The other day I was reading the etiquette column in the New York Times. The first query was from a man who was vowing never to speak to some friends because they had not offered him their oysters during brunch.
I couldn’t believe it! With all that’s going on in the world, this guy is steamed about a few oysters? Imagine if he were in Haiti, or had a loved one in the military…
It seems that often we are all about ourselves and everyone is “woe is me.” I think the self-absorbed nature of Twitter and Facebook are partly to blame—when we’re given a free pass to talk about ourselves as much as we like, we can’t help but rant and whine from time to time.
The kids are being wild! The dishwasher is broken! Your favorite program was interrupted by the president’s speech. How will you ever survive?
It isn’t until you open your mind and your ears to listen to other people that you realize how great you have it. One of my favorite sayings is “it can always be worse,” and it can. We all complain now and then, but if your worst problem is that your favorite singer got voted off “American Idol,” well, I’d say you have it pretty good.
Personally, I’m all about gratitude. I recommend everyone start a gratitude journal and try to write something in it every day, even if it’s something as simple as “I’m grateful the sun was shining today.” If you try to write every day, it will become habit. Soon enough it will become a habit in your thoughts as well and will become part of your daily life.
So instead of thinking “My boss is driving me crazy,” think about how grateful you are to have a boss in this tough economic climate. Focus on the good aspects of your life, and change the bad ones. Sometimes things may not go our way, but rather than obsessing over it and complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen, it’s best to simply recognize the problem, figure out how to fix it, and take action.