The Bright Side

Recently I was emailing with someone and they told me, "I am amazed at how invested you are in living a full life...willing to take risks and go for it.  You inspire me!!"

I was flattered. It also took me back a bit. I hadn't realized that my approach to life was to be noted, or that I would inspire anyone. 

It's true, I have been making very specific attempt to better myself and to improve the quality of my own experiences. In the last year I have made a concerted effort to be positive and look for the good in all that goes on around me. 

Life is hard. It just is. But, I have found that when you choose to rise above your circumstances, you will be rewarded. 

Staying positive is not easy, but here are a few of the things that I do that help to keep on the bright side which I hope will help!

1. Stay present. I have heard it said yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come, we have only today. While it is simple in words, it is complex in concept. What helps me stay in a positive place is focusing on what is right in front of me. When I am home with my family, I focus on enjoying that moment instead of thinking about the to-do list at work. When I am at work, I concentrate on being a contribution to my team and performing well. When I am at home, I am focused on my family and building memories with them. 

2. Focus on solutions. When life happens and you are faced with a challenge, it is easy to become discouraged and focus on the unexpected event that occurred. While it is good to acknowledge what is going on, I try to quickly move into finding the next action I can take now. If you look for a solution to the problem, you are looking forward and can quickly move on. 

3. Do more things you love. What do you love to do? What makes you happy? When do you feel the least amount of stress? Sometimes you can't eliminate the things you don't really enjoy doing: meetings, driving in traffic, paying bills, etc. But, you can add enjoyment to your life. Find things you love and try to incorporate them into your schedule. If you schedule it, you'll do it, right?

4. Prioritize. My family is most important to me in my life right now. However, I spend the majority of my time at work. I love my job, but it is not the most important thing in my life in this season. While I don't shirk responsibilities at work, I know what takes priority in my schedule. I am putting my family first, before anything else that may come along. And while it is easy to feel guilty and like I am letting others down when I turn down an invitation, I remind myself of my priorities and know that for today, this is the right choice for me.

5. Take a break. This is so hard and a habit I am still trying to develop. Right now it is a very small goal - each month I make the effort to do at least one self-care activity. I have gone to get a haircut, taken a bubble bath, gone to Target by myself, taken time alone at home to read a book. This can look different to everyone - but don't forget to take a break from responsibilities. This also can present itself when you are busy with tasks that really do need to get done. The other day, we were cleaning up the house and all three of us took a spontaneous break to be silly together. It was a wonderful moment that only took about 10 minutes away from our house to-do list, but it was fun and much needed and it reminded us how much fun we all have together. 

I hope these tips help keep you looking on the bright side. 

Oh, and the glass is half full. Always. :)


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