I am even more transparent than I normally am in this video blog… I share examples (and images) from my past when I was totally bamboozled, comparing my life to others and allowing what I perceived to be unacceptable to take up way too much time in my head instead of simply living life thankful for what I had.
I’ve realized that I could have been happy instead of wishing I had what I didn’t quite a while ago, but watching a YouTube video on the life of Jane Austen recently reminded me of it and that inspired this video I did for you.
I’ll do a few more videos on this topic because there is more I want to say on this subject but for now… I think I’ve said enough and I hope you’ll watch it (I have it transcribed as well below the video for you readers). Let me know what you think.
Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy” No truer words have been spoken.
In this blog, I get very transparent. Even more than usual… here we go.
Is there something that consistently brings you down, day in and day out, that you could reconsider? Is there one thing you could reframe to look forward to, to genuinely enjoy, and be thankful for?
I’ve found myself in the pit of despair over things in my past that, looking back, I could have been thankful for. Not only that, but I could have been ecstatic about them.
For instance, I had a car that I used to have to start with a screwdriver. I also had a home that, in my opinion, just wasn’t as nice as it should have been. What was I thinking? The house was newly built. I chose the cabinets, the windows, and the room placements. It really was beautiful, but I didn’t think it was big enough.
My mind had a field day every day, and I didn’t even know that it didn’t have to do that and then I could stop it.
I would say, “Why isn’t your house as nice as hers? Nothing you have is as good as anybody else’s. How embarrassing this car is. You never have any fancy things or go on great vacations.”
What could I have said instead? I could have said, “I love that we don’t have a lot of stuff. That we have the time to spend our weekends enjoying each other and our lives instead of taking care of everything and fixing and managing it all. I love that we live within our needs. I love that we have no debt. How wonderful that we have a safe car with no payment. And it gets us where we need to go. I love that we have so much fun together as a family, that my children love to be together. I love our little traditions that we do, our family nights, our game nights, our ice cream nights, our movie nights.”
Those are the things I could have said, enjoyed my life, and appreciated it, and being present and in the now, instead of wasting all of the time that I had with my own family wishing that I had what I didn’t.
You know, I love Jane Austen. I can watch (and read) Pride and Prejudice a million times. Recently, I watched a historical video about her on YouTube, and this is a great example of what I’m trying to get across to you.
She lived in a time where if a woman didn’t have money where it was inherited in the family, she had to get married or she was going to live a meager life. So with the ripe old age of 30, she was done. Her home was modest and her living was scant for that time period based on what her society said was acceptable.
If we were able to live in that home with that lifestyle today, we would have found it amazing based on today’s standards. But because life standards were set by society and the mindset was that if it wasn’t that, then there could be no happiness. When in reality, we create our own happiness, based on our own view of life, rather than comparison and caring about what other people think.
And what about minimalism?
Years ago, it would have been something that people were ashamed of to not have a lot of stuff. Today, it’s something that we’re proud of. Could we have been proud of that years ago? Yeah, we could have. If we weren’t so preoccupied with comparison.
My aim in this message is to encourage you to enjoy life as you work on it. Don’t let what you think you don’t have cause you to overlook what you do.
If someone offered you ten million dollars today, would that make you happy? Sure, right? But what if they told you that to get this money, you wouldn’t wake up tomorrow? Then what would you say? You’d say NO THANK YOU!
What does that tell you? It tells you that your life is worth more than ten million dollars. It wasn’t the ten million you wanted, it was what you thought it would give you.
Let’s not squander the life we have. It’s worth more than anything we can imagine.
Here’s an action I want you to take this week. When you complain about something that’s nagging you, take a step back and ask yourself, ‘Can I reframe this?’ ‘Can I give this a different perspective?’
Pretend you’re 90 and sitting in a rocking chair by the fire. If you thought back on the complaint that you’re thinking about now, being the more self-aware self that you are, what would you say to your current self?
Take some time every day to think of a new reframe. And every time the old way pops up to complain about something… to think about what other people have or what you think you should have, take it as a reminder to think about it differently, until you’ve created a new habit and a new thought pattern and a happier life.
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The TIdy Tutor