How do people stay optimistic and motivated during difficult times? Last night I had the chance to ask a group of people of mixed ages, gender and professional backgrounds that exact question. The answers came quickly. There was no hesitation. People know what works for them.
From recognizing the enjoyment of being with “like-minded” colleagues; to recognizing that we are simply a “blink” in history (and therefore need to do something now); to knowing that what we’re doing is giving a voice to people who have no voice; to believing that there is always a “light at the end of the tunnel” and to knowing that our individual efforts do matter every single day to someone else. We make a positive difference. A little wine, music and dancing got on the list as well!
But my personal favorite was to practice abundance thinking instead of scarcity thinking. It takes practice but shifting your mindset to one of appreciating the abundance of life rather than what may be scarce in your life is very powerful.
It’s very easy to let scarcity thinking become a habit. And if you surround yourself with others who think that way then the complaining and whining really gets carried away. Fear takes over in a rapid downward spiral.
We can learn from our canine friends. Growing up in Carmel, California I walked the beach at least once a day with several dogs at my heels. And as soon as they were off their leashes they are racing down the beach. And all the dog owners would gather, chat and watch as the dogs ran and romped together. You can’t help but smile. Big dogs, little dogs, fat and skinny dogs all just enjoying the beach. They were all in the moment and totally immersed in the wealth of smells, sounds and feelings of running through the water and sand. They didn’t see what they didn’t have but rather just what they had in that moment.
We can learn from them. Take your shoes off, dig your toes in the sand and enjoy the abundance of what you have for today. Tomorrow will take care of itself . . . tomorrow.