Main HeaderOrder Now

A Shift in Focus Can Create a Shift in Attitude

© Catherine Ripplinger Fenwick

In the English language there are about 3000 words to describe negative emotions and about 1000 words to describe positive emotions. Well that explains a lot! Words effect our attitudes and beliefs which in turn effect our minds and bodies, which must process the emotion created by the language. Is it true then; we are what we think!

It seems to me that we often focus on what is wrong. At times it may be better for us to shift that focus to what is right. I do not mean that we should pretend everything is wonderful and stop working to change what is wrong. My concern is that by focusing on what is wrong we often lose sight of why we are working so hard in the first place.

A few days ago I was in a restaurant and I heard someone say, "Hey, Do you serve crabs in this dump?" The waitress replied, "Yes sir, what will you have?" A quick shift in the perception of words creates the humour. A shift in what we focus on can create a shift in attitude.

  • A Pollyanna can see castles in the clouds.
  • A pessimist can build dungeons out of thin air.

Call me a Pollyanna if you want to. Pollyanna was a little girl who grew up in extreme material poverty but she was rich in many other ways. Her father taught her to look for what is good in all circumstances. No matter how bad things got, Pollyanna could always find something to be happy about.

I sat down the other day with pen and paper and began to write all the things for which I am thankful. I have five pages filled, so far. This is a wonderful activity to help people shift their mental focus from "ain't it awful " to "life is good." Out of this exercise came the following poem:

I am thankful for the gift of laughter;

for the people who bring me joy,
for the comedy that makes me forget my cares and woes,
if only for a moment.

I am thankful for the gift of creativity:

for artists,
whose work takes me out of sadness
and into a kinder place.

I am thankful for the ability to find great joy in simple things;

for long walks in the country,
for a cool lake on a hot day,
for snow to ski on,
for music, meditation and prayer.

I am thankful for the gift of compassion:

for the joy of forgiveness.

And I pray that I am at peace with whatever happens today.

To be at peace sometimes requires that we see castles in the clouds. No matter what happens, find something to be happy about. Try to become a person with INVERSE PARANOIA. A person with INVERSE PARANOIA is someone who walks around believing that the world is out to do them good.

Main Footer Navigation