I have a saying that has been posted on my refrigerator for years. Slowly over the years my children, their friends and my friends have signed it in agreement.
It reads, “The secret to happiness is not getting more, it is wanting less.”
When my children were younger, in an effort to remind them I often asked them what the secret to happiness was (particularly if they were wanting something they couldn’t have).
My son, often forgot, and then finally one day (around the age of six) said, “It is wanting something and not getting it!!” Ha ha, no, not quite.
It is such a brilliantly simple thing to do, and though not always easy… it definitely works.
If instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we appreciate what we do have, we are content.
Instead of focusing on what is missing from our lives, we can be grateful for what/who is in our lives.
Even in the face of unfortunate circumstances, there is often a hidden opportunity that might not otherwise have been apparent.
Focusing on what you have and not what you don’t have works with big things in life and the little things.
So even on a day-to-day basis, it is helpful to try to train ourselves to find the silver lining in situations.
Maybe you had to stay home all weekend with a sick child—rather than thinking of all the things you couldn’t do, or missed, focus instead on what you got a chance to do that you otherwise would not have. Maybe you cleaned the pantry or the junk drawer, read a book or got all your laundry done and your bills paid. Okay so maybe your child vomited on the carpet, but now you can get the carpet cleaned right?
We have all heard it so many times, and it is certainly can be challenging at times-but it works and no one can do it for us-our attitude is under our own control.
Think about some of your own challenges in life. How have you coped? Have you been able to find the opportunity or the silver lining in a difficult situation?
Whatever the issue, big or small we can make it easier or harder, depending on our perspective and our attitude.
“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Ralph Waldo Emerson