I remember hearing once that being human is like walking through a cave with a miner's cap: there may be an entire wall of gold right beside you for all you know, but if you don't stop looking at the dirt and turn around, you'll never see it. I learned when teaching perception in my Gr.12 Psych classes that researchers have validated this. By and large, we can only focus on one thing at one time. I think the illusion below is such a great example of this, how you can't see the two people and the hour glass at the same time.
So we learn about this in first-year psychology classes, but we never really stop to think about its significance in how we view the world, and how this limitation can affect us horribly or wonderfully.
That's why I like "Gratefuls" ... just rattling off a list of all the things I'm grateful for. Thoughts attract like thoughts. They snowball. And gratefuls get the positive thought-train flowing better than anything else I can think of. If we can only focus on one thing at a time, and thoughts create strings of like thoughts, take control!
And, I believe, if you do gratefuls enough (just like if you repeat any string of thoughts enough), they become who you are.
So here are mine right now:
- I'm grateful for coffee and coffee shops
- I'm grateful for my health, and doctors and nurses
- I'm grateful for running water and toilets that flush
- I'm grateful for technology, the internet, the age we live in, and democracy
- I'm grateful for compassionate rules and programs and people
- I'm grateful for family, friends, empathy, kids, laughter, and love
- I'm grateful for the sunny day outside
- I'm grateful for my wife and three children
- I'm grateful for musicians who can compose and play magical songs and make everything seem a little more beautiful