Think happy thoughts

April 9th, 2014



I’m a sucker for good theories. Whether they are conspiratorial, philosophical or comical, I find enjoyment in entertaining a novel thought or viewpoint. Recently, a good friend of mine explained a theory to me that I hadn’t heard of yet. The theory is known as the “Law of Attraction.” At the risk of oversimplifying, I’ll do my best to explain. Basically, humans are luck magnets. But before you start imagining yourself as a metaphorical hunk of metal, hear me out.


Every thought you have determines how you act. Negativity results in negative behavior and vice versa.


I know, it’s weird. But as a result of recent events in my life, I’ve found myself to be less than pleasant in my interactions with others and I can’t shake the feeling that this Law of Attraction is the explanation for my recent rut.


My recent bad attitude and demeanor isn’t just bad manners – it’s indicative of a lousy view on life. It’s no secret that people feel overwhelmed when much is expected of them, and I’m no exception to that fact. It’s a natural reaction when faced with a laundry list of expectations and deadlines. But, I’m slowly starting to realize that feeling overwhelmed doesn’t have to remain the be all and end all.


Force yourself to view your struggle with optimism. After all, you can’t grow without struggling against the adversity confronting you. Struggle fuels growth.


Meeting your troubles with optimism is difficult. But, your internal joy finds its way to external expression more easily than you might think.


Forget the ruse of cordial smiles and polite conversation. If you’re having a bad day, flashing a forced smile is a cheap cover-up for your feelings. To shake off a tough day in the office (or more directly, the classroom), adopt a genuine interest in your own happiness.


You have to first make peace with whatever is weighing you down. Accept your current predicament, but also accept that you will make it through. After all, any challenge you’re facing can’t and won’t be permanent.


The great American writer Henry David Thoreau once said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Thoreau explains all your potential troubles in just a few, well-placed words.


Remind yourself of that simple truism when anxiety waxes and optimism wanes. No matter what you’re facing, you’ll make it through. And you know what? In all likelihood, you’ll emerge victorious from whatever battle you’re fighting. So don’t hang your head and don a face of dejection, get back in the ring and keep swinging.


When you’ve got a litany of “to-do’s,” treat those tasks as competition and meet it with a smile on your face and an unshakable confidence in your heart. Make no bones about your current circumstances and you’ll have the advantage when you try to surmount them.


Let’s face it: progress isn’t easy and, more often than not, isn’t enjoyable either. But I’ll let you in on a secret: living life with a smile on your heart changes the rules of the game. Rather than accepting your station in life as a burden, go the full 12 rounds with the work facing you. Don’t shy away from work because you’re afraid it will be hard or painful.


In the end, whether you hide from your work or you rise up to meet it, the task before you won’t change. However, wrestling with your obligations produces more results than wrestling with yourself to find motivation.


So now when I think about the Law of Attraction, I tend to believe it. Gear your mind-set in a positive direction, and positivity can’t help but come back to you.


Remember that no hardship lasts forever, but the satisfaction of overcoming your circumstances certainly does.