There are two things I can guarantee you will never hear from me: A complaint about my job or my wife! I want to share a quick story of how I learned that the way I talk about my life to others drastically changes how I feel about my life and how you can experience joy in your daily life as well. It does take some practice and is absolutely worth every effort your choose to invest in yourself.
A quick story to begin… When I was working on my bachelor degree I got a summer job of landscaping. I worked long hours and was paid well, at the time and my age, for what I did. Near the middle of the second summer I realized I wasn’t enjoying work very much and noticed that the way I talked about my job to others was usually with a poor attitude. I’ve always been a mind over matter kind of person and one day decided to begin talking about my job in a positive light. I didn’t lie to anyone and there were legitimate disadvantages to working at my job, but if someone asked what I did I would focus on the positives: “I get to work in the sun all summer getting paid to do good, hard exercise. I don’t even need to wear a shirt most of the time or safety boots. I get to bank hours so that I keep getting paychecks even after I am back in school in September and my boss is relaxed and willing to work with me if my schedule ever needs a tweak.” I won’t even share with you what I used to say before that…
Something strange started to happen in the second half of that summer. I started LOVING my job. By the end of the summer I couldn’t wait to get back the next summer I was enjoying myself so much. I learned an extremely valuable lesson that year: The way I think and talk about something are directly correlated. I also learned that when I think about something in a positive way, I generally have a better attitude toward that same thing and that when I have a positive attitude I enjoy what I’m doing!
I have now been married for a decade (in just under 4 months). I started practicing my approach to attitude when I spoke of my wife. Whenever I was in public I made a point to speak of Teresa in a positive light and focus on her strengths and what I very much appreciate about her. I have continued this practice and have often heard comments of how much I love my wife and how lucky I am to have such a fantastic wife. I’ve also, at times, been told that I could talk about my wife a little less and that would be fine 🙂 I’ve found that this has so many benefits to my relationship and I won’t outline them all now, but trust me when I say I believe I got the better of the deal when we entered a long term relationship! And those people who are upset that I beam about my wife? My guess is that they have painful memories in various ways and don’t want to be reminded of them all that much. I don’t worry about those people at all because I’m not bragging about my wife primarily to have others think highly of her, but rather to encourage myself and help my own attitude toward her. Another great benefit is that people around me have often told me that the way I talk about Teresa has encouraged them to work harder on their intimate relationships. Beautiful!
Did you know you can literally change your memories of something with this method? It’s scary how powerful it is. My memories of the first years of our marriage are almost completely positive even though I am sure we had difficult times. Do you realize how powerful this is? The ability to enjoy your day has an incredible impact on your life. I’ll end today’s post with a quote. I’m not sure who it is from, but whoever it is had good, practical wisdom:
“A bad attitude is like a flat tire; you will have great difficulty going anywhere until you change it”.
Make today fantastic!