Turn Your Hate into Happiness ...by Bill Knell
I hate Mondays! I hate Birthdays! I hate Holidays! We hear these statements all the time from others and ourselves. Justification for our hatred of certain days isn't hard to come by. Mondays represent the start of a workweek at a job we may despise. Birthdays represent the progression of years we all wish would move at a slower pace. Holidays tend to accentuate preexisting family feuds, loss of loved ones and economic low points. Some people take it a step further and center their anger on people or things.
I hate my cousin, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law, ex-boyfriend or next-door neighbor. I hate that dog who roams the neighborhood unsupervised, those kids that play loudly in front of my house or the Meter Reader who walks across my well-kept lawn. You may have some very legitimate reasons for centering anger and even hatred on these people and things, however, there is a price to be paid for constantly focusing on them and you may be surprised at what it is.
Almost everyone I know lives each day based on one or more sets of good or bad events. Those events dictate their every mood and help decide how they will live a particular day. This gives a huge amount of power to things, situations and people that they allow to influence their lives. That power is given away, not earned. In a culture obsessed with Psychology and Psychiatry, we are taught to believe that people, situations and things have power over us cause certain types of behavior. Instead of ignoring those influences, we're encouraged to explore and understand them. While resolution is possible, it always seems to evade those who follow this path.
I know people who live on therapy and pills. I am not talking about individuals with legitimate mental disorders that may be successfully treated through medication; I am speaking about people who are told they need treatment because something in their lives is upsetting them. If that situation cannot be resolved, it should never be permitted to rule their lives. Some people spend all their time trying to resolve situations that should never have been allowed to overtake them. Sometimes we have to ignore, learn to accept or walk away from situations that we cannot control.
Everyone is different. Some people drive their vehicles all day blissfully unaware of what's happening on the road around them. Others get upset and beside themselves if someone cuts them off or causes them to miss a light. Regardless of what sets you off in a positive or negative direction, it's really all about allowing people, situations and things to have power over us. Most people have already surrendered their lives to circumstances. They wake up and allow everything around them to decide what kind of day they'll have.
I always get a kick out of people I know who get angry with me for not being upset with whatever bad piece of news the media happens to be spewing out at any given time. "Didn't you hear what happened today?" Sure I did. It's bad news. It has to be because most people in the news media know that good news just doesn't sell. We are incessantly reminded by news reporters, political pundits and talk show hosts how important it is that we listen to them. Instead of making a well informed decision at the ballot box by voting for people we know will represent our particular viewpoint, we'll told that we must constantly revisit every election by staying on top of government officials and all that they do.
The problem with being directly involved with every political, social or other issue on any given day is that it deflects us from what's important in our own lives. I have seen more then a few people leave their families, jobs and anything that resembled a normal life to take on a cause they felt worth that cost. However, most of them were not in a normal state of mind when they made that decision. Instead of giving the matter careful thought, they responded to the call to a call for arms levied by other true believers.
There are people who leave radio or cable news channels on all day, then wonder why they are feeling so bad. I listen to the news; however, I do not allow it to decide what kind of day I am going to have. This doesn't mean that I do not sympathize with people who have been hit by disaster, crime or some terrible calamity. I do. In fact, I have links on several of my websites for people to donate money, time or talent to help those afflicted by all sorts of disasters, economic situations and national tragedies. I care about and support various causes and charities like most other people. I just refuse to allow those things to overtake me on a personal level.
It scares me to think how much I used to allow everything happening around me to rule my life. It's as if I was in some sort of a coma. I refused to happy unless something happened that gave me a reason to feel good. I lived based on the day's events and everything going on around me. Needless to say, I was not happy a good deal of the time. I listened to experts on television and the radio and thought that maybe I was the kind of person who might have a tendency towards Depression. I was just about to seek help for being depressed, when I saw the light.
While watching television one morning, it dawned on me how influential the world around me had become on my life. I was watching the news early in the morning when one of my younger children came in the room. I switched the channel to some cartoons. I couldn't help but watch what was on and started laughing. I went out that morning feeling really good. Why? Because my television had told me to. It provided some funny and uplifting entertainment that made me feel good.
Giving it some thought, I became upset at how much I was allowing all sorts of things happening around me to influence my life. I had joined the crowd that played the Blame Game. If someone in my family got me upset, I blamed them for ruining my entire day. If a friend or business associate called with bad news, it was their fault that I couldn't function to my full potential that day. Not only did I blame others for my feelings, I blamed myself!
If I wasn't feeling good most of the time, there must have been something mentally wrong with me. I automatically assumed that I needed therapy, pills or couch sessions to solve this imaginary problem. Fortunately, I tried something else before taking any of those steps. I decided to feel the way I wanted to feel each day regardless of my circumstances. After making that decision, it almost seemed ridiculous how much power I had allowed people and things to have over me. Not only did that decision change my personal life, it changed the way I did business.
I stopped allowing Nay Sayers to influence every business decision I made. Since the day I was born, people had told me about all the things I couldn't do. They had decided that I fitted into a certain mold and needed to exist within that narrow expression of economic happiness. Not all of my business decisions have been good ones and thinking outside of the box hasn't always benefited me. However, moving beyond people's expectations and making decisions based on what I know about myself instead of everything happening around me have always been good steps in the right direction.
If you want to survive the daily grind and move beyond the influences of everything around you, it's time to stop living based one what life tosses your way. It will not be easy. Misery loves company and everyone around you will miss the influence they have on the way you feel. You will not always be happy, but you will have the ability to be happy, sad or otherwise based on deliberate choice. You can either handle your emotions, or allow them to handle you.