Lately, I have changed my attitude to super positive and I want to pass along some great advice that was given to me about a week ago that has been in the front of my mind every day as I interact with the world and people around me.
There is a little store on Thayer Street in Providence that I went to regularly during my freshman year and every once in a while lately. The man who owns this store is so friendly and gives me hugs every time I go; he talks to me like an old friend and asks me, with such interest, how my life is, what I have been doing and what new adventures are in store for me.
He is one of those people who, when you are in a conversation with him, he does not take his eyes off you, making you feel important, like you are the only person in the world that matters at that moment in time. He really cares, not just the owner-who-wants-his-customers-to-buy-things-cares, but truly.
My latest visit, he asked me how I was, as usual. I replied with a sigh and said, "I'm... good. Just tired and a little stressed, but overall, I'm good." He looked at me, tilted his head and said, "What are you stressed about?" I responded with the usual RISD student response, "Oh, it's just been a difficult semester and I've had some personal issues going on. There's a lot of hard work and it just stresses me out."
This is where he made me feel a little silly.
He stopped me there, and told me this:
You used three words there. Stressed. Difficult. Hard. All these are negative words and when you use them, they put a weight on your shoulders making you more stressed; more tired. When you do something you love, you should love every minute of it, and tell yourself that you will. When you complain about it being difficult or stressful, you cause it to be more difficult than it already is because your mind already has that thought - this is going to be hard.
What I want you to do is when you start something, no matter if you like it or not, take a deep breath and tell yourself - I'm going to do this and I'm going to have so much fun! This will put your mind in the right state because you have introduced positive thoughts instead of already telling yourself it is going to be too hard. It will release endorphins which will help give you energy to complete this task as well.
If it's something you don't enjoy doing, make it fun in some way and if you can't, get it done as quickly as possible. Then if it becomes difficult, take a deep breath and keep going. Breathing deeply will bring more oxygen to the brain which will give you more energy also. Just remind yourself that this is something you love. Then, when you are done, hug yourself and squeeze tight and tell yourself what a great job you did. This releases more endorphins which makes you happy and keeps your energy level up. And it's better than rewarding yourself with food or candy and it's free! All of these things are free!
And when you are tired or stressed, most people call someone and complain to their friends or family. Do they really need to know? When you do this, you are bringing upon yourself the negative words again and putting them onto your friends. If you use positive words, you will feel better and happier, because things are great for you! You don't need to tell everyone else about these negative things.
And remember, always be smiling. Always
After our talk, I was so amazed. I felt like I have always been a very positive person but lately, I have been rather down and very negative; not my personality at all. I immediately felt almost a little embarrassed for my negativity although I knew it's almost the norm for many people.
Then, as I was checking out, he handed me his guest book. A student from Brown had written to him about how much the owner had helped him his freshman year and a quote from him - "It is not about managing your time, it's about managing your energy." This has been stuck in my head all week as has our talk about being positive.
So this week, I have taken it upon myself to consciously incorporate this into my life. Although I know it won't happen all at once, it is coming and I have noticed a change. Every time someone asks me how I am, I respond with a smile and "It's great. Everything's great." because it really is; I have made a huge positive change recently by switching to Textiles and am so much more happy than I would be had I stayed in Industrial Design. Also, my overall mood is much more positive because I can control my energy and mood so much more than I realized. The power to control ones mood isn't in the events that happen around them, it's how you respond to those events and learn from them.
It was such an enlightening conversation and I felt like so many more people could benefit from this than just me. I hope you all benefit from it too and take as much as you can. It really is changing my life.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and weekend if I don't get back here soon!
Lots of fun things to do :)