I used to complain a lot - it could be about the weather, the traffic, the people on the train and even the coffee from my favourite cafe. When I think back now, my mind was full of thoughts like:
“The train is late again.”
“It’s going to rain again today.”
“As expected, the bus is jam-packed!”
“Damn it, the coffee is way too hot!”
Complaint, complaint and complaint. All these complaints and negative thoughts didn’t only create a very bad start of my day - it actually made my whole day a living hell.
Let’s take the weather as an example. The sky is grey and looks really gloomy and depressing (typical autumn & winter weather in Sweden), normally people would have thoughts like “what a boring weather!”, “every day is like this.”, “summer is over, long, dark winter is coming - how depressing!”. How many people actually can see the silver lining of the gloomy weather? It is dark and is getting cold but it also means that snow will come soon. Snow is pure, soft and beautiful. Having snow on the ground, the whole surroundings would become brighter and there are lots of things people can do when there’s snow - skiing, building a snowman for example. My son and I love doing this - studying the animal footprints on the snow, it's our game called "Guess the Animals". If you don’t like snow - how about Christmas, holidays and seasonal sale? Not everything is bad about winter.
The point here is - sometimes we focus too much on the negative side of things without knowing that every single negative event in your life actually comes with something positive. It’s like a package or buy 1 get 1 free. By changing your way to see things, you will suddenly notice life is full of beauty and opportunities.
Next time when your train is delayed, don’t get stressed or frustrated, try to see it from another perspective - the train is late - so what? You will have more time to listen to your favourite podcast or read the book you never have the time to read. The train will come eventually - relax!
You might think, it is really difficult to stay positive in every situation. I hear you - I cannot stay positive all the time either. After all, we are just human.
I travelled to London just 2 weeks ago. Having lived in Stockholm for 7 years, I really miss the hustle and bustle of a big city. London reminds me of my hometown - Hong Kong. When I was at Heathrow, waiting for the plane back to Stockholm, my mind was full of thoughts like, "now I am going to fly back to a place where there are more trees than people". A negative thought like this triggered a series of complaints and I can tell you, it did affect my whole day.
The best way to stop the chain reaction of the negativity is to immediately tell yourself to stop and start thinking about the positive side of the seemingly negative event. In the above example, what I could have done is thinking about the good of Stockholm. The underground is less crowded, the city is less noisy and it has really fresh air - thanks to the trees!
Wayne Dyer once said “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”. Practise that and gradually you will notice how much happiness it will bring you.