stories, inspire and motivate others to be the epitome of themselves first; everything else will fall into place.