One of the reasons we find it difficult to be positive is our focus on ourselves. Many people focus on the things that are going wrong in their own lives and forget to look around them and see what is going on in the lives of others around them. 

Most major world religions focus on good works as a means to attaining reward and there is some excellent value in this approach to life. When we focus on ourselves, we tend to magnify the problem in our mind and introspection can lead to negative thinking. When we compare our “bad experiences” with someone else’s experiences, we often find ourselves realizing that maybe our situation is not so bad after all. 

How big are your needs?

We probably meet people every day with needs greater than our own without even realizing it. The mother sitting next to us on the bus pushing a young child in a pram, who is struggling with the stresses of parenting young children; the elderly man who sits on his verandah silently watching passersby and wishing some of them would come and talk to him in his lonely and isolated world. The friend we have lunch with at work who gossips about things that a colleague from the office is doing or not doing. 

Helping others will help you

Investing time in other people and their needs will change our perspectives on things happening in our own world. We can share our parenting skills with that young mum and help her to deal with her world and realize that we do have something to offer people and our retirement doesn’t mean we are suddenly redundant. We can find relief from our own loneliness, by sharing a cup of tea and a cake with that old man, and find ourselves thankful for the family we have, when we realize he has no family. We can deal with the negative effects of others’ words by gently helping our gossiping friends understand the negative effect that gossiping us has on our lives. 

As we become the stone that ripples its influence into other’s lives, we find things to like about our world and ourselves. When we hide ourselves in our homes and allow our negative thinking, rob us of experiences we miss the rewards that boomerang back to us. Take time out today to walk to the shop or catch a bus, rather than take the car. You may be surprised by the difference it makes to your day.

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